Last week, we talked about visual checks you can make while filling your car with gas. Now we will address those items you should look at, after your car has cooled down overnight.
Leaks: If you suspect you have a leak, place a large piece of paper (newspaper) directly under the engine/radiator/transmission area of your car at night. Check the paper the next morning… you should be able to identify where the leak originates, and the type of fluid leaking.
Belts: Using a flashlight, twist your accessory drive belts or serpentine belt so that the underside is clearly visible Are there cracks or material missing? Does it appear shiny or glazed? Either of these conditions indicate it is time for new belt(s).
Coolant: Most later model cars don’t even have “radiator caps” any longer… they have a “coolant recovery tank cap”, which is designed to allow the coolant to expand into the recovery tank when hot and then siphon back into the radiator as the engine cools. So (only on a cold engine) check the coolant level in the recovery tank – it should be at the “cold line.”
Brake Fluid: Usually located near the firewall, just behind the engine, the brake fluid reservoir again has indicator line for full and low.
If any of these reservoirs are low and need topping off, stop by your honest accurate auto service technician for a quick check and top off… you’ll be glad you did.