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To keep your car looking good and performing well, this week OzFreeOnline offers you suggestions in changing oil in your car and checking the transmission fluid.
Oil change is one of the few maintenance steps that automobile manufacturers have not found a way to eliminate yet. Regular oil changes are the best way to ensure longer engine life. If you frequently take short trips where the car doesn't always completely warm up, then oil changes are even more important because acid and moisture build-up does not have a chance to burn off.
Some new engines normally run very hot and are very hard on oil. Even missing a single oil change on these cars can cause an engine to develop sludge, which can cause engine damage in a car with as little as 15,000 kilometres on the odometer. Today's modern oils contain detergents and additives that are designed to protect against sludge formation, but if you regularly do a lot of stop-and-go driving, like rush hour driving, engine heat will eventually break down these additives so that they stop protecting your engine.
Most automatic transmissions should be checked while the engine is running. Check your owner’s manual to be sure. Also, make sure the car is on a level surface and fully warmed up. Pull the transmission dipstick out, wipe off the end, and note the markings on the end of the stick. The usual markings are ‘Full’ and ‘Add.’ Push the stick into the tube until it seats, then immediately pull it out to see the fluid level. Transmission fluid should be pink or red in colour with the look and consistency of cherry cough syrup. If the fluid is a muddy brown or has a burnt smell, have it checked by a mechanic. As with the engine, never add fluid unless it is below the ‘Add’ mark and never bring it above the ‘Full’ mark. Make sure you use the correct transmission fluid for your vehicle. If you plan to add Transmission fluid yourself, you should know that fluid usually comes in prepared sizes, but the level may not be low enough to take the full amount. In addition, you will need a special funnel to get the fluid into the small tube that the dipstick came out of. Check your owner’s manual for the type of fluid and do not substitute anything else. Any noticeable transmission oil consumption should be checked out at your service station.
We will bring you more tips next week. In the meantime remember the best source to buy a used car today is OzFreeOnline.com – Cars Section. To sell your car, you can use our free car listings – It costs you nothing!