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Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! - Car Talk (32) - Nairaland

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Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 1:16pm On Aug 02, 2016
Deal with a Deer in the Road

Don't take radical evasive action to avoid a collision, which is more likely to cause you bodily harm than making contact with the animal will. Plus, you're facing a wild animal, and there's no way to tell in which direction it will flee. If you have time, flash your headlights to try to scare the creature out of your path. If a collision is imminent, brake with your steering wheel straight. At the last possible second, steer away from the animal's midsection to prevent the animal from crashing through your windshield and landing on your lap.
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 1:55pm On Aug 02, 2016
Ford a Stream
Do not drive in water higher than the air intake, which is typically on the front side fender. Pick an area where the flow of water is slow and enter at an angle to cut down on the surface area of the vehicle being pushed against by the stream. Enter gently but with enough speed to cause a bow wave, which pushes the water forward, creating a shallower area, and ford at a constant speed.
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 1:55pm On Aug 02, 2016
Downshift Like a Racer
Try the heel-toe shift, recommends driver Robby Gordon, winner of three Baja 1000s. "Use your foot to apply the accelerator and brake at the same time," he says. "As you apply the brake, keep your right foot on the right side of the pedal so you can rock your foot over and use your heel to blip the throttle, which raises the rpms and allows the car to drop into gear more easily."
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 3:30pm On Aug 02, 2016
Corner on Dirt[b][/b]
Going sideways is the quickest way through a corner on dirt, driver Rhys Millen, who was the General Lee's main stunt driver in Dukes of Hazzard. "To do it well," he says, "initiate the slide through input to the steering wheel—you oversteer into the turn. Flick the wheel in the opposite direction of the curve to break traction, then whip it back the other way to initiate a slide in the direction you want to go. Once the car starts to slide, you can 'steer' by adjusting the throttle. More or less throttle will make the car slide at a wider or tighter arc, respectively. More gas makes for a more sideways slide. If you lift off the throttle, the car will still go sideways, but it will start to reduce speed and straighten out again."
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 6:05pm On Aug 03, 2016
Drive on Sand
Before driving onto a beach or into the desert, get out and drop your tire pressure to 12 psi, which helps you "float" on the sand. If you do start to sink into the sand, keep the momentum going: Do not stop. If you really feel the car getting stuck, reverse, back out, and look for a better way forward.
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 6:06pm On Aug 03, 2016
. Survive a Rear-End Collision
First, pull your seatbelt taut. Next, release your foot from the brake and put the car in neutral. This will help distribute the force and may prevent you from being rear-ended twice, which can happen if you're applying the brakes after being hit and the car behind you is still moving forward.
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 6:21pm On Aug 03, 2016
Maneuver Tight Corners
At the BMW Performance Driving School, instructor Jim Clark says these four words over and over: "Slow in, fast out." When taking a corner, you need to scrub as much of that speed as you can while the car is braking in a straight line, then you can accelerate out of the curve. The converse is "Fast in, maybe no out."20. Add Trees to Your Commute
Even if it takes you out of your way, trees may make your ride less stressful. An Ohio State University study found that scenic drives were more calming than those involving strip malls and endless asphalt.
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 6:22pm On Aug 03, 2016
Bridget Driscoll received instant notoriety when she stepped off the curb and into the history books on August 17th 1896. Mrs Driscoll, a 44 year old housewife, who was travelling from Old Town, Croydon to a folk-dancing display in Crystal Palace, became the first pedestrian in the UK to be killed by a car. She was hit by a demonstration car travelling at 4mph. She died within minutes of receiving a head injury
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Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 6:38pm On Aug 03, 2016
Find the Center
The folks at DriveCam analyze driver behavior using video recorders installed on vehicles. (See highlights at drivecam.com.) Safety specialist Julie Stevens recommends sticking to the center lane on freeways. Rear-end crashes happen less there than in adjacent lanes. "Every time you change lanes you add risk," she says, "and the slow lane always has the most action." Other research has shown that the "chronic lane changer" saves a mere four minutes out of an 80-minute drive.
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 5:38pm On Aug 04, 2016
Your shift interlock feature, which requires you to step on the brake pedal to prevent unintentionally shifting out of Park, could be malfunctioning. Alternatively, the shift cable or linkage connected to the shift lever could be gummed up with grease or corroded so that it can't operate freely.

