April 2012

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under By Kelsey Sorenson Photographed by Tyler Robbins Windshield wiper fl uid reservoir What it does: Houses the fl uid that keeps your windshield sparkling. What you need to know: Perhaps the easiest to tackle on your own, refi lling your windshield fl uid is as simple as ensuring you've grabbed the correct fl uid (any auto store attendant can point you to the proper type), popping the cap (often a blue hue or containing a semi-circular symbol that looks like a windshield) and fi lling the reservoir to the line. Maybe you're a car care wiz, or maybe you open the hood and see a mind-boggling maze of parts. Whatever your abilities, speak the language of the car care pros with a quick primer on the basics from Paul Flogel, program director and instructor of automotive technology at Madison Area Technical College THE hood The dipstick What it does: Indicates how full your oil reservoir is. Power steering fl uid reservoir What it does: Keeps your power steer- ing system in check, ensuring that your car remains easy to control. What you need to know: Checking the level is a task usually better left to the pros, and is often checked during an oil change. If you want to check the fl uid level on your own, be sure your car is turned off. Look for a smaller reservoir with a cap labeled "power steering fl uid." If the fl uid is below the marked line, fi ll with the proper fl uid as recommended in your owner's manual. What you need to know: Engine oil is essential to your car and your dipstick (usually close to the engine and labeled "oil" or "engine oil") will tell you if levels are low. To check your oil, with the engine off, remove the dipstick and wipe the long, fl exible rod clean. Replace it and remove it a second time—only this time look to see where the oil reaches in relation to the marked fl uid-level lines. Also be sure to note the color of your oil. It should also be somewhat transparent—if you cannot see through the oil, your car may be due for an oil change. 48 BRAVA Magazine April 2012

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