If you're looking for preventing sudden breakdowns, here are the 8 automotive fluids to check:
- The motor oil
- The coolant Fluid
- The transmission fluid
- The brake fluid
- The windshield Fluid
- The air conditioning fluids
- The power steering fluids
- The differential fluid or oil
Your vehicle contains more fluid than you imagined. Most of us might be familiar with the fuel, or probably the engine oil but not all of us know the other types of fluids to maintain. These fluids are responsible for various jobs, and maintaining the optimum fluid level is a critical job for every driver to prevent sudden breakdowns.
By learning how to check the common automotive fluids levels, you'll be able to detect any drops in these fluids’ levels. Therefore, you can resolve the issue before dealing with other complications that could cost you thousands of dollars down the road.
This article walks through the eight automotive fluids to check so you don't must deal with major issues down the road. Without maintaining these fluids, you might get into situations where you lose your vehicle or impact your safety.
8 automotive fluids to check to prevent sudden breakdowns
Your vehicle relies on a set of fluids in many different systems. Some of these fluids are involved in how your vehicle operates, like those in the braking system. However, other fluids are responsible for maintaining the engine temperature, like the engine oil.
Let's take a closer look at some of these common automotive fluids and get an idea about how often you should get them replaced:
1- The motor oils
Your motor oil is responsible for lubricating the engine's internal components and preventing frictions that lead to overheating. Without the optimum engine oil level, you can't easily deal with sudden engine breakdowns that will cost you a lot of money. Thus, motor oil is definitely one of the most important automotive fluids to check!
Therefore, not only you'll maintain the optimum oil level, but also, you'll maintain the quality of the oils. That's why you'll need to regularly inspect the oil level and the oil color because it will tell you whether it's the time to change your vehicle's oil or not.
When it's time for an oil change, you must not ignore it because it can lead to sudden breakdowns in your engine because of overheating.
The good news is that when the motor oil drops to a certain point, your engine will show you other symptoms to grab your attention and have you resolve the issue. However, ignoring the oil issue is never a good idea because it will cost you the engine in some instances.
2- The coolant Fluid
In some instances, the coolant, or what's referred to as anti-freeze, is the fluid incorporated in your vehicle's cooling system. Aside from the oil, your vehicle relies on the coolant to drop the engine temperature when it exceeds the maximum threshold.
You must maintain the current level of the optimum point to prevent engine overheating that leads to catastrophic damages. In addition, coolant might leak for a variety of reasons, and that's why checking the coolant level regularly helps detect problems early and prevents costly repairs.
Once you detect an internal or external coolant leak, you must take care of it immediately and resolve it before waiting a long time and dealing with major issues. Typically, when coolant leaks, your vehicle shows additional symptoms to bring your attention to the problem.
Even if your coolant is at the optimum level, automotive experts recommend checking the coolant every 50,000 miles To determine its quality. Sometimes the coolant might have acidity issues or other types of problems that might impact its functionality.
3- The transmission fluid
The transmission fluid is another very important fluid new vehicle that you must maintain all the time. It is part of the transmission system, and depending on what transmission you're using, the role of this fluid differs significantly.
For example, if you're driving a vehicle with a manual transmission, the transmission fluid is responsible for lubricating the internal transmission components and preventing internal grinding. However, the role of transmission fluid is more critical in vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission.
With automatic transmissions, the transmission fluid gets involved in how the transmission operates because it provides the required hydraulic power. So, you must have the exact amount of transmission fluid for your transmission to operate properly, especially in this type of transmission.
In terms of maintenance, you will maintain the transmission level, and you need to check its quality over time. In addition, you'll check with your owner’s manual about when to completely flush the transmission and pour new fluid. Typically, most experts and most brands require transmission fluid flush every 100,000 miles.
As you might notice, changing the transmission fluid is not something you must frequently do as the oil changes. Thus, since it's going to be done a couple of times during the lifetime of your vehicle, you shouldn't ignore it, and you must keep an eye on it.
4- The brake fluid
Every time you hit the brake, hydraulic power is generated to get your vehicle to stop the wheels. The power is dependent on a specific amount of brake fluid that you need to maintain all the time. With the braking system, it is critical to constantly maintain the exact amount of brake pressure to prevent getting yourself involved in major car accidents.
It is very important to be proactive about the brake fluid level and check it regularly to know whether you're dealing with internal or external leaks. Anytime you notice that the brake fluid pressure is not at the optimum level, you'll top it off or deal with any leaks causing it.
