Know Your Car's Fluids

engine oil The best way to ensure that your vehicle stays running efficiently is to know your car’s fluids. By being an informed car owner who knows what to look for when checking and changing your car, truck or SUV’s fluids, you will be able to better care for your vehicle. Simply, cars are becoming increasingly advanced pieces of machinery, and these machines require various fluids for continued effective operation. This makes maintaining proper fluid levels all the more essential for car owners.

Motor Oil

Every car owner should be familiar with their manufacturer’s recommendations for how often to change the oil in their car, truck or SUV. While conventional advice has been to replace your engine oil every 3,000 miles or roughly every three months, newer cars may not require such frequent oil changes. Always refer to your owner’s manual for details about your vehicle. 

Transmission Fluid

The transmission in your vehicle allows you to select the gear you want to be in while driving. This is important because a car that can’t shift gears is impossible to drive. Regardless of the type of transmission that is installed in your car – manual or automatic – you will need to ensure adequate levels of clean transmission fluid for proper transmission operation. Clean and fresh transmission fluid is red and brown or black fluid indicates that it is time to replace your transmission fluid.

Brake Fluid

Without brakes, driving would be unsafe because drivers would be unable to stop their vehicles. Brake fluid is part of the hydraulic brake system in your vehicle. The fluid allows the brake pump to operate smoothly and apply pressure on your wheels to slow your vehicle and bring it to a stop. Brake fluid should be a golden color, and fluid that has become discolored and now appears brown or black needs to be flushed and replaced.

Power Steering Fluid

Power steering is one of the most helpful advances driving technology. It gives drivers greater control over their vehicles while driving, especially through difficult low-speed turns. Because power steering fluid is contained within a closed system, you should not lose much fluid. If you notice a drop in fluid levels, you may have a leak and your vehicle may need to be serviced by a professional.