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Before going through this lesson, download and

print out from the website the review questions

for this lesson:
Review Questions – Vehicle Maintenance

The answers to these questions must be

completed and turned in to your instructor to
receive credit for your independent learning
hours. It is suggested that you look for the
answers to these questions as you go through the
There are many things that you
can do to keep your car in good
condition, but there are some
things that need to be left to

This lesson will focus upon

things the average person, with a
little knowledge and desire, can
do to help maintain their car in
good operating condition.
What You Can Do
• Check your tire pressure
• Rotate your tires
• Check and change your oil
• Check and fill various fluid levels
• Replace air filter, fuses
• Changing bulbs and lights
• Change a flat tire, jump start a car
Checking • To check your tire pressure
first unscrew the air cap off
Tire Pressure the tire rim.
(check at every fuel fill up)
• Then use a pressure gauge
to check your tire pressure
and compare it to the sticker
on the inside of the door.
• If your tire pressure is low,
you should add air to your
tire as recommended.
Checking • Some newer cars
Tire Pressure will alert you when
your tire pressure is
low by displaying it
on the dash board.

• It is also a very
convenient way
to check your tire
• Tire rotation will allow
Tire Rotation your tires to last much
(usually about every 8000 kilometers)
• Refer to your vehicles
users manual for the
proper tire rotation
patterns and for how
often they should be

For you to do this job you’ll need these . . .

• To check your oil,
first pop the hood. Checking
• Find your dipstick, Your Oil
pull it out and wipe
it off with a rag.
• Reinsert it. Then pull
it back out and
check the level of oil
on the dipstick.
• Add oil if you are
1 litre or (quart)
more down from
Adding oil • First locate the oil fill
cap under the hood.
• Remove the oil fill cap.
• Add the proper type
of oil according to
the owners manual for
your car
• An oil funnel will keep
drips to a
When To Change Your Oil

About every 5,000 - 8,000 kilometers or 3 months

See owners manual for specifics
• To check and add
Checking brake fluid first locate
Brake Fluid the brake fluid
reservoir under the

• Remove the cap off the

brake fluid reservoir.
• If the fluid level is under
the minimum, add the
recommended brake
fluid to the reservoir.
• If your brake warning Bad Brakes
light is on and your
parking brake is not warning
set then you may have
a problem with your
braking system
• If you notice a
squealing noise when
braking it could mean
your brake pads are
worn and need
• To check your Checking
windshield washer
fluid first locate the Windshield
washer fluid reservoir. Washer Fluid
• Then pop the cap
off of the windshield
washer fluid reservoir.
• If the fluid level is
looking low top it off
with washer fluid.
• You should frequently
Engine check your temperature
Temperature gauge while driving.

• If your car begins to

overheat, especially in
hot weather you should
turn on the heater and
fan on high; if the engine
temperature does not
soon lower you should
pull over and let your car
cool down.

Gauge reads hot

Engine • After the engine has
Temperature safely cooled down
(it may be an hour)
remove the radiator
• If the fluid level is low
add a 50/50 mix of
anti-freeze and water.
Power steering Water: usually
fluid: check system condensation Know your fluids
• If you notice fluids
under your car where
it is normally parked,
than you most likely
have a leak which
needs to be
Coolant: check
water pump, professionally
Motor oil: check
under engine radiator or hose checked out.

Transmission fluid: check under

car…back part of engine
• Air filters come in
Changing air filter various shapes and
sizes. It is recommended
that they be changed
about every 48,000 km
(more frequently in dusty conditions)

• It’s usually a simple

procedure of removing
of a wing nut or some
Changing fuses
• Fuses facilitate the
various operations of the
Changing fuses electrical system.

