What’s under the hood?


OVER the weekend, I found myself under the hood of an 89/90 crown. I was asked to drain the oil and change the fuel filter. Sure it’s a simple thing. Can anything go wrong?

Draining the oil was no problem. Removing the fuel filter was so so… Now, its time for the oil filter. Now, that made my day. Using an oil filter removal tool was supposed to be a snap. But then again, you get what you pay for. I will not mention the brand, but I kind of remember why the other brands cost more. Time to go shopping again. We had to resort to chiseling it (oil filter) out.

With the filter removed, the color of the oil inside was a bit different; a sign that there was sludge present in the system. The crankcase was also leaking. The owner didn’t leave word on what other things to do with the car so we just closed everything up

Now, for a car this old, it would not be a surprise to see some sludge in the oil. Looking around underneath, I also noticed the crankcase was leaking oil; also expected. Sometimes we don’t bother to check what’s underneath the hood, much more underneath the car.Some don’t bother because they don’t hear or feel anything wrong, so everything must be all right–thinking that everything is fine.

As a responsible motorist, it is important that you try to make sure that your ride is always in good running condition. Yes, you could go to a mechanic and have it serviced. But since you’re the one always driving the car, you would know how it feels on the road. Having a road-worthy car is also a part of road safety. How many times do we hear of a car crash where the driver says the brakes didn’t work, or the steering had failed? Driving without proper working headlights or brake lights, even driving on worn-out tires is an accident waiting to happen. Making sure that a car is road-worthy is the task of a responsible driver.

With summer vacation starting, road trips are definitely on most people’s minds. A memorable road trip would involve a “no” breakdown trip. If ever your car breaks down, you could also be the cause of traffic. That would be fun… you would be the center of attention…

Even brand-new cars shouldn’t be taken for granted. You just don’t load gas and keep on driving. The dealer reminds you to bring your car in for servicing every so often. I tell you, there’s a lot of car owners that don’t even bother to read the owner’s manual.

If budget is a problem… don’t worry about it. You are not alone. I myself sometimes can’t have my ride serviced because of budget issues. We just have to try and work around it. Try learning how to do some basic repair yourself. I tell you, you will feel the satisfaction when you finally remove the stubborn bolt which took you the whole day to remove and finally putting everything back together after a few moons passing, turning the key and hearing it start… you raise your greasy hands shouting, “It is alive!” God I live for these moments…

Seriously, we usually want a shiny, clean, spotlessengine underneath the hood. But most of the time it’s more for show. When looking at second-hand cars, I don’t bother much about clean detailed engines as if it was hardly used. Sometimes a detailed engine could be a sign of hidden potential problems.


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