If the interlock switch is worn and not fully releasing, or the brake lights don't receive a signal from the brake light switch to illuminate, you won't be able to shift out of Park.

Grease, dirt and moisture can collect in or on the interlock and brake light switches, and on the shift cable and related parts, hampering their operation. When that happens, you're most likely to have problems shifting out of Park when the engine and transmission are cold, such as after the car has sat for hours. After the engine gets warm — and other parts get warmer, as well — the goo might become softer and make it easier to shift out of Park.

Most cars have a means of overriding the shift lock so you can drive the car to a mechanic rather than have it towed: A small door the size of a fingernail is often found on the console next to or close to the shifter itself. After prying this cover off, one can insert a screwdriver or key and press down to release the lock. Vehicles with column shifters may hide the release on top of the steering column or on the bottom. Your owner's manual will help you identify the location on your car.

A transmission that's low on fluid also can be hard to shift out of Park, though that also would likely cause a noticeable degradation in the transmission's overall performance, such as sluggish or harsh shifts.

Another possible cause is that when a car is on even a slight incline, it will put more load on the transmission parking pawl (a bar that engages teeth in a transmission gear to prevent the vehicle from rolling). This is more likely to happen if you didn't engage the parking brake before releasing the brake pedal. The weight of the vehicle rolling onto the parking pawl makes it harder to shift out of Park. To avoid this, engage the parking brake when on an incline before shifting into Park or releasing the brake pedal. That way the parking brake, not the transmission pawl, bears the load.

Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 5:41pm On Aug 04, 2016
Why Does My Automatic Transmission Act Funny?


This is a great question, but we must examine what "acting funny" means when referring to one's drivetrain before recommending a course of action. Do any of the following seem familiar to you?
Slipping

When an automatic transmission seems to slip in and out of gear, or the engine revs up but the vehicle goes much slower than the engine seems to be running, it's known as slipping. Sometimes the gears reengage harshly.
Shuddering

This is where the whole vehicle shudders and shakes while driving, as if it's having a convulsion. It feels like you're driving over rumble strips even if you're on a smooth highway.
Neutral Drop-Out

A condition that feels similar to slipping, neutral drop-out is where the transmission drops into Neutral when the vehicle comes to a stop or while driving, typically at slower speeds. Sometimes when driving, the trans drops out of gear resulting in the engine racing up, and then either sliding — or banging — back into gear, or you step on the gas and the engine revs but the vehicle goes nowhere as if it's in Neutral.
Heavy Drivetrain Vibration

This heavy vibration is felt throughout the vehicle under acceleration, especially when the drivetrain is under load, such as driving up a hill or pulling a trailer. Though many things can make a car vibrate, this type of drivetrain vibration will subside when coasting or idling.
What's Causing This?

The potential causes behind these behaviors are many. The most common include leaking internal or external transmission seals; mechanical damage to the transmission and/or transfer case's vital internal hard parts such as gears, drums, etc.; old, worn-out transmission fluid; improper fluid; electrical software and hardware glitches; worn drivetrain components; bad transmission and engine mounts.
What Can You Do?

Most of the causes listed above require a mechanic, certainly, but you can start by inspecting the color, consistency and smell of the vehicle's transmission fluid. Low fluid level can cause the slipping described above.

Even if the vehicle is not doing any of the stuff above, if the fluid is brown or lightly dark, then it's probably time for transmission service, essentially a transmission oil change. Like the engine, the transmission has a filter and oil (called fluid because it does more than lubricate) that needs to be changed at regular intervals outlined in your owner's manual. If there's no reference in your manual, then check with your mechanic.

If one or more of the symptoms described earlier are present and the fluid smells burned and feels rough or gritty between your fingers, then have a professional look at it, because more than simple service is required.

