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Karen
12-17-2013, 06:00 PM
It is snowing pretty heavily here now. I just came back in, and had another encounter with someone who didn't know how to check her windshield wiper fluid, or where it came out when she pushed the bottom. I helped her (and the convenience store employee trying to help her) find the spigots (the other employee had checked, her fluid was nice and full), and cleaned out around the outlets, and had her feel for them, and we determined they were not inched over after all. [Alas when we had her try, the pump motor didn't even sound, so the pump is likely what's dead, the car's under warranty so she'll have them fix it.)

But it surprised me she didn't know these things, and the other employee was checking on the hood itself, in case the spouts were there, like they are on his truck.

Do you, beloved Pet Talkers, know your car well enough to check fluids, clear stuff, etc? I hope?

Our Dad made us learn all that before we ever went for a license test - and more.

cassiesmom
12-17-2013, 07:20 PM
I knew my previous car (a Saturn) better than I know my current one (also a Saturn). I do know how to get the tire off and put on the spare. I know where the windshield wiper fluid reservoir is, where the little ports are (sort of under the wipers), where the oil stick is and how to add oil.

Karen, when I saw the title of this thread, I misunderstood! My first Saturn was the teal color, which was the most popular color for Saturns the first few years. I have a friend at church who had the same color! Only difference was the bumper colors- mine were black and his were teal. Slightly different car models, his had more bells and whistles. We each tried to get into the other's car more than once! His key would fit into the door of my car, but it wouldn't start the ignition. My key wouldn't fit into his lock. When it would snow a lot you couldn't tell which was which, except for license plates. When we replaced the teal, we both got Saturns, but different models. We had friends at church who went through the same thing with Toyota Corollas :)

Karen
12-17-2013, 07:52 PM
Oh, how funny! I guess I have always had uncommon colors of cars, but I also automatically check license plate number on approach in any parking lot just in case! My current cat, Turtle, is dark green, which apparently is not a very common color for 2003 CRV's, one dealer when we were shopping said he didn't think they were making any anymore, but we just went to a different dealer, and there he was!

Catty1
12-17-2013, 09:09 PM
I've always been able to do basic things with my car - not only the windshield fluid, but change the air filter, check the oil (and add some if needed), as well as changing front and rear wiper blades, and replacing fuses and light bulbs. It does save a few dollars in the long run!

Alysser
12-17-2013, 09:29 PM
Not at all, and that probably isn't good. I know how to change a tire but I don't really know much else. :p

Karen
12-18-2013, 12:33 AM
Not at all, and that probably isn't good. I know how to change a tire but I don't really know much else. :p

Aww, next time you have some spare time, have someone go over it with you! Even a local mechanic if you ask nicely, and have no relations around who are car folks!

(Note: I didn't say "car guys" - I once had a male coworker, after I discussed some old cars with him, look at me a little funny and say, "Y'know, you are a bigger "car guy" than most actual guys I know!")

Lady's Human
12-18-2013, 12:40 AM
Not at all, and that probably isn't good. I know how to change a tire but I don't really know much else.

Get out the manual in the glove box and look at it. Learn where to check oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and coolant level.

Get a tire pressure gauge and check them every once in a while. They should be within 1-2 PSI of each other.

There's a ton of basic maintenance information in the owner's manual for every car that over the long term can save you a short ton of money. Fluids are cheap. Engines and transmissions are pricey.

Roxyluvsme13
12-18-2013, 12:47 AM
Yeah, I'm with Alyssa on this one, I don't know crap about my car. I can put oil, windshield washer fluid, brake fluid, etc. in but I can't change a tire or anything like that. I'm pretty car-stupid.

Alysser
12-18-2013, 07:56 AM
Well to be honest, my Dad kind of does all that. I am probably going away to school next year, so I should learn that. I am sure he'll teach me before then.

Freedom
12-18-2013, 08:38 AM
You can also go online to a forum for your make and model, and learn a LOT. I had never done this until I bought Carmine (my Prius). Being a hybrid and so different, I felt I needed to know more about it, and in searching I discovered that there are car forums!

