5 Fluids You Need to Check to get the Most Miles from Your Vehicle

Your vehicle’s fluid levels might not be the first thing on your mind, but keeping tabs on key fluids is one way to keep your vehicle running smoothly for years to come.

Even if you’re not car savvy, checking fluid levels is one of the easiest ways to keep your car running happy.

If you can lift the vehicle’s hood, you can check the levels of these 5 key fluids.

Of course, you’ll need to know where to look and what to look for. It’s also important to understand how often you should be checking your fluid levels. While every vehicle is a little different, using these guidelines can make a big difference in the health of your vehicle.

Engine Oil

Think about your vehicle’s fluid levels and your engine oil is probably the first thing that comes to mind. Checking your engine oil is as easy as opening the hood, finding the oil dipstick, pulling it out, wiping it off and sticking it back in again before pulling it out one more time to see the level indicated on the dipstick.

If your oil level isn’t where it needs to be, you need to add more. If your vehicle is burning through oil regularly, let us check it out and we can help fix any problems that could lead to more costly repairs down the road.

How Often Does Your Oil Need to Be Checked?

Some experts recommend you check your oil every time you fill up with gas, but checking once a month is most likely enough for newer vehicles.

Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid is responsible for keeping your vehicle’s gears moving. Checking your transmission fluid is a lot like checking your engine oil, but the vehicle should be running when you check your transmission oil. If you check your transmission fluid and it is low, be sure to let us check out what’s happening. Your transmission fluid is part of a closed system and should be red in color. If you check it and it’s brown or smells burnt, it’s time to replace the fluid.

How Often Does Your Transmission Fluid Need to Be Checked?

Transmission fluid should be checked at each oil change interval and replaced typically every 30,000 miles.

Coolant

Your coolant or antifreeze keeps your vehicle’s engine from running too hot regardless of time of year. It also keeps the engine from freezing in the winter. Like transmission fluid, your vehicle’s coolant levels should not get low, though for different reasons than the transmission fluid. If your coolant levels are low, your vehicle is most likely going to overheat. You can check your coolant level by checking the overflow reservior (an opaque white container under the hood) and seeing if the fluid level is at or above the minimum line. If your coolant level is low, be sure to add the same type of coolant already in the vehicle.

How Often Should You Check Your Coolant Level?

Check your coolant levels at least every 6 months, once before winter and once again before summer. Your coolant should be replaced every 2 to 3 years.

Brake Fluid

Your vehicle’s brake fluid is also part of a closed system and should never run low. It’s worth checking to make sure your brake fluid level is where it should be and that the brake fluid is clean. If your brakes ever feel a little off, check the brake fluid first. The vehicle has a brake fluid reservoir on the driver side of the vehicle. Your brake fluid can be checked by looking through the container and should be a golden color. If the fluid appears brown, it is time to have the fluid replaced.

How Often Should You Check Your Brake Fluid?

Check your brake fluid every time you have your oil changed and look to replace the fluid every 2 years.

Power Steering Fluid

Power steering fluid keeps your steering running smoothly. If you feel a creaking or weird noises as you steer, your power steering fluid may be running low. You can check the level by opening the hood and checking the reservoir visually. If you do notice the power steering fluid is low, it’s worth having your vehicle looked at.

How Often Should You Check Your Power Steering Fluid?

Check your power steering fluid monthly and it may never need replacing. If your power steering fluid is low, it may just need to be topped off, but if it does, that’s a good indicator you’ve got a leak somewhere in the system.

Checking these key fluids is a step in the right direction if you’re looking to keep your vehicle running as efficiently and smoothly as possible for as long as possible.

And remember, if you have any questions about your fluid levels, we’re here to help. Just give us a call or stop by our shop and we would be happy to help.