Lots More Information
Do I need a mechanic?
No matter how much you might believe in the DIY ethic, the hands-on approach doesn't make sense for all car repairs. This quiz might help you decide when it's time to call a pro. 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.

Related ArticlesSources
  • 2CarPros.com. "Why Is My Engine Making Noise?" (Oct. 13, 2009) http://www.2carpros.com/first_things/why_is_my_engine_making_noise.htm
  • 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
  • Goodwrench.com. "How To Speak Mechanic." (Oct. 12, 2009) http://www.goodwrench.com/Tips/DiagnosingTheProblem.jsp
  • 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