WHEN it comes to pinpointing potentially serious issues with your vehicle, your nose may know more than you realize. For example, the smell of burnt toast might be a sign of an electrical short. The smell of rotten eggs may signal trouble with the emissions system, which includes the catalytic converter.
These and other tips are included in “Knowledge Is Power,” a booklet that’s part of a car-care and maintenance clinic developed by ACDelco. It gives vehicle owners easy-to-understand information about their vehicles so they can be informed and make the right choices when they visit an independent auto service center.
Here are some things you may not know about your vehicle:
• Reddish stains on the driveway can be a sign of a transmission oil leak.
• If your technician asks if your vehicle’s brakes are “grabbing,” he wants to know if the brakes engage suddenly when you apply steady pressure to the brake pedal.
• You should pull over immediately if your temperature light reads in the hot zone. That probably means your vehicle’s coolant is too hot to cool your engine.
• Many brake pads have wear indicators. If your vehicle has them, they will emit loud squeals when they detect wear.
• It’s a good idea to write down your vehicle’s symptoms before visiting a repair shop, including noises—and whether these occur when the engine is hot or cold.
• Air bags work with your safety belts, not as a replacement for them.
• Children under 13 should ride properly secured in the rear seat.
• Always keep at least a half tank of gas in your vehicle to avoid potential damage to your fuel filter or fuel line.
• Check your tire pressure frequently for safety and fuel economy. Hot and cold outside temperatures affect the pressure in your tires.
• Avoid oil and fuel additives unless recommended by your ser-vice consultant.
• Don’t use dish detergent to wash your car; it can hurt clearcoat finishes.
The “Knowledge Is Power” booklet is part of a presentation kit available to shops at no charge. Consumers can download the free booklet at www.acdelco.com/pdf/Car-Maintenance-Car-Care-Knowledge-Is-Power-ACDelco.pdf.
North American Precis Syndicate