Checking Your Car’s Fluids

Your car does more than just get you from A to B, carries you and your family and friends to the destinations of your choice. It allows you to brave the weather in your plush heated and cooled leather seats. And it allows you to get just five more minutes of sleep before you have to start getting ready in the morning because you have your own means of transportation. But, just like any piece of machinery, it needs quality care and maintenance so that it can perform at it’s best and safest. Therefore, it can help tremendously to monitor and change all of your car’s fluids when necessary. 

Important Fluids To Monitor

Your car uses many fluids to help lubricate, cool, and run the many gears and systems that are in modern cars today

  • Gasoline. Obviously used to power your engine and drive your wheels. The most replaced fluid in any car. You need to refuel about every 300 miles depending on each car. 
  • Transmission Fluid. Used to lubricate your transmission when it changes between all of its gears. Need to replace around every 100,000 miles although check your owner’s manual for an exact number. 
  • Brake Fluid. Used to help assist you in pushing your calipers onto the brake rotors to help you stop sooner. Need to replace around every 50,000 miles or when the fluid is rusty or muddy looking as this is a sign that moisture has leaked into the system. Make sure to follow your manufactures recommendations. 
  • Differential Fluid. You may not have known that this fluid exists as it is all the way tucked into this metal ball-like structure that is located at your drive wheels. If you have an AWD or 4WD vehicle you can have up to 3 differentials. Needs to be replaced every 50,000 miles 
  • Coolant. This fluid runs throughout your engine block to help cool the engine and make sure you don’t overheat on the side of the road. Need to replace around every 100,000 miles but as always, check your owner’s manual for exact specifications. 
  • Engine Oil. This is one of the most common maintenance procedures and can easily be done at home. This fluid is used to lubricate all the moving parts in your engine so that no metal shavings are sent through the exhaust. Change around every 5000 miles but many owners manuals have you change it less or more often.
  • Power Steering Fluid. You only need to worry about this if your car is using hydraulic power steering. Some new cars use electric power steering and don’t need fluid. Power steering fluid helps assist you in turning the wheel of the car to make it easier to turn, especially at slow speeds. But if you have hydraulic power steering then check it periodically and change it around every 100,000 miles. But first, check your owner’s manual to see what they say.
  • Windshield Washer Fluid. Lastly, the least worrisome of your fluids is your windshield washer fluid. This helps clean off your windshield when it gets dusty or muddy. You just need to add more fluid when it gets low.