Do you know your way around under the hood of your car? While not as critical as itused to be, checking under the hood periodically can head off problems before they becomecostly. Today, with self service gas stations everywhere, often the only way you will getit done is for you to do it yourself.
Start by reading your owners manual. There will always be a section on under hoodchecks. Keep a pair of old gloves and a roll of paper towels in the trunk
First, a word about safety. Read the safety warnings in your ownersmanual and any safety warning stickers that may be under the hood.
If the engine has been running for any length of time, there are areas under the hoodthat can be very hot. Except for checking transmission fluid level, all checks should bedone while the engine is turned off. If the engine is running, do not put your hands nearany belts or fans. If you are not comfortable with touching a hot or running engine, thenjust do the checks that can be done with the engine cold and turned off and have someoneelse do the rest.
The following items should be checked periodically:
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