You may have a Vios GR Sport to feel the accomplishment of having such a beautiful car and show it off to your friends, but no matter how cool your car looks, even if it is a Lamborghini, you must still inspect your car often so you know that nothing is hindering it while you are on the road. At the very least, check your car’s engine.
It is not really necessary to check every nook and cranny. All you have to do is to check the vitals, and you are good to go. The slightest mishap or a half filled liquid is enough to warrant a professional service. Better safe than sorry.
So what minimally needs checking?
We will explore the inside of your car’s bonnet first. Your engine oil is different from your car’s petrol as it serves as a lubricant of your engine’s components, ensuring that they run as smooth as butter. It also serves as your engine’s coolant and cleans it by trapping any debris that can stall its internals.
Most cars, regardless of model, have a dipstick that you can pull out and check the engine oil’s level. Its handle has a hoop to put your finger through and pull the rod out. Near the tip of the metal rod, there are two small dots where one nearest to the tip is the minimum level, and the other maximum.
To get an accurate reading, wipe the oil off the metal stick after extracting it. Use a spare cloth or newspaper to do this. Then, dip the stick into the oil again, and pull out. Now you can read the levels. If the oil is getting low, take it to service.
Also known as antifreeze, a coolant regulates your engine’s temperature so it is neither too hot nor too cold. Either ends can compromise your engine while you drive, and assuming you are living in Malaysia where snow does not occur, your engine will overheat more often without being sufficiently cooled by the coolant.
The coolant is usually colored green, pink or blue. Just look for a colored liquid in a tank and you will know what you are looking at. If your coolant is getting low, and if you have a spare, you can fill it up yourself.
Otherwise, take it to a car service shop and let them fill it up for you for a price. If you are lucky, they might offer you the rest of the bottle so you don’t have to go to a shop again whenever your coolant is halfway or nearly empty.
Ever steer a wheel without a steering fluid? No, and you do not want to find out. If your steering wheel is lacking its own fluid, it will be harder for you to control your car and before you can even make the slightest turn, your fast driving ends with a crash against the railing at a curve.
Like the engine oil, the steering fluid also lubricates the inner mechanisms of your steering wheel. When it is low, it takes more effort to turn the wheels, which can be dangerous if you are not only driving fast, but you are approaching a curve road too.
Worse, you may damage the power steering pump and replacing it is already costly.
There is usually a label called “POWER STEERING FLUID” or similar when you are looking for it. Service is required if it isn’t full.