• Electrical malfunctions
such as turn signals not
functioning or the interior
lights not working could
be the result of a burned
out fuse.
• Check owners manual for
fuse location and replace
with same type.
• If the fuse is not the
Changing bulbs problem it could be
a burned out bulb.
• It can be a simple or
challenging procedure;
see owners manual for
bulb type.
• Best to bring old bulb with
you to auto parts store.
• Major tune-ups: often
require technical equipment
Things better left • Engine problems: noises,
to professionals fluid leaks; odors, broken
(unless you’ve had special training and
have access to the proper equipment) belts, hoses, vibrations
• Transmission problems
• Rotating tires
• Brake jobs
• Radiator flushing
• Air conditioning
• Exhaust / steering system
• Most electrical problems
Gasohol (ethanol)
Gasohol (ethanol)
• Gasohol is a mixture of 90% gasoline
and 10% ethanol.
• Ethanol is often made from corn by-products.
• Gasohol has a higher octane and anti-knock
properties than gasoline.
• Gasohol burns slower and cooler than gasoline
making it more economical and it results in
reduced emissions.
Gasohol (ethanol)

• Gasohol is more expensive and energy

intensive to produce. Not suitable for all
• It can damage rubber seals and diaphragms
in cars that are not compatible with it.
• It is also toxic and corrosive; check owners
manual to see if it is not recommended.
• Since cars are the largest cause of carbon monoxide
pollution and smog, they need to be tested to pass
emissions tests to keep our air clean. They are put on
the hydrometer to measure emissions output during
various driving simulations.
• Most passenger cars, vans, light trucks and sport utility
vehicles in the Drive Clean program area must pass a
Drive Clean test to renew the stickers on their plates.
• As of January 1, 2006, Drive Clean regulations require
testing every two years for light-duty vehicles
beginning when they are five years old in the fifth
calendar year after their model year.
In Motion magazine, a General Motors publication

Your tire blows out…

What do you do?
• Pull off the road so that
you are safely out of the
flow of traffic.
• Try to stop on a straight
part of the road, (onto the
shoulder) so that passing
traffic can see you from
a distance.
• Turn on your hazard In Motion magazine, a General Motors publication

Your tire blows out…
What do you do?
In order to change a tire, you need a jack. A jack is a hand-
operated device used to lift and hold one corner or side of the car.
You also need a lug wrench which should be provided with the
spare tire.

Safety Note: A car can slip off of a jack, so never

put yourself in a position where the car could fall
on you.
Shift to Park
Set the parking brake

Block the wheel that is

diagonally opposite the flat tire.
Use a block of wood or a large
rock to firmly secure the wheel.
Take out spare tire, jack, and lug wrench.
(they may be in the truck – consult
owner’s manual for exact location)

Position jack under the car

according to instructions.
Jack up the car high enough so the
flat tire still touches the ground.
Remove the wheel cover or
hubcap and loosen the lug nuts.

Some cars do not have

hubcaps...consult your owner’s
manual for proper instructions
in removing the tire.
Sometimes the lug nuts are tight You will want the flat tire
and difficult to loosen… about 15 centimeters off
If you can't loosen them, try the ground because the
putting some of your weight on spare tire is fully inflated
and will require more
the lug wrench to loosen them
ground clearance.

Jack up the car until the flat tire

completely clears the ground.

Use the lug wrench to completely

remove the nuts and place them
in the wheel cover.
Removing the wheel
– It’s easiest to grab the tire at
the 9 and 3 o’clock positions
- Pull the wheel straight
toward you, and off the car.
• Position the spare tire directly in
front of the wheel well.
• Align the holes in the center of the
spare tire with the bolts on the car.
• Lift the spare tire and position it on
the threaded bolts.
• Push the tire onto the car until it
cannot go any farther.
• Replace the lug nuts on the bolts
and tighten them, but not too tight...
just enough to hold the tire in place
while you lower the car.
• Lower the car with the
jack until the car is again
resting on all four tires
• Alternately tighten the
lug nuts
• Lower the car with the
jack until the car is again
resting on all four tires. 4
• Alternately tighten the 1
lug nuts. 2

• Lower the car and put 3

on the wheel cover.

Safety Note: Do not use the smaller

spare tire for more than 80 km
When a battery goes dead, your car will make no
sound (or a clicking sound) when trying to start the
engine. You can probably start the car by using
jumper cables connected to a good battery of
another vehicle.

Safety Note: The good battery and dead battery must be of

the same voltage. Also, do not try to charge a frozen battery
because it might explode.
Bring the two cars together
so that the jumper cables
can reach both batteries
easily. Do not let the
cars touch. Do not smoke, create a spark or
light a match near a battery.
Turn off the engine with
each car in park with
parking brake set. Make sure all battery terminals,
are clean and free of corrosion.
You can clean them with a wire
brush or baking soda and water.
(In an emergency, Coke also works)
+ -

B attery
D ead

Identify each positive

and negative terminal. +
The positive should be
marked + or red. The
negative should be
a tte ry
marked – or black. B
Securely clamp the
positive jumper cable to
the positive terminals on
each battery.

