Watch this "Grease On Your Hands" video tutorial from the Washington Post to see how to check car fluids properly.
When servicing any automobile, you should always wear appropriate eye-protection as well as ensure your working environment is properly ventilated. When working underneath a vehicle, always secure it with a floor jack and jack stands or drive-on lift ramps. You're going to get greasy as well so keep a healthy supply of rags on hand to sop up the mess!
Necessary Materials: 3 Funnels (for oil, transmission & coolant), Shop Rags, Engine Oil, Transmission Fluid, Distilled Water/Radiator Coolant and Brake Fluid
Instructions and Tips:
While these procedures are generally straightforward, you should always check your Owner's Manual for the location and the correct types of fluids that we will be checking and replenishing. Make sure your car is off before you attempt anything in this episode!
Oil: Locate your Engine Oil Dipstick; generally, it will be colored yellow and located on the front of your engine block. Remove the dipstick and wipe it clean. Re-insert and remove it to attain a correct level reading. Your oil level should always fall between the prescribed range on the dipstick. Pay attention to the color and consistency of the oil, noting if it is overly dirty or burnt: this may warrant an oil change or indicate more serious problems. Adjust the level by adding or removing oil accordingly.
Watch to see about Transmission, Brake System, Power Steering and Cooling System/Radiator procedures.