For the conditions above, we recommend transmission repair specialists who have access to diagnostic repair info that could lead directly to the cause of the problem, rather than muddling around in hit-and-miss fashion. They can run pressure tests, dye-leak tests and an electronic diagnostic scan of the drivetrain control module.

Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 6:16pm On Aug 04, 2016
Among obvious signs that your headlights aren't properly aimed are oncoming drivers flashing their lights at you because your lights are blinding them, or the road ahead is brightly illuminated for only 20 feet or so, meaning the headlights are aimed too low.

Suspension problems or a heavy cargo load can change your vehicle's ride height and shift one or both headlights subtly. A collision or hitting a road hazard also can move a light assembly and misalign your lights.

One way to tell if headlights are correctly aimed is to park the vehicle on a level surface and shine the headlights on a garage door or wall 25 feet ahead (some vehicles may require a different distance). The top of the low beam shining on the wall should be at or slightly below the height of the center of the headlight lens for most vehicles. You should expect the light pattern to be higher on the right side (passenger side) to illuminate road signs and lower on the driver's side to prevent blinding oncoming drivers. This should give you a good idea of whether the lights on both sides are aimed correctly.

Another method is to pull the vehicle within 5 feet of the wall and then use masking tape to mark the vertical and horizontal centers of the light beams on the wall. Move the vehicle back 25 feet. The light beams should be roughly the same height.

Vehicles have an adjustment screw or bolt on the headlight assembly for adjusting headlight height, and some also have one for horizontal aim. Some vehicles also have a bubble level to help with adjustments.

On some vehicles you might have little or no space to reach the adjusters without removing parts, such as the battery. Additionally, to get an accurate reading the vehicle should be on truly level ground, the ride height shouldn't be affected by damaged suspension parts or cargo, and the vehicle needs to be perpendicular to the surface on which you're shining the headlights.

Many vehicle owner's manuals give little or no guidance on headlight aiming. When in doubt, ask a repair shop to check. If a vehicle is still covered by the basic warranty, a dealership may check the headlight aim at no cost.

Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 6:18pm On Aug 04, 2016
What Does the Check-Engine Light Mean?

That is a signal that the onboard diagnostics system (or OBD II) has detected a malfunction in the vehicle's emissions, ignition or fuel systems. It could be something as simple as a loose gas cap or something as severe as a faulty catalytic converter, so you shouldn't ignore it. All cars and light trucks have onboard diagnostics that are supposed to detect engine-related problems that affect the emissions control systems.

The check-engine light (typically a yellow or orange outline of an engine with the word "Check"wink should come on for a few seconds every time you start the engine with other warning lights. If it stays on, that means there is a problem.

If the check engine light is flashing, that usually indicates a misfire or other serious issue, and it should be dealt with quickly at an auto repair shop. Ignoring a flashing light increases the chances of additional problems, including damaging an expensive catalytic converter (which costs more than $1,000 to replace on some cars).

If it isn't flashing, before rushing to an auto repair shop you should first tighten the gas cap because a loose cap can trigger a warning. See if the light goes off after several engine starts over the next day or so. Replacing a worn gas cap that doesn't fully seal may also solve the problem.

If that doesn't do the trick, an auto technician will need to diagnose the problem by electronically tapping into an OBD II connector under the dashboard to read diagnostic codes that will help isolate what caused the light to go on, such as a bad spark plug or oxygen sensor.

Even if your vehicle seems to be performing well and your mileage isn't dropping, it's a bad idea to just ignore a check-engine light. Something is wrong, and it's likely to get worse. In addition, if you live in an area where vehicles have to pass periodic emissions tests, an activated check-engine light usually means your vehicle will automatically fail.

Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 6:34pm On Aug 04, 2016
Water Pumps: What You Need to Know
The water pump, often referred to as the coolant pump, circulates liquid coolant through the radiator and engine cooling system, and is powered by the engine itself. It ensures that the engine temperature is maintained at a safe level while operating. If it fails, the engine may overheat, causing serious damage if left unchecked.