For the Prius, many of the folks have done step by step videos on how to do various things, so save you money. Like changing the cabin filter, which should be done annually, takes about 5 minutes, and costs $30 at the Toyota dealership. Thanks to links on the forum, I buy the new filter online, a Toyota one not a generic (just to be sure I wasn't messing with my warranty the first few years), at an stunning $5 WITH shipping!

I also learned plenty about after market add ons, and I even bought a few myself.

Loved the story about the teal Saturns! I have gone to a few red Prii in the past and wondered why I couldn't get in, lol.

lolli94
12-18-2013, 09:03 AM
I have a dad and brother who are both 'car guys' (my brother is actually in college to be an auto tech). So I know how to fill the washer fluid and check the oil, but that's about it. They do the rest for me. That may not be such a good thing... ;)

Taz_Zoee
12-18-2013, 10:28 AM
Get out the manual in the glove box and look at it. Learn where to check oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, and coolant level.

Get a tire pressure gauge and check them every once in a while. They should be within 1-2 PSI of each other.

There's a ton of basic maintenance information in the owner's manual for every car that over the long term can save you a short ton of money. Fluids are cheap. Engines and transmissions are pricey.
This is exactly what I do if I have a problem with my car.....check the manual! I know the basics and I know how to get help. :p


You can also go online to a forum for your make and model, and learn a LOT. I had never done this until I bought Carmine (my Prius). Being a hybrid and so different, I felt I needed to know more about it, and in searching I discovered that there are car forums!

For the Prius, many of the folks have done step by step videos on how to do various things, so save you money. Like changing the cabin filter, which should be done annually, takes about 5 minutes, and costs $30 at the Toyota dealership. Thanks to links on the forum, I buy the new filter online, a Toyota one not a generic (just to be sure I wasn't messing with my warranty the first few years), at an stunning $5 WITH shipping!

I also learned plenty about after market add ons, and I even bought a few myself.

Loved the story about the teal Saturns! I have gone to a few red Prii in the past and wondered why I couldn't get in, lol.

My boyfriend has changed his brake pads by watching a video online. He does TONS of things by watching videos online. So if I have problems, he can usually help me figure it out. And he's not what I would call a "car guy" either. :)

Cataholic
12-18-2013, 12:31 PM
I am 48 years old, have never changed a flat, my oil, replace my blades, jumped a battery, filled a tire with air, etc. I wouldn't change a flat tire for lots of reasons, the safety of my child and I are at the top of the list. I have AAA insurance, a cell phone, and no less than 25 people I could call upon to help out in the event of an emergency (which simply hasn't happened to me in my life). I live in a city, not some rural area, where the chances of getting stranded are no greater than slim and none. I must be extraordinarily lucky in never finding myself in that situation where I would die unless I could switch out a flat, put wiper fluid in my car, or jump a battery. I will stick to the things I know how to do, and leave the rest up to the para-professionals. Kinda like I do with my taxes.

Lady's Human
12-18-2013, 07:28 PM
About the forums:

There are (surprisingly) forums for darned near every make and model car you could think of, and most of them are very useful. There are also several ASE master techs who have youtube channels. Occasionally the forums will spot trends and come up with fixes for issues before the manufacturer does. The web is a great tool, you just have to filter out the carp.

As to the above.....

Humans are generalists. Ants and bees are specialists.

Bonny
12-19-2013, 07:31 AM
There are two manuals in the glove box full of fine print. :eek: The battery is under the rear right seat, you would have to take the seat out to get to the battery with jumper gables. Not very handy . Have to take half the trunk apart to get the spare tire out along with the jack. My old Chevy II Nova was less complex. I do live out in rural America so the cell phone is my best bet for an SOS.

Lady's Human
12-19-2013, 10:46 AM
There are two manuals in the glove box full of fine print. :eek: The battery is under the rear right seat, you would have to take the seat out to get to the battery with jumper gables. Not very handy . Have to take half the trunk apart to get the spare tire out along with the jack. My old Chevy II Nova was less complex. I do live out in rural America so the cell phone is my best bet for an SOS.

