Last night I opened the hood on my Jeep and surveyed the rather sooty scene. In one hand I held the checklist my brother had written up for me (check: coolant, windshield washer fluid, transmission fluid, engine oil...) and then the driver's manual saying where the above actually was.
Before this, an engine was an engine and that's all I really knew. What was in the engine was another matter all together. The closest contact I've ever had with the motor is a frequent "Keep Up the Good Work" hood pat but unfortunately I have been told that if something really goes wrong a little more effort is required.
Leaning over the motor, paper towels wadded up in my pockets, muttering "radiator, radiator, where is the radiator" to myself I felt like a moonlighting mechanic. I even had a pen clipped in my pocket to seem extra professional. My hands got a respectable amount of soot and oil on them to look like I knew what I was doing because I was actually doing, thank-you-very-much.
Much of the Jeep's engine has been thoughtfully labelled so after some scrubbing the major parts were identified. There was some dip stick swiping, cap twisting and general inspecting and what I have determined is that my coolant needs a fill-up but otherwise everything else is tip-top and ready to run.
That was the check-up. The check-in will be with my friend living in Banff.
Let the road tripping begin!