How do I know it's time to replace my water pump?
A pump that leaks even a little is on its last legs, and one that makes rumbling or screeching noises is getting close to failing. Another sign that it's about time to replace the pump is when the engine temperature warning light is illuminated on the dash. Contaminated coolant and corrosion can cause seals and internal pump parts to fail.

Why do I need to change my water pump?
Water pumps generally don't need to be replaced unless leaks develop or the pump completely fails. An important exception to this is that some water pumps are driven by the timing belt, and not the accessory drive belt, and most mechanics recommend the pump be replaced at the same time as that belt (and vice versa). That's because both are hard to reach and require considerable time and labor cost to replace.

How often should I replace my water pump?
With any luck, you shouldn't have to replace a water pump even if you keep a vehicle for 10 years or more; they often last that long. Unless you see the warning signs listed above, there's generally no need to replace it unless you are replacing the belt that drives it.

How much should I pay?
The cost of repairs can depend on where you are as much as it does on what you need fixed. To get an estimate for your repair, go to our estimator, plug in your car's year, make and model information, add your ZIP code, and choose the repair you need. We'll give you a range for what your repairs should cost in your area.

Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 3:50pm On Aug 05, 2016
Do I Need to Replace a Damaged Wheel?


If it's cosmetic or superficial damage, such as from scraping a curb, the wheel is probably still round and has no bent sections or chunks of metal missing. On the other hand, if the wheel is bent, cracked or structurally weakened from hitting a massive pothole, running over a steep curb or some other mishap, it may need to be replaced, though it could possibly be repaired.

A dented wheel may not be able to maintain a seal with the tire bead, resulting in consistent slow leaks or blowouts, and will be difficult if not impossible to balance so that it doesn't vibrate at speed. A wheel with structural damage could eventually break apart. When in doubt about the severity of damage, a mechanic experienced in assessing wheel damage should inspect the entire wheel with the tire removed.

Whether to repair or replace a damaged wheel is often a judgment call, but because it involves safety issues as well as cosmetic concerns, the best course is to err on the side of safety.

Repair services that promise to restore badly damaged wheels to like-new condition might be able to remove dents and bends and make a rim look great again. However, there are no federal safety standards that apply to refurbished wheels, so you'll be taking your chances as to whether they'll still have their original strength and integrity.

Repairing more than superficial damage will not be an easy do-it-yourself project. Heat and specialized machines are used to straighten bends, and a complete refurbishment involves removing all paint and protective coatings, repairing corrosion and physical damage, then applying new coatings.

The cost of repairing a wheel will vary by size, type and amount of damage, and it might approach the price of a new or used replacement. Many original-equipment alloy wheels can cost hundreds of dollars (even thousands in the case of luxury and sports cars) to replace, so buying a used one can save money. However, it might be hard to determine if a used wheel had prior damage and is refurbished.

Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 4:00pm On Aug 05, 2016
How Can I Tell If My Radiator Is Leaking?
When the temperature gauge on your dashboard reads high or a temperature warning light comes on, you have a cooling system problem that may be caused by a leak — be it in the radiator itself or some other component.

First, make sure it's coolant that's leaking, not another fluid. (Coolant is often referred to as antifreeze, but technically coolant is a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water.) You can easily check the coolant level in your see-through overflow tank. If it's empty or low, the next step should be to check the coolant level in the radiator, but that should be done only when the engine is cool.

Once you know you're losing coolant, the radiator is a good place to start. Some radiator leaks will be easy to spot — such as a puddle underneath the radiator — but others not so much. It's best to check the radiator from every angle, not just from above, and pay particular attention to seams and the bottom. Corrosion inside the radiator or holes from road debris also can cause leaks.

Antifreeze comes in different colors — green, yellow and pinkish-red, for example — feels like slimy water and usually has a sweet smell. If you can't see coolant dripping or seeping, look for rust, tracks or stains on the radiator. Those are telltale signs of where it has leaked.

