It’s easy to just get in your car and go, but to keep your vehicle running smooth there are a few fluids that you need to keep in the back of your mind whenever you’re driving. There are five major fluids that keep your automobile functioning properly on a daily basis. Use this checklist to make sure that you’re taking care of your treasured vehicle as you should to prevent any major problems in the future due to negligence. And no, we won’t be discussing fuel as one of these fluids, although yes, it is perhaps the most important of all.
- Engine Oil
Engine oil sounds as important to your car as it actually is. This fluid does many things for your vehicle, including keeping the metal surfaces in the engine from grinding or becoming torn from friction. Engine oil also transfers unwanted heat away from the combustion cycle. It is commonly stated that you should check your engine oil every time you fill your vehicle with gas, but that differs from person to person. To be safe, check your engine oil at least once a month to make sure all is well.
At least twice a year, pop your hood and take a gander at your coolant fluid. Coolant, also called antifreeze, is made up of a mixture of water and ethylene (or propylene glycol). Engine coolant does three things for your car: it protects the aluminum engine pieces, keeps the engine from overheating, and keeps the engine from freezing.
- Transmission Fluid
As with engine oil, you’ll want to check your transmission fluid monthly at the very least. Transmission fluid is a highly viscous liquid that performs the job of a lubricant for everything moving inside of your transmission. For automatic transmissions, transmission fluid also works as a coolant and as a power transmitter from the engine to the transmission.
- Power Steering Fluid
Power steering fluid, in short, is the hydraulic fluid that is the transmitter for the power in power steering. Sounds important? It is. If you want to keep your power steering smooth and functional, check your power steering fluid at least once a month.
- Brake Fluid
A good rule of thumb with brake fluid is to check it when you change your oil. Oil changes used to be suggested after every 3,000 miles, but as this has changed with the production of new technologies and different car designs, be sure to check your manual before you adhere to that rule. A type of hydraulic fluid, brake fluid is used in vehicles with hydraulic brakes. It transfers force into pressure and amplifies braking force.
Haven’t Done Your Check Yet?
If you can’t remember the last time you’ve checked one or more of these fluids, it’s time to step outside and pop your hood. Each fluid is checked a little differently on different vehicles, so take a moment to get familiar with what’s under your hood and what brands of each fluid you plan on using. Or, make your life significantly easier by bringing your vehicle into Speedy Roo Motorsports to have their professionally trained staff take a look for you.