Learning how to change every fluid in your car is an extremely useful skill set that helps you save a ton of money on labor costs. This ultimate guide provides you with a step-by-step procedure on how to perform:
- Oil change
- Transmission fluid change
- Power steering fluid flush
- Coolant flush
- Brake flush
- Differential fluid change
- Suspension system greasing
- Windshield wiper fluid replacement
Your vehicle consists of a list of important fluids that perform important jobs. These fluids need to be replaced at some point to maintain the right characteristics and perform the jobs properly. Failing to replace these fluids results in many problems that range from as simple as running out of windshield wiper to complete engine damage due to overheating.
Once you read this guide, you'll be able to perform an oil change, transmission fluid change, coolant flush, power steering flush, brake fluid flush, differential fluid change, suspension system greasing, and windshield wiper fluid topping. Since walking through all these processes can take a long time, we decided to provide you with the details in two different parts. Therefore, this article covers part #1 of the ultimate guides on how to change every fluid in your car.
How often should I change fluids in my car?
Before we dive into the details about “how to change every fluid in your car?” You must understand that change frequency is different significantly depending on the type of fluid. For instance, you might need to change the oil more frequently than flushing the brake fluid.
Therefore, you must find the right guidance about the fluid change frequencies. Your most accurate source would be your vehicle's owner’s manual. In your vehicle’s manual, locate the maintenance and specifications section. You'll find detailed information about the type of fluid you must use, the amount of fluid, and the frequency of change.
You can find details about frequencies in the same little section, and the frequencies are typically listed in either miles or kilometers, depending on your system. For instance, in some vehicles, you'll find that coolant replacement should happen once every 45,000 miles. However, oil change might be recommended once every 5000 miles.
How to change every fluid in your car? Part #1
It is important to note that to change many fluids in your vehicle, you will most likely need to raise the car here; therefore, you'll need to have a good Jack and Jack stand and learn how to securely and safely raise your vehicle without causing any issues. Also, consider engaging the handbrakes and using a small brick to secure your wheels and prevent your car from rolling.
Also, you want to make sure that your car is leveled and raised from both sides similarly because this helps you check the fluid levels correctly and prevent any mistakes. Therefore, consider using a level to tests.
Let's take a closer look at what automotive experts recommend for fluid change in your vehicle:
- Oil change
The change of the engine oil, follow these steps:
- Prepare the necessary material, including the engine oil, the oil filter, the filter wrench, the sockets, A bucket to catch old oil, a funnel to add oil to the reservoir, Safety glasses, and gloves to protect you.
- Open the oil reservoir cap to allow air to get inside the system and help you drain the old oil fast without waiting for a long time.
- Locate the oil drain plug and remove it using a 16-millimeter socket. Note that before you remove the plug, you'll need to have a bucket underneath it to collect any old oil and prevent it from reaching the ground.
- Allow the oil to drain completely inside the bucket.
- If your car has a drain washer, consider placing it if it's lying in good condition before putting back the drain plug. If the drain plug is learning new condition, you'll need to replace it as well.
- Use the restroom again to tighten the drain plug to prevent any oil draining once you fill your oil reservoir.
- Locate your vehicle's oil filter and, using the oil filter removal tool, loosen it a little bit and then use your hand to take it out while keeping the bucket underneath the location of the oil filters to prevent oil from getting to the ground.
- Inspect the oil filter housing and ensure that the filter is not stuck to it.
- Compare the new folder to the old one to confirm that you purchased the right one. Then, fill the new oil filter partially with some oil to prevent getting into situations where your engine runs dry, which could cause damages.
- Consider rubbing the oil filter ring with some engine oil to prevent situations where it gets stuck to the housing.
- Then, insert the oil filter in the housing and tighten it by hand. It's recommended that you don't over-tighten the oil filter to make it easier to remove it next time. In addition, some experts recommend marking the mileage when you change the oil filter. This way, you'll know when it's the next oil change do.
- Add the required type and amount of engine oil to the oil reservoir. Then, allow your engine to run for a couple of minutes to have the oil run through the system.
- Finally, check the engine oil to confirm that your vehicle has the right level.
