Breaking down is the most universal phobia of motorists. While some common breakdowns can occur and stop your vehicle without warning, there are still warning signs that can detect mechanical weakness.
The prevention of common breakdowns involves three reflexes: the visual inspection of the elements, the attentive listening of the suspicious noises, the periodic verification of all the levels.
Check the oil level
Regular checking of the oil level is a wise precaution. Oil consumption varies according to three criteria:
- the type of vehicle;
- the mode of use (city, highway …).
This operation is not complicated, just follow these steps:
- pull the dipstick with the ring protruding from the tank;
- wipe with a cloth;
- put it back in the tank;
- remove it and observe where the oil level is (it must be between the ‘mini’ and ‘maxi’)
- Add oil if necessary.
Good to know: it is recommended to check the oil level every 2,000 kilometers and also before a long trip.
Caution: It is important to check the oil level on a flat and cold ground, otherwise the liquid becomes too fluid.
Stretch your ear
Any suspicious noise must alert you. Keep in mind that a sound that appears will never go away forever, and that it is synonymous with premature wear.
Here are different noises to take lightly and that require a visit to the garage:
- “Clac-clac” regular when driving while pointing: the gimbals, which ensure the transmission of the movement of the engine to the front wheels, are worn.
- “Clong” when passing a retarder or a bump: the suspension has a problem.
- Crunch in the gearbox when changing pace, there is a weakness
- Whistling or grunting from a wheel, a sign that one of the bearings is giving up!
Note: the bearing is a part that allows the wheel to turn freely on its axis.
Check the water level of the radiator to prevent a common breakdowns
Essential element to the operation of the engine, the radiator filled with water and antifreeze ensures its cooling. A simple visual check of the level, at an interval of 1000 kilometers, makes it possible to detect a possible leak.
There are two scenarios to check the level:
- The plug is located on the radiator, usually on the left. Engine cold, open it and control the level, it must be close to the brim.
- The radiator has no cap, but a jar called expansion tank acts as a reserve of coolant (be careful not to confuse it with the washer tank). In this case, the tank being transparent, one can control the level without removing the cap. It must be between the “min” mark and the “max” mark.
Caution: never use water to fill the circuit. Indeed, the limestone would quickly plug the radiator. In addition, in case of frost, the radiator will explode. Never open the hot engine plug as the circuit is under pressure.