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Two Hour Car Care Seminar.

Safety First!!! Use common sense! Stay clear of moving parts. Never remove the radiator cap or a hose when the cooling system is hot. Never get underneath a jacked up vehicle unless it is properly supported.

I. Warning Indicators and dipsticks Understanding Your Engines Basic Needs Check Engine and Service Engine Soon lights will be covered at the end.

Fluids a) Engine Oil type and service intervalsA large amount of heat is created during engine operation. The heat created between some moving parts is so great that an internal combustion engine cannot operate for long before damage will occur. The lubrication system provides a steady supply of pressurized oil to the moving parts of the engine. Lubrication reduces friction heat and keeps parts from wearing against each other. Oil also helps cool the engine, wash away dirt and debris, and reduce noise. The major components of the lubrication system include: Oil pan Oil strainer Oil pump Oil filter Oil seals Dipstick Oil pressure indicator Sealing materials

MOTOR OILToday's motor oils are made from naturally occurring crude oil (petroleum) or from man-made chemical compounds (synthetics). Some motor oils are made from both and are called partial synthetics. Motor oils are categorized according to SAE viscosity classes as defined by the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Viscosity

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is an expression of the ability of a fluid to flow or move. A thick oil at a given temperature does not flow as quickly as a thinner oil at the same temperature, therefore the thicker oil will have a higher viscosity number. Oils are graded according to their viscosity in relation to ambient temperature. Viscosity is an indication of the characteristics of an oil at a given temperature. The viscosity information says nothing about the quality of the oil

Viscosity Grade The familiar SAE designations for grades of oil, such as 5W, 10W, 15W, 30, 40, and 50, simply refer to the viscosity of oil at a specific temperature.

There are single grade oils and multigrade oils in use today in internal combustion engines. A single grade oil is an oil which performs to its grade through the entire range of temperature. A multigrade oil is an oil which performs differently cold than when

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it is hot. A multigrade oil can be made to act like a thin oil when cold temperatures tend to thicken liquids and act like a thick oil when hot temperatures tend to thin liquids. Multigrade oils are also called multi-viscosity oils.

SAE numbers tell the temperature range that the oil will lubricate best. An SAE 10 classified oil lubricates well at low temperatures but becomes thin at high temperatures. An SAE 30 classified oil lubricates well at mid-range temperatures but becomes thick at low temperatures. Multigrade oils cover more than one SAE viscosity number. Their designations include the two viscosity numbers that the oil has met. For example, SAE 10W30 oil meets the requirements of a 10 weight oil for cold start and cold lubrication, and the requirements of a 30 weight oil for mid temperature lubrication.

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Oil circulates through the engine as follows: The oil in the oil pan is drawn up through the oil strainer by the oil pump. The strainer filters out large particles. Oil flows through the oil filter, which filters smaller particles of dirt and debris. From the oil filter, the oil flows into the main oil passage (or gallery) in the cylinder block. From the main gallery, oil flows through smaller passages to the camshaft, pistons, crankshaft, and other moving parts. Oil holes and jets direct the flow of oil to critical parts, such as bearings and pistons. As the oil lubricates the surfaces of moving parts, it is constantly pushed off by new oil. The oil drips from the lubricated surfaces back into the oil pan. In many engines, an oil cooler is used to cool the oil before the oil is drawn back through the oil strainer to repeat the cycle.

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Oil drips off the moving parts into the oil pan. A pump draws the oil from the pan, through a strainer, and forces it under pressure through a filter. After filtering, the oil passes to the lubricating points in the cylinder head and the cylinder block. A pressure relief valve in the oil pump ensures that oil pressure does not exceed engine oil pressure specifications. Full pressure is used to pump oil through the main oil gallery. Oil from the main gallery lubricates the crankshaft main bearings, connecting rod bearings, camshaft, and hydraulic valve lifters (if equipped). In other parts of the engine, the volume is reduced as oil flows through smaller passages. Pushrod ends and rocker arms receive reduced pressure lubrication. The lubricating oil in the engine is subjected to great stresses from temperature and contamination. The oil must retain its lubricating ability at temperatures of up to 150 C (300 F). Oil coolers are sometimes used to keep engine oil from getting too hot. Oil coolers transfer heat from oil to the outside air or to engine coolant. The oil is also subjected to chemical stresses from combustion gases, dust, metal particles from wear, and combustion residues. The high temperature and contaminants reduce the ability of the oil to perform well and lead to the formation of sludge.

