6 Fluids Your Car Needs to Stay in Tip-Top Shape
You wouldn’t last very long without water.
It’s impossible for you to work at your highest capacity without it.
Just like your body needs hydration, your vehicle needs the right fluids to stay “healthy.”
Here are the fluids you should keep your eye on to keep your car running smoothly.
1. Engine oil
Monitoring your car’s oil is one of the most critical maintenance tasks you can do.
It used to be the rule of thumb that you should have your oil changed every three months or 3,000 miles – whichever came first.
Newer vehicles are able to go a longer period between changes.
Always follow the recommendations of your vehicle owner’s manual for exact instructions for your specific make and model.
Your vehicle’s coolant is stored in the radiator and is a combination of water and antifreeze (usually a 50/50 mixture).
Most radiators have markings to guide you so that you don’t have too little or too much coolant.
3. Transmission fluid
When it comes to this fluid, the condition is as important as the levels.
Normal transmission fluid is light brown, pink, or red and it shouldn’t have any particular smell.
A dark brown color or a burnt odor means it’s time to replace it.
While older vehicles were made in a way that allows you to check the transmission fluid yourself, newer ones may need to be evaluated by your trusted mechanic.
4. Windshield wiper fluid
This fluid is more important that you might think it is.
Whether your windows are grimy from snow and ice of winter or the dust of summer, anything that gives you a less-than-perfect view of the road is dangerous.
5. Brake fluid
When your brake fluid is low, top it off, It’s pretty simple.
The reservoir where the fluid is stored will most likely have markings to guide you.
It’s important that you pay attention to the way your brakes feel when you’re driving because the brake fluid may not tell the whole story.
6. Power steering fluid
The power steering reservoir will either have a dipstick or a removable cap for you to check the levels.
Your owner’s manual will have the final word on when it needs to be changed because opinions vary among auto technicians.
Keeping your vehicle “hydrated”
Checking the fluids yourself sometimes is fine, but it’s really important that your mechanic be in the loop.