- After completing the oil change, it is recommended that you take a closer look underneath your vehicle and confirm that there are no oil leaks that could cause problems down the road. You could also give your vehicle a quick disk drive to allow the oil to run through the system and monitor for any leaks.
- If you detected any sorts of leaks, you could go ahead and tighten the location that might cause the leak. For example, if the drain plug does not tighten, you might see some oil dripping around it. Also, you might see some oil leaks around the oil filter housing.
- Transmission fluid change
To change your transmission fluid, follow these steps:
- Prepare the required materials and elements, including the right fluid as specified new vehicles owner’s manual, a pump, a socket, a transmission fluid fill adapter, and a bucket to collect the old fluid.
- Locate the transmission drain plug and remove it using the socket.
- Allow transmission fluid to drain in the bucket completely.
- Put the drain plug back and tighten it using the socket
- To determine the amount of transmission fluid you need, you can dream the old fluid in a small gallon or jar to get you an idea about how much exactly you will have to add.
- Adding the new transmission fluid is not like the way we did it for an oil change. First, you'll have to locate the inner fill bolt, which is located inside the drain plug.
- Remove this bolt using a T30 torx and once it comes out, use the transmission fluid fill adapter to fill the required amount of transmission fluid.
- Once the adapter is securely inserted inside the drain plug, you can go ahead and use the pump to drain the required amount of transmission fluid until you fill it.
- After filling the transmission fluid, the next step is to allow your vehicle to idle for somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes. This way, your transmission reaches the required optimum temperature level.
- Allowed transmission fluid to go through all the gears by switching to all different years one at a time.
- Go underneath the vehicle and try removing the pump hose to check how the transmission fluid is coming out. When you don't have enough transmission fluid, typically, the adapter won't show any fluid coming out. On the other hand, if you have too much transmission fluid, a stream of fluid will be coming continuously. So what you'll be looking for is some fast spraying off transmission fluid coming out of the adapter.
- Once the transmission fluid level looks good to you, you can go ahead and put back the inner filler bolt and tighten it to a point where it's not over tightened so you can remove it the next time smoothly without any problem.
- Give your vehicle access drive and see if you're seeing any problems or warning lights. Also, consider looking underneath the vehicle and confirming that there are no transmission fluid leaks that could cause issues down the road.
- Power steering fluid flush
To change your power steering fluid, follow these simple steps:
- Prepare all necessary equipment and material, including the power steering fluid specified by the new vehicles owner’s manual, and any pump that helps you pump the fluid inside the power steering system.
- Locate the steering pump fluid reservoir. Typically, this reservoir has a cap that is marked with a steering wheel. If you have a hard time locating it, you can always refer to the vehicle's owner’s manual for better guidance.
- Using a dry paper towel, clean around there is a war to prevent any dirt or contaminant from getting inside the steering wheel and causing some issues.
- Remove the filter that you'll find immediately after getting the cap out.
- Using the pump, pump out all the old steering fluid and a small bucket. Then, pour the new steering fluid inside. There is a war using a funnel until it's filled to the maximum level.
- Put the filter and the cap back and tighten them securely.
- Then, move your steering wheel back and forth to allow the new steering fluid to run through the steering system. By doing so, your vehicle will suck the new fluid and kick out the old fluid to the reservoir.
- Then, repeat the same process at least four times to completely flush out your power steering fluid and get rid of all the old fluid completely. Note that you can flush it out as much as you want, depending on the fluid's status that you take it out.
- You can always compare the flushed-out power steering fluid to the new one and see the difference between the two. Therefore, you need the final fluid status to be as close as possible to the new fluid.
Learning one or two things about maintaining your vehicle helps you save a ton of time and money. Since your car contains a lot of fluids, you must understand why it is important to change these fluids and how this is done. If you can do this by yourself, you save a lot of money on labor costs.
This article serves as part #1 on “how to change every fluid in your car?” It's highlighted a step-by-step procedure for performing an oil change, transmission fluid flush, and power steering fluid change.
Note that if your vehicle has major mechanical problems, it might not be worth your effort trying to maintain the fluid levels because no matter how much time and effort you please, you'll still deal with these mechanical problems. Therefore, it could be the right time to sell your car and use its money to buy a better vehicle.
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