Under the hood

We are working under the same hood you choose not to. Some customers introduce themselves to us in the following manner. “I used to work on my own car but now I just open the hood and I do not know where to start.”

Under the hood is definitely a foreign place to many. In fact I think there are more people than ever that don’t even bother with lifting the hood. As vehicle service intervals have grown though this reluctance could become a serious problem.

There are very few gas stations that have service people that can perform the required underhood maintenance for you. Oil level, coolant level, power steering fluid level, automatic transmission fluid level, windshield washer fluid level, brake fluid level in many vehicles are still checks that are required. Some are required at each fuel stop while others are typically once a month.

The most important check; the oil level is more important than ever. I have harped on this before but when your oil change interval has you driving over 6 thousand kilometres to 8, 12, or even 16 thousand it is very unlikely that you will go that far without needing an oil top up. We are changing oil on a lot of vehicles that are down at least two litres of oil. This is very hard on your engine.

There are some fancy vehicles out there that have sensors for almost every fluid level. You may think this makes lifting the hood redundant but it never hurts if you know what you are looking at to lift the hood.

If you choose not to lift your hood on your own I would suggest dropping by your maintenance and repair professional to have your oil checked and any other routine maintenance performed.

When you do bring your vehicle to your mechanic for routine maintenance, regular service, repairs or diagnosis and repair be sympathetic to his/her plight. That hood you do not lift is more challenging than ever to work under.

The first impression (there is not much space to get to things) is a good first impression. Many seemingly simple tasks are only simple if you have the right tools, the right service information, nerves of steel (for releasing those plastic clips that may self destruct), and the time to do the job properly.

When it comes to diagnosing problems and replacing parts both of these procedures require more talent than ever. The time to remove many parts is much longer than in the past. Accurate diagnosis is a must.

Yes, your mechanic is armed with computerized diagnostic equipment and a truckload of tools but none of these things are magic. He/she had to learn to use all these tools and understand how the many systems function.

These systems are changing constantly. A battery that once was under the hood, moved to the trunk and now is under the drivers seat. When replaced it requires a registration process. The computer control system needs to know when a new battery is installed and what type of battery it is. That way the charging system will charge it properly. A radio anti theft code will need to be entered. Some electronic components will require initialization like power windows, sunroofs, or convertible tops. The air bag system may need resetting. The list goes on.

These jobs are no longer simple. They take more time. They take more skill to be performed properly. Hey, didn’t even lift the hood. Removed the air conditioned driver’s seat though. Piece of cake! Not!

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