If the radiator appears to be OK, the cooling system offers several possibilities for leaks, including the hoses from the radiator to the engine, the radiator cap, water pump, engine block, thermostat, overflow tank, heat exchanger (a small radiator that circulates hot coolant into the dashboard for cabin heating) and others. A blown gasket between the cylinder head and engine block is another possibility, allowing coolant inside the combustion chambers — a problem that must be addressed immediately by a mechanic.

If you can't find a leak, have it checked by a professional. Coolant has a way of escaping only under pressure when the car is running — possibly in the form of steam, which may not leave a trace.

Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 4:37pm On Aug 05, 2016
Are Manual Transmissions Cheaper to Repair and Maintain Than Automatics?

Manual transmissions are usually cheaper to maintain and repair than automatics because the latter are far more complex and have more parts and functions that can fail, but it may depend on your driving style.

An automatic has hundreds of mechanical, hydraulic and electronic helpers that have to work in harmony to shift gears smoothly for you. In contrast, a manual transmission is mostly mechanical gears that rely on the driver to engage the clutch and shift when needed.

The cost of replacing automatic transmission fluid generally ranges from about $100 to $200, depending on the vehicle and who is doing the work. Manual transmissions also require periodic fluid changes, but the cost tends to be about half of that.

Transmission repair costs vary widely based on the vehicle and what it needs. Repairing a leak might cost a few hundred dollars or less, but tearing apart a transmission to find the cause of problems can be much more expensive. That is why many repair shops recommend replacing a transmission instead of trying to fix internal problems -- especially in the case of newer continuously variable and dual-clutch automatics, because parts are more difficult to come by and there's less repair know-how when compared with conventional automatics.

Transmission replacement costs also vary widely, but manual transmissions typically are cheaper, falling into a rough range of $1,500 to $3,000 for non-luxury vehicles. Automatics are more expensive, with a range of roughly $2,000 to $4,000 for a remanufactured transmission for most vehicles from mainstream brands. CVTs lean toward the higher side of the estimate: One shop estimated that replacing a CVT on a Nissan Sentra would cost $4,000 versus $2,500 for replacing a six-speed automatic on a Chevrolet Cruze. For a luxury vehicle, a new transmission can cost closer to $10,000.

Here's something else to keep in mind on cost: Some automatic and manual transmission parts are covered by the manufacturer's powertrain warranty, which on many vehicles lasts for 60,000 miles and on some as long as 100,000. The clutch for a manual transmission, though, is considered a "wear" item and is generally covered for only 12,000 miles. Clutches and related parts also usually are excluded from extra-cost service contracts (or extended warranties).

If you burn through clutches rapidly because of your driving style, you could shell out more for repairs than you would with an automatic. Likewise, if your foot-hand coordination isn't great, you frequently could grind gears or chip gear teeth with a manual transmission, and over time that will take a toll.

Automatic transmissions also can be damaged by abuse, but they are less susceptible to wear caused by individual driving styles. Most people put them in Drive and just drive, and they seldom even think about the transmission. Thanks to computer control and other advances, modern automatics are more durable than ever, even when driven enthusiastically.

Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 12:48pm On Aug 08, 2016
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 3:18pm On Aug 08, 2016
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 4:08pm On Aug 08, 2016
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by agentsegun: 5:35pm On Aug 08, 2016
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Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by Aidenehi: 1:25am On Aug 09, 2016
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Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 8:11pm On Aug 09, 2016
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 8:12pm On Aug 09, 2016
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 8:29pm On Aug 09, 2016
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 3:31pm On Aug 10, 2016
Bodywork / paint
Keeping your paint finish in good condition