Ba ttery
D ead
Securely clamp one end of the
negative jumper cable to the
negative terminal of the good
+ Engine
Securely clamp the other end of
the negative jumper cable to the
Bat tery
engine block. DO NOT CLAMP G ood

Safety Note: Keep jumper cables away from any moving parts.
+ -

Ba ttery
D ead

Start the engine in the

vehicle with the good battery
and let it idle for a few
+ Engine
Turn on the headlights
before starting the car with Bat tery
G ood
the low or dead battery. This
absorbs voltage spikes that
can cause damage to a
vehicle's computer.
Start the engine in the vehicle with
the low battery. After it starts, and
is running smoothly, remove the
cables in the reverse order they
were put on.
Once the vehicle has been 2 3
successfully jump-started, allow 1
the engine idle for about 30 minutes
to recharge the battery. remove cables

Safety Note: Dispose of any cloth used to wipe battery

parts because it may be contaminated with acid.
Avoid making fast starts and stops and cornering too fast. They are not only
unsafe but increase the cost of operating and maintaining your vehicle by
wasting fuel and wearing out tires and brakes.
Another thing you can do to save money is drive slower. Faster driving
requires more fuel to get you the same distance. Obey speed limits and you
will save fuel and reduce the risk to others.
In addition to the above, anticipate when you will need to stop. Quick
braking excessively wears your brakes and tires. Look ahead while you are
driving so you can anticipate when you will need to stop and do so
smoothly and gently. Also, planning your route in advance is cost effective.
Periodic preventative maintenance will also lower your long-term operating
cost by making your vehicle run more efficiently.
If doing your own vehicle maintenance you are required to
properly dispose of used fluids, batteries and tires at sites
designated for these purposes. If utilizing a vehicle service
center, these disposal issues are usually the responsibility of
the service center.
Review time…how much do you remember?
1) Locate the correct air pressure for your tires on the inside

2) True or False: For most tires they should be rotated
about every 16,000 km. ________________

3) To check your oil, first find the ___________. If you are

down ________ or more add enough to bring it to full line.
4) You should change your oil according to the owners
manual recommendations, usually every _________km.

5) If you hear a squealing metal sound when applying the

brakes, it may mean that its time for a ________________

6) True or False: ________Because of the possibility of

freezing, using water it is not recommended as a
windshield washer.
7) True or False: If your car begins to overheat, you should
first try to turn on the heater & fan on high to try to reduce
the engine temperature. _______
8) If your coolant level is down, the ratio of water to
antifreeze is usually a _______ mix.

9) If you notice fluid leakage under the car (other than

water) you should get it checked out by ______________.

10) Red color fluid leakage near the back of the engine is
probably a ______________leak, which could be costly.

11) Perhaps the easiest vehicle maintenance is changing

the ____________

12) Correcting an electrical malfunction such as lights not

working, may be easily corrected by changing a _____
13) True or False: Unless you have the proper equipment and
knowledge an engine tune-up is best left to professionals.
14) Although ethanol (gasohol) is compatible with most
engines, be sure to check your ____________

15) Since cars are the largest cause of carbon monoxide

pollution and smog, they need to pass _____________

16) If you experience a flat tire, park on a ______spot, away

from traffic and turn on the _______________

17) When changing a flat tire, find something to firmly

secure the wheel such as a___________ or some rocks.

18) After mounting the spare tire, when replacing the lug
nuts, be sure to ___________them to secure tire evenly.
19) True or False: If your battery is dead it might still be
possible to start it with the use of jumper cables._____

20) The good battery and the dead battery must be

of the same _______before attempting the jump start.

21) When bringing the two vehicles close together, be

sure that they do not ________ each other.

22) Begin by securing the _________ jumper cable to the

positive terminals on each battery.

23) True or False: Connect the negative terminals of each

battery to each other. _______

24) After starting the car, disconnect the cables in the

___________order that you connected them.
The End
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