Just like you, your car requires regular, preventative care to stay healthy. What’s one of the easiest things you can do to ensure your vehicle runs smoothly? Having your fluids checked and changed when required.

Did you know most automotive repair facilities where you have service done will check your vehicle’s fluids between visits for free? Do you know how many fluids need to be checked or how often they need to be changed?

Everyone knows engine oil in his or her vehicle needs to be replaced! Below is a brief introduction to other important fluids, as well as engine oil, required to make your vehicle run properly.

Engine Oil

Once upon a time manufacturers recommended you check your oil every time you fill up with gas, but with most modern cars you’re safe having the levels checked once a month.

The more important question is, how often should the engine oil be replaced? The answer depends on the car, type of oil and oil filter used, as well as your driving habits. You will need to consult your owner’s manual to find out your vehicle’s recommended oil change interval. Your trusted automotive repair facility will be able to help you determine the type of driver you are or what your driving habits are.

Differential Oil

If you have a rear wheel drive vehicle, your differential will need periodic service. When your vehicle turns a corner, your inside wheels don’t have as far to travel as the outside wheels. The differential oil in your vehicle is what allows the wheels to spin at different rates.

Just like engine oil, differential oil needs to be changed at regular intervals. Consult your owner’s manual to know how often the differential oil in your vehicle needs to be changed. Knowing these intervals and maintaining your vehicle per the manufacturer’s recommendations will help ensure your vehicle provides you with many trouble-free driving miles.

Brake Fluid

You won’t stop very well without it. Brake fluid is used in hydraulic brake and hydraulic clutch applications. It turns the force you put on the brake pedal into the pressure that applies the brakes and stops the vehicle.

Most brake fluids used today are glycol-ether based, and most automotive professionals agree that glycol-based brake fluid should be serviced every 1–2 years or 24k miles. Ask your local repair facility about the condition of your brake fluid.

Power Steering Oil

Most vehicles these days have a hydraulic power-steering system. Whether you steer left or right, it’s a smooth turn either way. However, if there isn’t enough power steering fluid, steering becomes difficult, and the delicate hardware inside the power steering rack can be damaged.

With some vehicles, power-steering fluid level can only be checked accurately after the engine has been running and sometimes the steering wheel needs to be turned, while the car idles. Your local automotive repair facility can help!

Ask your service provider to check the condition of your power steering fluid and service it if the mileage and condition warrant.

Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid is what keeps your transmission smoothly transferring power from your engine to the wheels. Monitor its levels monthly and make sure you have it replaced every 50,000-100,000 miles. Just like other fluids in your vehicle, this mileage range depends on your manufacturer’s recommendations and driving conditions.

You should have your transmission fluid checked every time your engine oil is changed at a minimum. Your transmission fluid should never be low! Have it checked regularly by your local professional.

Coolant

If your engine’s coolant level is low it may overheat. You can typically check this fluid by removing the radiator cap. Note: Never check the coolant when the vehicle is hot, or when your car is running! Add more as needed, but add the same type of coolant already in the reservoir.

Coolant levels should be checked at least twice a year, winter and summer, and replaced on average every 2-3 years.

Now You Know!

Monitoring, maintaining, and changing your vehicle’s fluids should be done according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Follow these, and you’ll be improving and protecting your vehicle’s performance.

To learn more about protecting the longevity of your vehicle, visit Blog.MightyAutoParts.com, the leading provider of quality auto parts to honest technicians from coast-to-coast.