Regular maintenance of your car is essential for the longevity and performance of the vehicle. How often are you checking your car fluids? If you’re only relying on your semi-annual vehicle checkups, there could be interim issues that can be missed. Ignoring a problem (or being ignorant to it) can damage performance, gas mileage, power, and resell value.
You don’t want an increase on your repair bill just because you forgot to replace some fluid or let your car idle in a dangerous zone for too long. Maintaining the proper fluid levels in your vehicle is essential. However, do you know what all fluids in a car are?
This one is known to even the most casual of car owners. Engine oil, the vehicle’s lifeblood, lubricates the engine parts and makes sure that your car stays running. Without engine oil, parts will begin to make contact with one another, which has a devastating impact on the rest of the vehicle. Even driving with low oil can cause damage over time.
While it’s vital to bring your car in for its oil change every 3,000-5,000 miles, sometimes this might not be enough. Noticing heavy oil consumption sooner rather than later can prevent an incident on the road. Depending on the season, your vehicle might go through more oil. Always check your engine oil on level ground and while the engine is completely cold. If you’re taking your car in, make a point to ask your trusted mechanic to top off any other oils in the car at the same time.
A lesser thought about (but still hugely important) fluid is that of the car’s transmission. Like the engine oil, its primary use is as a lubricant, and transmission fluid cools. It lubricates the most critical part of the entire transmission system, including gears, valves, and clutches. Low transmission fluid can lead to shifting/steering difficulty and surges in the vehicle.
Be wary of transmission fluids advertised for their longevity. Transmission fluid needs replacing, though not usually for 100,000 miles or so. Still, more savvy car owners may replace their transmission fluid more often than this. Check your transmission fluid frequently, especially in older cars or used cars that might have a rough go of it. To check transmission fluid, you want to make sure that your vehicle is parked and that the engine is running and idle.
The braking system of any car is a complex and foreign thing to most car owners, and it must be in prime working condition at all times. All braking systems have a brake plunger and master cylinder; When you hit the brakes, this pressure releases brake fluid from the lines, allowing your brake pads to slow down your car in a proper time frame.
Brake pads wear down over time, and with that erosion also comes the decrease of braking fluid. When brake fluid falls below its minimum recommendation, fluid needs adding in conjunction with having your brakes checked. When checking your brakes yourself, make sure you take the time to check and refill the fluid as needed. If you’re fixing any part of your braking system, PartsAvatar in Canada has the EBC Brake Parts necessary for the proper upkeep of your vehicle.
Your various vehicle coolants are extremely important, especially during the spring and summer months and especially if you live in a warmer climate. Coolants help reduce the temperature in your running engine, but they also prevent freezing during the winter. Coolants are excellent preventers of corrosion and can keep unwelcome deposits from forming in your engine.
The usefulness of your antifreeze coolant does deteriorate with time and use. It should be tested around the 50,000-mile point in newer vehicles. Testing your coolant and antifreeze for acidity is a good idea, as it continues to protect your car from both boiling and freezing temperatures. Coolant can be the difference between a properly running vehicle and an overheated breakdown. Therefore, antifreeze should be regularly checked, especially if you suspect you might have an issue.
Power Steering Fluid
Power steering fluid allows you to easily pilot your car. The fluid that maintains your steering wheel can be easily turned. Power steering is an amenity of all modern vehicles, and without it, steering becomes incredibly challenging and stiff. If you suspect that your power steering fluid might be low at all, get it checked and topped off as soon as possible. Since a lack of power steering fluid results in a feeling of resistance while steering, it’s typically easy to tell when this fluid is low.
Windshield Wiper Fluid
Depending on the weather in your area, windshield wiper fluid can be a monumentally important part of your vehicle’s safety. While it doesn’t seem as crucial as other fluids such as engine oil or antifreeze, you should still maintain that your wiper fluid is at safe and effective levels. Wiper fluid can be easily checked any time you stop for gas and is another fluid that your local mechanic will be happy to top off for you during any repair. Windshield wiper fluid keeps your windshield free and clear of detritus, debris, and smear, and when used in conjunction with fresh wiper blades, it is an essential aspect of car safety.
Regular Maintenance Means a Healthier Car
It’s important to check all your fluids whenever you bring your car in for repair or maintenance. Knowing what fluids to keep an eye on yourself can be both preventative and helpful. Whether it’s engine oil or brake fluid, every component of your car works in conjunction with the other. An overall understanding of how your car works can be the difference between smooth sailing or an unexpected accident. AA1Car Auto Diagnosis Repair Help has a handy assortment of information that can help you make sure your car is running optimally.