If you are not mechanically inclined, when it comes to car fluids, and most of the other parts of your vehicle, you may find yourself overwhelmed. To keep your car, truck, or SUV on the road, the vehicle’s fluids are an important part of its operation and should be checked on a regular basis. To help you keep your vehicle running smoothly, we have put together a review of the most important fluids for your vehicle, so you can know when and what to check.
Why are your Vehicle’s Fluids Important?
As we have reviewed before, keeping your vehicle’s engine in good condition is key to keeping your Phoenix car, truck, or SUV on the road and functioning as it should. Your vehicle’s fluids are a main component of ensuring all parts of the engine work as intended.
A recent survey by the Car Care Council, found that around 22% of cars had low or dirty engine oil, 17% had low coolant levels, and 27% had low or contaminated washer fluid. When was the last time you checked the fluids in your vehicle?
It is important to maintain proper vehicle fluid levels, as they play a vital role in almost every function of your car.
What are the Most Important Fluids for your Vehicle?
While all of your vehicle’s fluids are important, there are some that your car, truck, or SUV rely on more than others and they should be checked on a regular basis. Let’s review.
- Engine Oil: How often you should have an oil change depends on your vehicle and your driving habits; however, oil changes are an essential part of your vehicle’s maintenance schedule and your oil should be checked regularly. The engine oil in your vehicle keeps all engine parts lubricated to ensure that they are able to move and function as they should. Check your owner’s manual to know when it is recommended for you to have an oil change on your specific car or truck and you should follow that schedule. Proactively changing a vehicle’s oil and filter helps the engine continue to work at its best and helps to prevent engine repairs.
- Transmission Fluid: Your transmission relies on transmission fluid to lubricate the moving parts inside your transmission. This slippery liquid is optimized for the special requirements of your vehicle, such as valve operation, brake band friction, torque converter, and gear lubrication. How often you should change your transmission fluid, like engine oil, depends on the vehicle and how you drive and use your car, truck, or SUV.
- Engine Coolant: The cooling system in an engine helps it to maintain its internal temperatures and transfer excessive heat out of the engine. The cooling system uses coolant (antifreeze) to keep the engine cool in the warmer months and to prevent it from freezing in the colder months. If the coolant in your vehicle gets low, the car may overheat, which will damage the engine and could cause other issues.
- Brake Fluid: Brake fluid allows the hydraulics in your vehicle’s braking system to perform effectively. Low brake fluid can lead to poor stopping performance and potentially dangerous situations. It’s very important to keep brake fluid levels adequate. Check your brake fluid immediately if your brake pedal feels mushier than usual, or if you experience a decrease in stopping action.
- Power Steering Fluid: Power steering fluid lubricates your vehicle’s power steering system, providing smooth operation and allowing you to easily turn and drive your car, truck, or SUV. If you are low on power steering fluid, the vehicle’s steering wheel will have a tendency to vibrate and shift, and will be hard to turn.
- Windshield Washer Fluid: Windshield washer fluid is more important than most drivers realize, as without it, you may have your vision obscured and not be able to see. How often you need to check your windshield washer fluid depends on how frequently you use your windshield wipers and the spray. You should always ensure you have adequate amounts of washer fluid, especially when you prepare your vehicle for a road trip.
While we have just reviewed a few of the most important fluids for your vehicle, it is important to check all of your car, truck, or SUV’s lubricants and fluids on a regular basis.