As a car owner, there are various things you need to keep in mind. One such thing that requires your attention most is the fluids that a car needs to function properly.
There are a number of car fluids that are required to keep the car moving. Fluids play a vital role in almost every function of your car.
To keep your automobile in its shape and best condition for long, it is important that you keep an eye on the essential car fluids. You should check by yourself whether oil change and engine oil replacement are required. Keeping the fluids at proper level increases the longevity of your car and ensures smooth driving experience.
While it may sound easy, maintenance of car fluids can be a cumbersome routine, especially when there are different types of fluids are involved. To help you understand, we have put together a list of essential fluids that ensure the smooth and healthy functioning of your car.
Keep track of these car fluids to maintain a safer and consistent driving experience –
One of the most important fluids that run in your car is Engine Oil. It helps in reducing the friction between the moving parts of the engine and ensures that everything is performing in a smooth and efficient manner.
Technically, engine oil protects the engine’s moving parts from harsh conditions and abrasives, like sludge accumulation, high pressures, extreme temperatures, tremendous heat friction, and more.
Experts suggest that a periodic manual engine oil level check should be performed every couple of weeks, and especially, before a long trip.
Make sure you are using the recommended engine oil that suits the engine of your car. For this, read through the user manual that came with your vehicle.
To check the engine oil by yourself, park the car on a level surface and make sure that the engine is turned off and is not hot. Cool engine gives more accurate reading. Next, find the oil dipstick and wipe off any oil with a cloth. Put the dipstick back in and when you remove it again, you’ll be able to see the level of engine oil present in your car.
Another thing to check is the quality of engine oil. If the color of engine oil has changed from amber to milky or appears to contain any thick deposits, this means the oil is contaminated and should be replaced.
The purpose of transmission oil is similar to that of engine oil. It protects and cools the components inside the transmission.
There are various types of transmission fluids. Hence, it is important to read the owner’s manual carefully and use the fluid that the manufacturer recommends suitable for your vehicle.
Unlike automatic transmission cars, most manual transmissions do not have a dipstick to check transmission fluid. Manual vehicles require a professional mechanic to change the transmission fluid.
So, this may only be necessary for the event of a service or repair, as transmission fluid is usually factory-filled and does not require a top-up. Changing the transmission fluid yourself is not recommended, as it could be unsafe to work for untrained individuals.
More than half of the energy produced in your car is converted into heat. An engine coolant absorbs the heat and expels it through the exhaust.
This way the coolant helps prevent the engine from overheating. This fluid also protects different metal parts and non-metallic elastomers, such as plastic and other parts within the motor and cooling circuit from heating.
Coolant also saves your car engine’s delicate parts from frosting during the harsh spell of winter. It takes about 5-10 years before a coolant change is needed.
Ensure that your engine is not hot before checking the coolant level. One should not attempt to open the radiator cap if the engine is running or hot. It can cause severe burns and injuries.
Once the engine is cooled down, observe the level of fluid using the maximum and minimum markers on the coolant tank. If the fluid is below the minimum mark, using a cloth remove the radiator cap carefully and refill the coolant tank. It is crucial that you use the right grade coolant for your vehicle.
Another essential fluid your car needs is brake fluid. It is responsible for the proper functioning of your car’s brakes or stopping mechanism.
When brake pedal is pressed, the master cylinder attached to the brake pedal moves the brake fluid through the brake lines and into the brake calipers or wheel cylinders. And this is how brakes of your car work!
Over time, the brake fluid becomes contaminated with water due to the fact that it is hygroscopic. Brake fluid should be changed as per the recommendations of your repair or service engineer or every two years.
In most cars, brake fluid reservoir is located in the engine bay. Look at the color and level of the fluid. The fluid should be transparent – not cloudy or dark.
Make certain that the level of the fluid is between the minimum and maximum marks. Use the right type of brake fluid, if there is a need to refill. If the level of brake fluid has dropped in your car, get the brake checked too; it might damaged the brake pads.
Power Steering Fluid
This is a vital fluid that aids in maintaining the control and balance of your car’s wheels. Power steering fluid helps in transmitting the power to the steering system.
Experts recommend changing this fluid after two years or after driving every 80,000 kilometres. This will help avoid the shaky feel while driving and provide a smooth driving experience.
Check the owner’s manual to locate the power steering reservoir and to know the type of fluid you’ll need. There are level markings on the side of most reservoirs. Some reservoirs have both ‘cold’ and ‘hot’ markings.
Use the cold reading, if the vehicle has not been driven for at least 8 hours. Otherwise, use the hot reading. To refill the power steering fluid, use a funnel and pour the fluid slowly into the reservoir. Do not overfill the tank.
Windscreen Washer Fluid
Windscreen washer fluid does not have any effect on the performance of the vehicle. Though, it helps increase the driving experience for sure.
This fluid is used for cleaning the windscreen while driving.
Windscreen washer fluid is the easiest fluid to change. To change the fluid, open the car bonnet, and look for the washer fluid reservoir. It is usually located at the back of the engine bay. Now, pour the windscreen washer fluid into the reservoir until it’s full and close the cap.
The aforementioned pointers explain how to keep a check on the level of different types of car fluids. You can check the 6 essential fluids in your car and ensure that they are in proper level to make your car last longer and drive safer and better.
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