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We can't all be experts at everything. We only have limited time and attention to devote to learning, and most of us focus on our chosen career and preferred hobbies. The good news is, we can rely on trained professionals to manage the stuff we don't have time for, like fixing plumbing issues, addressing computer viruses, and of course, maintaining the vehicles we rely on for transportation.
Unfortunately, even regular maintenance won't completely prevent problems with your vehicle. That said, you do have an early warning system. Your dashboard features a number of warning lights that illuminate when something is wrong; you just need to understand what these signals are telling you. Here are a few of the most common warning lights and what they mean.
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Unlike the unlucky residents of Westeros, we don't have to prepare for a winter season that could last for years at a stretch, but that doesn't mean we don't still go through preparations, including swapping out the summer wardrobe in favor of warmer fare and replacing screens around the house with storm windows. When it comes to the car that will see you through tough winter weather, you need to take steps to ensure it doesn't succumb to freezing temperatures and icy roads.
In addition to adding essentials like chains to the gear in your trunk, you'll want to make sure your car is prepped with proper fluids and needed winter upgrades. Here are a few ways to prepare your car to handle the hazards of winter weather.
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You know your car needs oil, coolant, and a variety of other fluids to run safely and efficiently. What you might not know is how often you should check these fluids to top them off, or replace them completely. Your mechanic can help you to remain up-to-date with needed fluid changes, but it never hurts to have an idea of when they're coming due.
The old rule of thumb was to change oil every three months or 3,000 miles, but in recent years, with the growing popularity of high-performance, synthetic motor oils, many drivers can now wait until they hit the 7,500-10,000-mile mark before swapping in new oil. If you're not sure what the recommendations are for your car, the best place to look is the owner's manual, although your dealer or mechanic could also advise you.
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Most people know that their cars contain fluids like gasoline, oil, and wiper fluid. You may be less familiar with some of the many other fluids that help to lubricate, cool, and protect engine parts, as well as fulfill other functions, like ensuring that brakes work.
In time, all of the fluids in your car will become dirty, depleted, and otherwise in need of topping off and eventually, replacement. In the meantime, it's not unusual to experience a bit of leaking here and there (or a lot, if something is broken).
When you spot fluid leaks on your garage floor, you may be worried. It's understandable, especially if you have no idea what might be leaking. That said, you can learn a lot by simply looking at the color of the fluid. Here's what the colors on your garage floor can communicate.
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If you know a bit about what's under the hood of your car, chances are you know that your vehicle is propelled by a 4-stroke cycle. You may have even heard of a 2-stroke cycle, even if you're not entirely sure what it is. What's the difference between 2-stroke and 4-stroke engines? Why is the 4-stroke model standard in cars, and where can you find 2-stroke engines in use today? Here's what you should know.
2-Stroke versus 4-Stroke Cycle
Engines are complex machines, made up of hundreds of parts working together to make your car run. The entire kit-and-caboodle, however, is designed around combustion, which is where fuel is ignited, creating a small, contained explosion that serves as the impetus for propulsion.