As a vehicle owner, it is important to be aware of all the different fluids that your vehicle takes. Most people are aware that their vehicle needs oil, but many people are not aware of all the other fluids that a vehicle needs in order to operate properly. There are seven different vehicle fluids you should be aware of in order to take proper care of your vehicle.
1. Engine Oil
The top fluid you need to be aware of is engine oil. Most modern vehicles monitor the oil levels on the dashboard, allowing you to easily see without pulling out the dipstick if your vehicle is getting low on oil. Regardless, you should have a mechanic or yourself check the oil every few months to ensure not just that you have enough oil, but that the quality of the oil is good. Engine oil has the shortest life span of the fluids that your vehicle needs, which is why it is at the top of the list.
2. Transmission Fluid
The next fluid you need to be aware of is transmission fluid. Your vehicle's transmission is complicated and expensive to fix, so you are going to want to ensure that it always has the fluid it needs. It is important to check the transmission fluid and ensure it is in good shape. It more often than not just needs to be topped off. Sometimes, the transmission fluid needs to be flushed.
3. Power Steering Fluid
Another important fluid to be aware of is the power steering fluid. It allows you to move your steering wheel without any resistance. Power steering fluid doesn't have to be changed that often; it is a high-mileage task. However, it may need to be topped off. This is something that you are going to want to verify with the owner's manual to see how often you need to check and change the power steering fluid for your vehicle.
4. Radiator Fluid
Your radiator helps keep your engine cool and ensures that it doesn't overheat. Without enough radiator fluid, your engine will start to smoke. Radiator fluid is often called coolant fluid. You should only check radiator fluid levels when your engine is cool; if you take off the radiator cap when your engine is hot, the steam that comes out of it could burn you.
5. Brake Fluid
Your brakes have fluid inside of them that helps to maintain the pressure needed for your brakes to work. Brakes use a hydraulic system line and require the right level of fluids in order to keep things flowing smoothly. If your brake fluid is low, the brake lines need to be replaced. The fluid in your brakes should be replaced every few years.
6. AC Coolant
Your air conditioner has coolant in it that allows it to run. It helps ensure that cold air comes out of the vehicle. This is something that often has to be refilled every few years.
7. Windshield Washer Fluid
Finally, you need windshield washer fluid so you can keep your windshield clean and can see the road clearly.
When it comes to your vehicle, it is important to be aware of the fluids that are in your vehicle. Knowing the fluids you need to check will make you a more informed car owner. For more information, contact your local auto service center.