The Engine Oil Cap – Missing in Action?
Life can be really busy sometimes, to the point where we aren’t paying attention to what we’re doing. Especially when it comes to adding fluids or air to the tires when are minds are distracted by other stuff.
You stop at the gas station to fill your car. You pop the hood, you go inside and pay for your fuel. You have to let the engine cool down in order to check the oil (you should check weekly).
By now, you’ve already checked the owner’s manual, you’ve already been to the store, picked up the correct oil for the car and need to check the dipstick to see if you have to add any. You pull the dipstick, wipe it off, and then re-insert it. Pull it out and look at it … the dipstick says you’re down a quart.
You open the hood, open the oil filler cap (usually located on the valve cover), and either use a funnel to put oil into the engine (you have pour the oil slowly or the oil in the funnel overflows onto the engine) or are good enough to get the oil to pour into the oil area (valve cover) without getting it all over the engine.
Okay time to throw away the empty oil bottle and replace the oil filler cap. If your mind is somewhere else, you won’t remember to put the oil cap on and you’ll close the hood and get back into the car.
A ways down the road, you smell something burning and the engine is knocking. It sounds like the engine’s going to blow up, so you pull over, put on your flashers (hazard lights) on and open the hood. You discover what was burning since there is oil all over the hood and the engine, you don’t see the oil cap. You discover that the oil cap is missing… and think “how did I forget to do that?”.
The next thing you should do, is get to your local parts store, get a new oil cap and some more oil. You will have to check the oil again to make sure you add the proper amount into the engine. And you make sure this time, to put the oil filler cap on, since it just cost you more money than you planned on spending to begin with.
When you get into the auto parts store, you need to ask for a replacement oil filler cap. The counter person will ask you year, make, model and engine size in order to get you the right one.
If your car is really new, you may have to go to the dealer for the new one, as they have not produced an aftermarket one to buy from the auto parts store just yet.
It’s important to check your oil as it can affect the performance of the car, create more heat – causing more wear and tear on the engine and the temperature gauge may rise as the engine is hotter.
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