Checking the engine coolant (also known as antifreeze) level in your 1996 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera is pretty easy. In order to get an accurate reading, your 3.1 liter engine should be cool to the touch when you check it. Engine coolant circulates through your engine to keep it cool in the summer but won't freeze in the winter. The video above shows you where the coolant reservoir in your Cutlass Ciera is located and how to check the coolant level. If you need to add anti-freeze, be sure to check your owners manual to determine the correct type of coolant to add - in Oldsmobiles, it usually located in a section titled Fluid Capacities towards the end of your manual. See our for tips on adding coolant to your Cutlass Ciera.
Always wear safety goggles when working on your Cutlass Ciera. Taking off the coolant reservoir cap on a warm engine could cause the cap to up explosively and fluid to spray out of the reservoir. If you notice an oily surface in your coolant, immediately have your mechanic inspect your Cutlass Ciera for head gasket leakage.
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This video shows you how to change the oil and oil filter in your 1996 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera. When you change your own oil, you know that you are putting quality oil in your Cutlass Ciera and that the filter is being changed too. Most importantly, you get a chance to look around under your Cutlass Ciera for potential trouble spots. This video shows you the location of your oil drain plug, oil filter, oil fill cap and dipstick in addition to the steps needed to change the oil and filter in your Cutlass Ciera. For most Oldsmobiles, you can wrap an old belt around the oil filter and unscrew it by hand. If you can't do this, see our page to find a Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera oil filter wrench. If your Cutlass Ciera is too low to the ground to access your drain plug and oil filter, be sure to use jack stands and safe jacking procedures before getting under your Cutlass Ciera.
Most Oldsmobiles have the oil type printed on the oil cap - it will likely be 5W-20, 5W-30, 5W-40, 10W-30 or 10W-40. If it isn't printed on the oil cap, check your owners manual for the exact type before adding new oil. We recommend wearing safety glasses whenever you are working under your Cutlass Ciera. You never know what could be dripping down from the engine, battery acid, engine coolant, brake fluid, etc. All of these fluids are extremely harmful to your eyes and skin so it is important to protect yourself.
A check engine light can indicate a broad spectrum of problems with your 1996 Oldsmobile Cutlass Ciera. In some cases you need to pull over immediately to prevent damage while in others you merely need to tighten you gas cap next time you stop in order to reset the service engine soon light. The video above shows how to locate the on board diagnostics (OBD) plug on your 1996 Cutlass Ciera, how to read the trouble codes and how to reset or clear the check engine light using a scanner on your Cutlass Ciera.
Intermittent Check Engine Light: If the check engine light on your 1996 Cutlass Ciera is intermittent, try to take note of the conditions when this happens. For example, does it happen when you accelerating, driving on the highway or does it appear at low speeds? This will help your mechanic evaluate the issue. Steady Check Engine Light: If your check engine light is on every time you operate your Cutlass Ciera, you need to have it checked as soon as possible, especially if you notice performance problems or unusual noises. Flashing Check Engine Light: If your check engine light is flashing, stop driving your Cutlass Ciera and have it towed to your nearest mechanic - you probably have a very serious problem with your car and you risk ruining your engine by driving it. If you are unsure about what your diagnostic trouble codes mean; have your Cutlass Ciera diagnosed by a professional automotive technician.