6 Key Car Fluids You Should Be Checking

Every car on the road is a well-oiled machine with a staggering amount of moving parts. While most people don’t think twice when they get into their car, the inner mechanisms of your vehicle are working day in and day out to get you where you need to go. To keep your ride running smoothly, check out these 6 essential fluids you should be checking on a regular basis. 

  1. Transmission Fluid

Every 30,000-60,000 miles, you should be changing out your transmission fluid. This important fluid is responsible for keeping your transmission from running into dangerous (and expensive) problems on the road. To check your fluid level, simply remove the dipstick to see where your current level is at, wipe it off with a rag or cloth, and replace it in the tank. If your fluid smells burnt or has loose particles floating around, it may be time for a fluid flush and replacement. 

  1. Brake Fluid

If there is one car function you want to keep in tip-top shape, it’s your brakes. This essential function is helped by brake fluid, which gives extra power to your braking mechanisms. Located towards the back of your engine compartment, this fluid is very sensitive and must be checked with precaution. Prior to unscrewing the cap, clean off the outside of the opening with a rag or cloth. Even a small amount of dirt that finds its way into your brake fluid can be dangerous. After a thorough cleaning, peer inside and make sure the fluid is about a half-inch away from the cap. Just like transmission fluid, pay extra attention to the properties of the fluid. If it appears dark in color, take your car to a mechanic and ask for a fluid replacement. 

  1. Power Steering Fluid

The ability to guide a three-ton machine with a simple turn of a wheel is all thanks to your power steering system. Controlling your wheels takes a large amount of power and this fluid helps keep that system fully lubricated. To find your power steering fluid, locate the cap in your engine compartment that will probably have the word “steering” across the top. Many cars use opaque containers so you can check the fluid levels without opening the cap. However, if you’d like to take a closer look, clear the cap of any dirt and check the level with a clean dipstick. 

  1. Engine Oil

This is perhaps the most important oil in your car and should be changed approximately every 5,000 miles. This oil keeps the parts of your engine moving by providing lubrication. To check your oil, locate the oil cap towards the front of the engine, unscrew the top, insert a clean dipstick and make sure your oil is hitting the recommended amount. If levels are low, check your car manual to see which type of oil you should be using and add it to your oil tank. 

  1. Coolant

This fluid is responsible for keeping your car cool during those hot summer months. If you notice your vehicle is becoming more like a sauna, it may be time to check your coolant levels. Because the process to check your coolant can be a bit complicated, it is usually best to take your car to a mechanic. If you’re looking for a DIY solution, visit your nearest auto-parts store to purchase an A.C. gauge and thermometer. From there, do some research on how to locate the coolant tank and the proper method to replace the missing fluid. 

  1. Wiper Fluid

There’s nothing worse than finding out your windshield wiper fluid is out halfway through a road trip. While not essential to keep your car running, wiper fluid ensures you have a clear, unobstructed view while driving. Because the fluid isn’t pressurized or dangerous, checking the levels is incredibly easy. Many cars have clear fluid tanks so a quick look can give you an idea of how much fluid you have remaining. If you can’t see the current level from the outside, simply remove the cap, take a peek, and replace the fluid until you reach the recommended amount. 

Work With The Professionals

While it’s essential to keep the inside of your car running smoothly, make sure you are keeping the exterior of your car in shape, too. Whether you have a tiny crack in your window or a shattered windshield, the seasoned professionals at Auto Glass of America are here to help. Visit your nearest location or contact a specialist to take care of your vehicle and get you back on the road!

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