You’ve heard it said that a vehicle’s oil is the life of the engine. There’s great truth in this saying. But there’s more to maintaining a smooth-running vehicle than changing the oil. The following fluids need to be checked on a regular basis:
Radiator Fluid – Keeping your radiator topped off with fluid protects your engine from over-heating. It’s always best to follow your manufacturer’s recommendations, but a good rule of thumb is to have your radiator serviced every 30,000 miles.
Transmission Fluid – Your car’s transmission is loaded with moving parts. To keep these parts lubricated and operating smoothly, you need to have the transmission fluid level and quality checked on a regular basis. Poor lubrication will cause gears to wear and may affect your car’s ability to shift gears – a problem you don’t want to have when you’re in traffic. Manual and automatic transmissions have different requirements, so check manufacturer’s guidelines to learn when to have your transmission serviced and fluid replenished.
Brake Fluid – Brakes operate at peak performance with fresh brake fluid. Over time, your vehicle’s brake fluid can take on water in the form of condensation. This inhibits brake function. Having your brake fluid checked regularly and replaced as needed ensures correct pressure when you apply the brakes.
Power Steering Fluid – If your vehicle has ever run low on power steering fluid, you’re sure to have noticed. Steering becomes very difficult, with every bump on the road requiring you to tighten your grip on the steering wheel. And if your power steering fluid reservoir runs dry, you can expect to use both hands and a great deal of upper body strength to turn the wheel. Inspect your power steering fluid level regularly to ensure smooth, effortless steering.
Windshield Washer Fluid – A shortage of this fluid is usually easy to spot. Let a juicy bug splat your windshield or park your car under a tree full of blackbirds, and it won’t take long to figure out if you need to add more washer fluid to your reservoir.
Air Conditioner Coolant – A lack of air conditioner coolant often presents itself in a subtle manner, with the air warming gradually with each use. Have your AC coolant checked at the first sign of trouble to ensure a sweat-free commute.
Oil – This is the most important essential fluid to keep a regular check on. Your engine oil lubricates its gears and provides a cooling element that protects your engine. Have your car’s oil changed as recommended by the manufacturer to keep your engine running smooth.
Having your vehicle’s fluids checked and replenished on a regular schedule prevents problems and keeps your ride operating at optimum performance.