If the battery is buried there are probably jumper terminals in the engine compartment. (frankly it's better that way, with modern electronics, jumping a car the way you used to for years can very easily fry the ECU)

Bonny
12-19-2013, 10:59 AM
I carry jumper cables in my trunk. Where I work, there have been times when our guests could not get their vehicles to start so have used them to give them a jump.

I had a battery die one time while shopping at a local nursery. They guy there had cables & jumped the battery. I drove the car to a local dealer & the needle kept moving around it is like don't die we can make it. I drove into the dealership & parked the car. The battery was deader then dead. Lady Luck was with me that day, thanks to the guy at the nursery, & my car angel. :D

Miss Z
12-19-2013, 12:08 PM
I'm with Alyssa and Bri. I know what everything under my bonnet is, but other than the washer fluid, I don't touch any of them. If there's a problem, I'd far rather wait and have someone with more experience take a look. I am a little obsessive with topping up my tyre pressure, mostly because my cheap tyres go down a lot with day-to-day use, particularly where I'm living now, which is like the capital city of speed-bumps. :rolleyes: I do check my lights are working each month too. I've never learned how to change a tyre, although the garage down the road from me runs short courses in general car maintenance. This thread has reminded me that I must book that some time!

Any of you car gurus know much about gearboxes? My car has had an intermittent gear box fault (it's a manual) for about 6 months now. I've had it looked at twice, although as the damn thing always behaves perfectly as soon as a mechanic is in the vicinity I've haven't been able to get it fixed. Occasionally it will refuse to go into first/second gear. It tends to do this when I've been stuck at lights for a while or have been in crawling traffic. At first I had to restart the car and usually that would do the trick, although now I've grown impatient with it I usually just force the gearstick. Sometimes it'll go weeks without playing up at all, other times it'll do it near on constantly. Mechanic thought it might be sticky gear-pins, but although he had a play around with the gearbox he couldn't find anything particularly wrong. I've searched online for explanations, but as I haven't yet managed to get a mechanic to see it misbehaving, it's difficult to tell exactly what's up with it.

Karen
12-19-2013, 04:06 PM
Make/Model, Miss Z?

Miss Z
12-19-2013, 05:43 PM
Chevrolet Aveo LS, 2009 model (link is the latest model but is otherwise very similar) :)

https://www.chevrolet.co.uk/cars/aveo/

Lady's Human
12-19-2013, 05:58 PM
Chevrolet Aveo LS, 2009 model (link is the latest model but is otherwise very similar) :)

https://www.chevrolet.co.uk/cars/aveo/


Manual transmission?

Could be a few things, but from cheap to expensive:


1)Nothing is really wrong, just a PITA manual (put up with one for years on an old car, 2-3 did the same thing yours is doing).

2) needs new tranny fluid (miles/km?) The Ford Contours (your Mondeo) were infamous for this, they had no fluid change for the tranny listed in the manual, but you get to be a PITA to shift until you changed the fluid.

3) shift forks or synchros, in which case my recommendation would be to live with it.

lizbud
12-19-2013, 06:26 PM
Could be a clutch problem. Do you do a lot of city driving? Stop & go traffic?

mrspunkysmom
12-19-2013, 06:27 PM
Sadly not this one. I used to know them well. I have looked under the hood and really need to do that over the break provided it is nice during the day. The car is almost 4 and now getting to the age where it would be prudent to be aware of the under-the-hood conditions of my ride.

Miss Z
12-19-2013, 06:29 PM
Manual transmission?

Could be a few things, but from cheap to expensive:


1)Nothing is really wrong, just a PITA manual (put up with one for years on an old car, 2-3 did the same thing yours is doing).

2) needs new tranny fluid (miles/km?) The Ford Contours (your Mondeo) were infamous for this, they had no fluid change for the tranny listed in the manual, but you get to be a PITA to shift until you changed the fluid.

3) shift forks or synchros, in which case my recommendation would be to live with it.

Cheers. My guess is that it's probably the latter! Transmission fluid ought to be OK - no problems noted at its last service, but I will give it another check. It's only done 13,700 miles despite its age and is a good little car in all other respects. I know that little hatchbacks haven't got the best gearboxes in the world - the mechanic told me the Aveo's is effectively salvaged from an old Daewoo model. 2.5 more years and (hopefully) finally having a salary will mean that it can find a nice new home with a learner driver and freak them out at traffic lights instead. :p


Could be a clutch problem. Do you do a lot of city driving? Stop & go traffic?