You also need to understand when the braking quality is dropping significantly where you must replace the entire brake fluid in some instances. Note that you won't necessarily need to flush out the brake unless it's necessary, and it will not be something you must frequently do as the oil change.
5- The windshield Fluid
Whenever you wash your windshield, a specific amount of fluid is taken out to wash it off. Therefore, you will need to maintain the optimum level of windshield reservoir washer fluids all the time. However, you won't necessarily deal with hazardous situations if you don't have the optimum level of windshield washer.
Although it's not a safety issue in many instances to have the top level of windshield washer fluids, you might need to constantly have a windshield washer depending on your driving environment and weather. For example, if your windshield requires frequent washes to improve your visibility during foggy or bad weather conditions, the windshield washer fluid becomes part of your safety, and that's where it's critical to have the correct level.
Not only will you need to maintain the optimum level of windshield washer fluid but also, you'll need to learn about the different types of washer fluids in life. For example, there are some fluids designated for the winter season where it can take care of any ice or snow buildups on the windshields appeared, on the other hand, there are other types of windshield washer fluids that are designated for summer where it has a better performance when the temperature is extremely high and where there is a risk of evaporating windshield washer. Keep in mind that if you don't deal with extreme seasons, you don't necessarily must purchase a specific type of water, and you can go with the all-season that functions well all seasons.
Finally, you'll need to understand how much windshield washer fluid you'll maintain because it varies significantly depending on your vehicle's brand. But, again, you can easily consult your owner’s manual or reach out to your mechanic to get a better accurate idea.
6- The air conditioning fluids
The air conditioning fluid is one of the overlooked types of fluids that you will have in your vehicle, and many inexperienced drivers might not pay attention to it. However, your AC system relies on this fluid to work properly, and you need to keep an eye on this fluid to confirm that you are not running out of it.
Or specific instructions that should be available in your owner’s manual or probably online to help you get an idea about how to check this fluid and how much fluid you'll need to have constantly.
7- The power steering fluids
As you might already figure, the power steering fluid controls how you are parts during functions. It is another scenario where the pressure of the fluid is extremely important for your vehicle's safety. When the power steering fluid pressure drops, you will not control the vehicle and steer it. Thus, it becomes a very hazardous situation in some instances.
Therefore, you'll need to learn about the amount of power steering fluid that should be maintained and the optimum pressure level. In some instances, experts recommend checking the power steering fluid somewhere close to 30,000 miles, but other instances might not require you to check the fluid unless you hit the 75,000 miles, which is decent, and it's not very frequent.
8- The differential fluid or oil
Your vehicle's differential system relies on a specific oil or fluid to stay lubricated all the time and prevent overheating. So many vehicles rely on gear oil to lubricate this system that you might be using it in your manual transmission already.
The differential oil is not the same as the motor oil because it's thicker and can withstand much higher pressure instead of higher temperatures.
What is the most important fluid to regularly check in your car?
All fluids are very important and extremely critical in any vehicle. However, if you want to focus on one fluid as the most important, we can say that it's motor oil as one of the most important automotive fluids to check. This doesn't mean that you won't need to check the other seven floors indicated in the previous list.
We chose motor oil because it's critical, and having low oil pressure leads to catastrophic outcomes that could cost you the entire engine. The other thing is that oil needs to be changed more frequently than any other type of fluid, which means that if you do not check it regularly, it's easy to deal with the complications.
On the other hand, the other seven fluids might not require replacement that often, which means that in any regular checkup, you'll mechanic will know whether you're dealing with some issues in the other fluids and whether you will need to check it out. Thus, it will be your huge responsibility to focus on maintaining the optimum engine oil all the time because you're not expected to be at the mechanic shop at every oil change, especially if you're relying on conventional oil unless you remind yourself.
Fluids to check: final thoughts
There are a variety of things that you must maintain as a driver. While it is critical to be alerted to any mechanical problems but it's also as important to check the different fluids levels before they drop to the minimum threshold. When fluid levels drop, they immediately lead to significant issues in some circumstances.
This article walked you through these seven automotive fluids to check regularly to prevent sudden breakdowns. These fluids include the engine oil, the coolant, the transmission fluids, the air conditioning fluids, and others.
While maintaining these fluids at the optimum level helped to extend the lifetime of your vehicle, there are some instances where you get to deal with major breakdowns that will cost you thousands of dollars. When this happens, it is much easier for you to sell your vehicle and use its value to buy a better car that does not have any problem.
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