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Car maintenance tips

Check fluid levels often

Published June 13, 2013
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Q: Is it necessary to check fluids if there are no leaks on the ground?

A: It’s always a good idea to check levels periodically, even if no leaks are apparent. An abrupt drop in levels can signal a problem. If caught early, a breakdown or catastrophic damage might be averted.

Most engines will burn or leak oil with age. Even newer vehicles may consume some oil.

Low brake fluid could indicate a leak, or worn brake pads/shoes.

Alcohol in washer fluid evaporates — particularly in hot weather.

Coolant leaking from the water pump indicates imminent failure.

Coolant may spill from the overflow tank if the vehicle overheats. And, coolant mixing with oil indicates a head gasket leak.

Q: How do I use the plates from my old car to get my new car home?

A: Under S. 11(3) HTA and regulation 628, valid plates issued for a vehicle you no longer own or lease may be temporarily affixed to a similar class of vehicle for up to six days.

If stopped by police, you’ll require:

The vehicle permit and transfer application (on back) signed by both seller and buyer.

The plate portion of the permit for your plates.

For used motor vehicles, a valid safety standards certificate.

Alternatively, you can get a temporary T validation, which allows you 10 days to get a safety certificate and Drive Clean test.

Email your non-mechanical questions to Eric Lai at wheels@thestar.ca. Due to the volume of mail, personal replies cannot be provided.

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