How to Check Your 6 Vehicle Fluids
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Vehicle fluids keep your vehicle going and it is vital to check all of your vehicle’s fluids at regular intervals several times per year. You need to keep all six fluids in the correct levels to keep your vehicle running smoothly and ensuring its longevity of life. You should set a schedule for checking each of these fluids and pay attention to any noises, odors or random, strange things that indicate a problem with your vehicle.
Engine Oil Vehicle Fluids
Taking the time to check your vehicle fluids levels is an essential part of vehicle maintenance. Your engine runs on several vehicle fluids and components, including oil, which keeps everything in the engine moving smoothly. Checking these fluids can prevent costly repair bills and provide peace of mind while you drive.
During the winter, your vehicle’s fluids can become compromised due to harsh conditions, especially if you live in an extreme weather environment, but springtime provides the perfect time to check them. The fluids should be clear and free of debris. You can use a clean, white paper towel to check them.
Transmission Vehicle Fluids
Having the proper transmission fluid level is important for the proper operation of your vehicle. The fluid is bright red in color and should be free of bubbles, metallic particles and other deposits. If there are any strange floaters, the fluid must be replaced and reevaluated soon after to determine if there is a glaring issue to investigate further. If the fluid appears thick or burnt in color, it’s time to take it to our shop.
To check the transmission vehicle fluids, you need to access the transmission dipstick. This dipstick can be located under the hood of your vehicle. It’s different than the engine oil dipstick and it’s typically located further back, closer to the firewall. The dipstick is marked with a specific color and a transmission symbol. Make sure the engine is warm before you remove the dipstick and pull it out slowly so that you don’t get any transmission fluid on yourself or the ground.
There are several ways to check the brake fluid in your vehicle. It is important to keep the brake fluid level in the reservoir at a constant level. If you notice the level dropping below the “add” mark, it is a sign that brake fluid is leaking. A leak in the brake system can also be caused by worn or corroded brake hoses.
To test your brake fluid level, drive your vehicle around a block to make sure it is full. If you notice a low level in the reservoir, add brake fluid and wipe away any spilled brake fluid. A low brake fluid level may indicate a brake system problem and could result in unsafe driving.
Engine Coolant Vehicle Fluids
Engines require an adequate amount of coolant in order to run efficiently. This liquid is vital to the engine, especially during the colder months, because it prevents corrosion and scale buildup. In addition, a low level of coolant can lead to serious problems with the engine. This is why it is essential to check engine coolant regularly in your vehicle.
You can do this by looking at the cap on the radiator. If it is loose or has visible particles, this indicates that the coolant level in your car is low. Alternatively, you can check the level by using a flashlight. If the coolant is brown, it may have a few particles floating around.
Windshield Washer Vehicle Fluids
Before you can wash your windshield, you should check the windshield washer fluid reservoir. It should be opaque and have a black screw lid. The washer fluid is a mixture of alcohols, most notably methanol. It also contains small amounts of antifreeze and ethanol, which all work to keep your windshield clean.
If you notice a pause in the flow of fluid, you may have low fluid. You may also hear a whining sound from the electric pump. You can buy many different versions of windshield washer fluid, but we really love this one from Amazon.
Battery Vehicle Fluids
You should check your battery fluid levels every three months. The water level should be one-half to one-half inch above the tops of the plates and one-eighth of an inch below the bottoms of the filler tubes. The electrolyte level should also not be lower than this.
To test the water level in a battery, open your hood and look inside. If you find that the water level is low, add more distilled water until you find the fill line. Replace the battery cover and close the hood. Keeping the water level in your battery at the proper level will help you prolong its life and prevent costly car repairs.