There are quite a few fluids that your vehicle utilizes for lubricating vital components as well as performing useful functions. Depending on your vehicle model, the number of times you’ll need a car fluid change will vary. Additional factors that affect the lifespan of these fluids include how often you drive, as well as the quality of the fluids you expose your car to. Here’s a handy list of the most important car fluids to keep an eye on and change periodically.
Without engine oil, your vehicle can suffer an immense amount of damage. This dense liquid is used to lubricate every component within your engine. Not only does it keep the functions running smoothly, but it also helps them maintain a safe temperature. Whether it be an oil leak issue or the quality of your oil is degrading due to sediment build up from the wear of internal components, these issues require immediate oil change service. An oil change service is especially required if the coloration of your engine oil has changed from amber to black or a cloudy white.
Almost as important as engine oil, transmission fluid provides a cooling, lubricating effect to the gears, valves, and clutches within your transmission. However, unlike an engine oil change service, you’ll almost never need a transmission fluid change. Most car models come with an amount of fluid to last a lifetime, but if you find that your fluid is in poor condition, it’s extremely important to get a transmission fluid change.
Power Steering Fluid
This vital fluid aids the power steering system in maintaining balanced control of your car’s wheels. If power steering fluid isn’t maintained, steering becomes increasingly difficult. Like many times when conducting a car fluid change, you’ll find a reservoir under the hood where you can check on your power steering fluid with a dipstick. If you notice you have to frequently add more fluid, you may have a leak. Mention this to your technician during your next oil change service.
Also known as antifreeze, this fluid doesn’t require a check as much as the others listed, however, its ability to prevent overheating is crucial for engine performance. Most importantly, before checking your coolant level every 50,000 miles, make sure your engine is turned off and cooled down to prevent pressurized coolant from spraying.
Hydraulics within your braking system rely on brake fluid to press brake pads against your car’s rotors, slowing you down as needed. When your brake fluid is low or degrading in quality, you’ll begin to experience faulty breaking that can put you at risk. While checking or adding your brake fluid, ensure that the liquid itself is translucent.
Windshield Washer Fluid
While not as vital as the fluids listed above, ensuring your visibility of the road stays at 100% is important for you and everyone around you. It may be a tedious car fluid change, but it’s smart to protect your windshield from nasty bugs or the unexpected bird dropping, that way you can see the road while looking fresh.