Only choose superior car detailing supplies to keep your car's interior and exterior like new. There are plenty of decent quality waxes and polishes on the market today and if the last time you waxed or polished your car was over a decade ago, things have changed considerably since then. The wax and polish compounds are far more sophisticated both in terms of protection from fading, the look of the finish, and the ease of application. For example Turtle Wax Ice gets rid of that old problem of white wax residue. Is a clean car a vanity thing? Partly, yes, but if you park under a tree where birds help repaint your car with recycled blueberries, that guck will come off a lot easier if it falls on a waxed paint job.
Tip: If you find a bird has pooped on your car, wash it off as quick as you can. There are compounds in bird waste that can damage most car paint jobs. If you leave it in the sun and the poop bakes on, you could end up with a dull spot in the paint.
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 3:32pm On Aug 10, 2016
Electrical
Disconnecting and reconnecting your battery



If you're going to do any work on your car involving the electrical system, disconnect the battery first. To do this, loosen the connector for the negative/ground terminal first, and wiggle the terminal cap off. Use a wire-tie or similar to tie the cable back out of the way. If you need to take the battery out, you can now take off the positive connector.
Why negative then positive? If you disconnect the positive side of the battery first, the negative side is still connected to the entire car. If you drop a tool and it lands on the positive battery terminal and touches anything else on the car, you'll have an electrical short. By disconnecting the negative first, you're cutting off the return path for the current. Now, if a tool drops on to either of the battery terminals, it doesn't matter if it touches part of the chassis or not - there's no continuous path for the electrical current.
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 3:59pm On Aug 10, 2016
Check your battery terminals

Most modern cars run on a 12 volt negative ground electrical system. If your battery terminals or contacts aren't clean, you're making it more difficult for the current to pass around the electrical system. Remove the terminal caps as described above and clean each contact post with a wire brush to get a nice clean metal contact surface. Do the same to the terminal caps, then reattach them as described above.
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 4:00pm On Aug 10, 2016
Lights
One indicator or blinker is flashing faster than the other



When you indicate one way and the blinker flashes quicker than when you indicate the other way, it means one of the bulbs has blown. An auto parts store will be able to tell you what sort of bulb you need to replace it with and your manual should show you how to get at the indicator bulbs - they're different on every car.

Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 4:16pm On Aug 10, 2016
Don't touch the glass when changing headlight bulbs

Most headlight bulbs now are filled with halogen and have special coatings on the outside of the glass. If you pick the bulb up by the glass with your fingers, you will leave trace amounts of oil and grease on the glass. When the bulb is used, that area of the glass will get hotter than the rest and it will eventually cause the bulb to crack. When changing headlight bulbs, only hold the metal bulb holder at the base, or make sure you're wearing rubber surgical / mechanic's gloves (clean ones) if you're touching the glass.
Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 8:07pm On Aug 11, 2016
The check engine light.

Every new car now comes with OBD-II - On Board Diagnostics 2. This is a fault-registering system connected to sensors all over the car, engine, fuel and emissions system. When the check engine light comes on, it can mean many things. There are something like 4,000 unique OBD2 codes that can be stored. Handheld OBD2 diagnostic tools can be plugged in to the OBD2 port which is normally under the dash on the driver's side. These tools can read out the fault code and/or reset the system to contain no codes. Codes are split into two categories - historical/inactive, and active. The historical codes are lists of things that have been detected in the past but are no longer an issue, whilst the active codes are things that are a problem right now. Codes are subdivided into B-codes (body), C-codes (chassis) and the biggest list of all - P-codes (powertrain).

Re: Tips for car owners and those who are looking for a car! by CarXus: 8:10pm On Aug 11, 2016
The service engine light / Maint Reqd light.

This might indicate "Service", "Service Engine" or "Maint Reqd". It's an indicator that you're getting close to a scheduled maintenance interval. On some cars it's as simple as counting miles before it comes on, whilst on others it maps engine temperatures, oil temperatures, air temperatures and other indicators of probable stress to tell you when it might be time for new oil or a service. In most cars this can be overridden or reset by you, the owner. Your handbook will tell you if this is the case. If you take your car for a service, the garage should reset it for you.
Typically this light will come on when you start your car, and then turn off again as part of the self-check. If it stays on for 10 seconds then turns off, it normally means you're within 500 miles of needing a service. If it flashes for 10 seconds, it normally means you've exceeded a recommended service interval.

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