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10 Problems Cars Can Diagnose By Themselves
Modern cars and trucks can keep track of their own health. The problem often comes when they try to communicate their information to the driver. How does your car talk to you? Read more »

Author's Note: Top 5 Signs of Engine Trouble

I mentioned in that last tip that no one could possibly be so ignorant as to let their car run out of coolant. No one but me, that is. My first car (when I was 17) was a Chevy Chevette. I knew nothing about car maintenance, having only a vague idea about oil changes being somehow necessary. I certainly didn't know about checking fluids, or paying attention to the temperature gauge in the dashboard, or what to do when any warning lights came on. When hot, white smoke billowed from under my cheap hood, I learned very quickly about the price of coolant ignorance. It's expensive to replace an engine, even in a crappy car from the 80s.


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  • ConsumerReports.org. "What To Do if the 'Check Engine' Light Goes On." March 2009. (Oct. 12, 2009) http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/cars/new-cars/news/2005/ what-to-do-if-the-check-engine-light-goes-on/overview/index.htm
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  • Torbjornsen, Tom. "Smoke From Your Tailpipe? Know the Difference Between White Smoke and Blue Smoke." July 8, 2009. (Oct. 9, 2009) http://autos.aol.com/article/car-smoke
  • Turbo Magazine. "Engine Diagnostics Part Two - Crank, Ignite, Charge." (Oct. 9, 2009) http://blogs.turbomagazine.com/index.html
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. "On-Board Diagnostics." (Oct. 10, 2009) http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/im/obd/index.htm