In an investigation, we conducted on the cause of an engine “knock” due to overheating on a Ford Edge belonging to a customer revealed a little negligence on the part of the driver. One of the radiator hoses burst on its own (due to ageing) just before the driver stopped over at a mall to quickly pick up some items before continuing on his journey. At this point, he had the opportunity to have checked the water level or at least under the car for any leakage on the ground before continuing. But he didn’t. He felt since he had checked everything a while ago before embarking on the journey, so he naturally thought all is well. He had barely driven for a few minutes on the highway when it started overheating. Before he could get to a safe place to park, the damage to the engine has already been done. The car stopped and could not start again. He was travelling from Lagos to the East and this incident happened after Ore approaching Benin. The rest of the story can be better imagined than experienced. I felt sorry for him as he kept calling on what to do next to get the car to the East. The good news was that he got to the East safely but the car engine had gone (damaged). Pls, comment below if you have the experience you would like to share with us.
The following lines illustrate a few checks you can do regularly and on daily basis before driving your car.
Before driving your car in the morning, we strongly advise that you take a few moments to do some of these basic checks and inspection that could save you a lot of cost and downtime that may arise due to a damaged or performance concern in your car. We recommend the following checks and visual inspections to be done every morning;
1. Ensure you check around and under the vehicle for any pool of fluid or leakage on the ground.
2. If any fluid found, inspect to know the kind of fluid through the colour, smell or thickness.
3. Then, immediately check the level of the suspected fluid and all other fluid levels in the car.
4. Check the water level in the radiator. If found to be low, top up with water and check for obvious leaks around the water hose and reservoir.
5. Never drive with low water or no water in the radiator tank; this may lead to overheating that could end up burning the top gasket or damage the engine eventually.
6. Check engine oil level. If found to be very low, check for external leakage on the ground or around the engine body. If there is no leakage, internal leakage is suspected. The most common cause of this is worn internal engine components. The engine’s valve seals could be leaking oil into the engine.
7. When there is blue smoke from the exhaust when the car is running, it means the engine is burning oil. This is usually caused by worn piston ring in the cylinder.
8. Check the brake fluid level. It helps to monitor the brake pad level for a vehicle without brake pad sensor and tells if there is a concern with the brake system. As the brake pad wears, the brake fluid level reduces accordingly to the worn pads. So you don’t need to top up the fluid at this time.
9. However, if the brake fluid level is abnormally low, check leakages from the brake lines, brake calliper, the bleeder valves (nipple), wheel cylinder, and master cylinder seal or internally inside the brake booster.
10. Inspect the air pressure in the tires. Proper tire air pressure, increase the lifespan of the tire and enhance smooth drive and ride performance of the car.
11. Over gauged tire can cause stiff, bouncy ride and the center of the tire will wear more quickly. And more dangerously can lead to an accident due to a burst tire at high speed on a hot day.
12. Under gauged tire will grip the ground causing them to wear more quickly along the outside edge of the tire.
13. You can find the recommended tire pressure in your owner’s manual or, usually, on the driver’s side door pillar. Go by this pressure, not the pressure rating of the tire, which is generally the recommended maximum pressure for the tire, which is specific to different vehicles.
14. An irregular or random wear pattern on a side of the tire, indicating a misalignment on the suspension part.
15. Check the battery condition and look for any obvious sign of bulging on the battery. Ensure the battery terminals are firm and not loosen. Check for corrosion around the terminals.
16. Always remove the negative terminal before the positive terminal when replacing the battery and always connect the positive terminal before the negative when fixing the battery.
Finally, if you suspect any concern that needs a further check, please book an appointment with your mechanic as soon as possible. Alternatively, we can come to your doorstep and at your convenience to do a diagnosis on the concern at a relatively fair cost. You may also leave a comment on your experience relating to this article.
This is a publication by Utile Auto Services…. Utile Auto Service is a one-stop-shop for solutions to all automobile concerns. We offer a comprehensive solution for any brand of Ford, MKX, Lincoln and America vehicles. We are specialist technicians trained by Ford Motor Company, USA. We can be reached on +234 704 383 4086. We offer services ranging from home service, office service and doorstep service to customer at their convenience.