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The engine oil dipstick is used to measure the level of oil in the oil pan. One end of the dipstick dips into the top of the oil reservoir, and the other end has a handle so it can be pulled out easily. The end that dips into the oil pan has a gauge on it that shows whether oil should be added to the engine.

Note: Its important to keep the oil level above the "MIN" line at all times. The crankcase should never be overfilled or allowed to drop too low. Too much oil may permit the crankshaft to contact the oil and churn it until it turns to foam. The oil pump cannot pump foam, and foam will not lubricate. Low oil levels can result in excessively high oil temperatures, which may lead to bearing failure. An oil level that is too high or too low can also increase oil consumption. Consult the Owner's Manual for the correct oil capacity and recommended oil.

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Sometimes the holes pictured here arent there, and sometimes they dont reflect the full and empty marks; learn the hash marks or the appropriate words (i.e., full or empty) on your particular dipstick. Transmission dipstick is similar.RELATED WARNING INDICATORS: The instrument panel usually has some type of oil pressure indicator that warns the driver when the lubrication system cannot maintain the oil pressure needed by the engine. This indicator may be a gauge or a warning light.

Oil Change Intervals: Assuming 5 quarts of oil in a particular engine will last 3,000 miles, then 4 quarts in that same engine will break down at about 1,500 miles!

b)

Automatic Transmission Fluid -

Service every 30,000 miles (or as owners manual specifies) and use prescribed fluid. Service more often if vehicle has been towing heavy loads. Some of the newest automatic transmissions dont have dipsticks, so you might

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not be able to check your own fluid level. (a 99 Cavalier equipped with the 4T40E transaxle is one example) The owners manual will say so if there is no dipstick. In the photo below, the red part is just a filler cap. There is an oil level hole with a threaded plug in the side of the transmission.

IIf the transmission has a dipstick (sometimes theyre hard to find, but theyre usually somewhere at the back of the engine in rear wheel drive cars or at the driver side of the engine on front wheel drive vehicles), pull the dipstick out and wipe it off before checking the oil. Next, have a look at the stick. On some vehicles the type of fluid and the necessary gear position (Park or Neutral) required will be stamped on the dipstick.

Always check automatic transmission fluid with the engine running and warm, but be very careful not to burn yourself. If in doubt, let your technician check the fluid. RELATED WARNING INDICATORS: Not all automatic transmissions have warning indicators, but some Electronic transmissions may flash the overdrive (OD) light or a light that looks like a hollow gear with an exclamation point inside. GM cars may have a Service Vehicle Soon light (more later on that) Have the vehicle checked by a service professional if either is the case. Transmission shift quality may be different when the transmission warning indicator is flashing or illuminated.

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Most cars use Dot 3 brake fluid (as opposed to Dot 4 or Dot 5, which is silicone based but prone to foam in ABS systems), and if your vehicle has 4 wheel antilock brakes, the fluid should actually be replaced each time the pads are changed, but most service outlets will balk if you ask them to change the brake fluid. If they agree, make sure they pump all the old fluid through the system rather than simply replacing whats in the reservoir. RELATED WARNING INDICATORS: Every car has a red brake warning light. The red brake warning light is supposed to illuminate when the park brake is applied, but it can also mean that the brake fluid level is low. If the red brake warning light comes on and the park brake isnt applied, check the fluid level, and pay particular attention to the way the brake pedal feels: If the fluid level is okay and the warning indicator is illuminated have your technician check for brake problems. If your ABS light (usually a yellow light) is illuminated, the red brake light may also be illuminated; one can easily be the cause of the other, since the red brake light is also connected to the ABS system. When the ABS light is illuminated, the ABS system will not operate (you might skid in a panic stop), but the service brakes will still work normally. Have the vehicle checked i