Clutch is good I hope - it was replaced in 2011 shortly before I got it. I'm the only one who drives it and I don't think that I give the clutch a lot of whack. At the moment it has been doing a lot of nip-outs into town, and as I live in a commuter town for London it does have to deal with a lot of sluggish traffic. I would hope that it can cope with that, though - it's not exactly a car designed for long journeys either so it has to be good for something. :p It is a funny little machine, but I do like it, warts and all!

Lady's Human
12-19-2013, 06:32 PM
Roops, forgot one.....

And thanks Liz.

It's a hydraulic clutch setup. Have someone bleed the slave.

Miss Z
12-19-2013, 06:45 PM
Admittedly I had no idea what 'bleeding the slave' was, but some swift googling has just set me straight on that one... :D

Lady's Human
12-19-2013, 07:04 PM
Admittedly I had no idea what 'bleeding the slave' was, but some swift googling has just set me straight on that one... :D

Before someone else reads the above and thinks I've completely lost all social awareness.... :p

The clutch is disengaged by a small hydraulic cylinder that is linked to the master cylinder for the brakes. (The brake master cylinder is the larger, hence master, and the one which drives the clutch is smaller and linked mechanically/hydraulically to the larger, hence master/slave nomenclatures)

Over time, hydraulic fluid gets contaminated and can get tiny air bubbles in the fluid for a variety of reasons. Hydraulics work because fluids in classical physics do not compress. Air, however, does compress quite nicely. If the bubble of air is large enough, it will interfere with the movement of fluid in the system due to the movement of the piston, compressing the air rather than moving the fluid.

Removal of the air and other contaminants in the system is referred to as bleeding the system.

In the case of the clutch, the entire hydraulic system doesn't need to be bled, just that tiny part of the system.

Hence the term "bleeding the slave". I'm not referring to using a barbaric medical practice on uncompensated household help.

RICHARD
12-20-2013, 02:21 PM
Before someone else reads the above and thinks I've completely lost all social awareness.... :p

The clutch is disengaged by a small hydraulic cylinder that is linked to the master cylinder for the brakes. (The brake master cylinder is the larger, hence master, and the one which drives the clutch is smaller and linked mechanically/hydraulically to the larger, hence master/slave nomenclatures)

Over time, hydraulic fluid gets contaminated and can get tiny air bubbles in the fluid for a variety of reasons. Hydraulics work because fluids in classical physics do not compress. Air, however, does compress quite nicely. If the bubble of air is large enough, it will interfere with the movement of fluid in the system due to the movement of the piston, compressing the air rather than moving the fluid.

Removal of the air and other contaminants in the system is referred to as bleeding the system.

In the case of the clutch, the entire hydraulic system doesn't need to be bled, just that tiny part of the system.

Hence the term "bleeding the slave". I'm not referring to using a barbaric medical practice on uncompensated household help.

Is that like pumping the brakes?

RICHARD
12-22-2013, 02:38 PM
I only have two rules concerning transportation.

I refuse to get on ANYTHING that does not have a hand or foot braking system. That includes animals.
They don't want to ride me, so I pay them back by not sitting on them.

Two? I have to be able to get whatever I am using, home.

I have nursed cars and motorcycles home on wings and prayers.
I think that calling for a tow is above me.

If you are creative you can..

Bump start a manual transmission car, by yourself.
Change a tire in 10 minutes.
Use a piece of wire to replace a fuse
(Not recommended for extended use, just to get off the center median of the freeway.)
Make a funnel out of discarded trash.
Figure out that the idiot light on the dash is a loose gas cap.
Change your sparkplugs/air filter/wipers.
Figure out why the door doesn't close correctly.
Get a motorcycle home with a throttle cable.
Find a short in a wiring system. (Too bad newer cars are all computer BS)
Change a hose, flush a radiator or belt.
Program the radio.
Hang an air freshner.........:)