The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

A Pro Who Knows-Stephen Hull

Stephen Hull, instructor and department chair of automotive technology on South Campus, lends his professional advice on the top five maintenance rules for keeping your car running and in top shape.

Q. What is the most important routine maintenance a car owner should never skip?

A. There are two important things that are vital to a car. You will kill your car without these two products: motor oil and anti-freeze/coolant.

Q. How often should the levels of these fluids be checked?

In newer vehicles, motor oil should be changed in the recommended intervals. However, as the vehicle gets older and the engine wears, leaks may develop. So getting in the habit of checking your oil every other fill-up or at least once a month is best.

Lack of oil in the engine causes the engine pressure to drop, and damage can be immediate.

Checking the coolant level at this time is an easy and wise choice also.

Q. What other easy car up-keeps do you suggest?

A. Replacing the windshield wipers on your car is never a bad idea. It’s easy and can save you a lot of grief in the long run.

Q. How would an average car owner go about changing the windshield wipers?

A. If you go to any automotive supply, find an employee and say, “I don’t know how to do this; could you help me?” And the clerk will actually help you install the correct wipers for your car.

Q. Any other advice you can give us that is often over looked or goes without mentioning?

A. If the check-engine-soon-light comes on in your vehicle, take your car to Auto-Zone or O’Reilly’s and have a diagnostics test run. Ask for the trouble code and the date retrievable. With the trouble code you can go to the manufacturer’s Web page to figure out what is wrong with the vehicle.

This method isn’t always full-proof, but in most cases a diagnosis is achievable.

And one other good habit to have is utilizing you resources. Google the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Web site to discover the latest vehicle recalls. You may have to submit your information upon entering, but once received, you will be given any information on any vehicle to see if your car might be affected.

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