Quick Tips for Checking Vehicle Fluids

Taking regular care of your vehicle now will pay dividends down the line. One of the easiest things to do is have the fluids in the car regularly checked. Everything from dirt to paint chips and other contaminants can prevent your car’s fluids from working properly.

If you’re wondering how many essential fluids are in your car, we’ll go through each of them. Here are our quick tips for checking vehicle fluids.

Transmission fluid

Check your manual first, but in most cases, transmission fluid should be flushed between 50,000 and 100,000 miles. This is essential, as the transmission is a critical part of keeping your car operational. The transmission’s gears, clutches and valves are necessary to make seamless shifts. If you’re experiencing any transmission issues, it’s best to check the fluid first. Inspect the level and condition of the fluid, which should be amber or red in color and feel smooth.

Engine oil

As you might expect, oil is one of the leading essential fluids in your car. Engine components spin thousands of times each minute, and oil keeps all this running smoothly.

You may be aware of the dipstick in the engine bay that allows you to check the oil. Check it after the car has been off for 10 minutes, allowing for the engine to cool down. First, wipe the dipstick with a rag; then reinsert it and pull it out. It should be near the top; if it’s closer to the minimum, add more fuel immediately. A low reading could be an indication of a larger problem, like the engine leaking or burning oil.

Engine coolant

Also known as antifreeze, this essential fluid protects against engine freeze-up during the winter and prevents overheating in the summer. It also protects against rust and corrosion throughout the year. Make sure that the engine is cool and the vehicle is off before checking this fluid. Inspect the reservoir; if the fluid is below the low mark, you can add more antifreeze.

Power steering fluid

Modern cars have power steering systems that use pressurized fluid to make turning much easier. Like other fluids, you’ll want to find the dipstick and check the markings on the reservoir. If the fluid is low, you can top it off. You do want to ensure that you’re using the right fluid to avoid damage. If you have to add fluid often, then you likely have a power steering fluid leak.

Brake fluid

Keeping brake fluid is critical to lubricate the system’s hydraulic components. You can check the brake fluid levels by checking the reservoir, which is typically located at the rear of the engine compartment on the driver’s side. If it’s below the lower mark, it’s time to take the car to a trusted mechanic.

Those are our leading quick tips for checking vehicle fluids. Whenever you need service on your car, turn to the experts at A2Z Complete Car Care. We provide affordable fixes for everything from brakes to suspension work and more. Contact us right now to learn more and set up your first appointment.

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