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Your car runs on fire, metal, and fluid, and if any of these things are not tuned in properly — then, you’re going to regret it. Most car owners go to extreme lengths to keep their cars roadworthy. But they neglect the most critical aspect involved in maintaining a car, i.e., the vehicle’s fluid.
It is one that is always out of their sight and out of their minds. The reason: it could lead to incidents of repair.
You’ll have to understand that car’s fluids are its lifeblood. Without the oil — your car will not run optimally.
That said, here are seven essential vehicle fluids you must check, as these affect the performance and function of your car:
1. Engine Oil
Engine oil or Motor oil is used to reduce friction and wear on the car’s moving parts. The oil is a combination of antiwear additives, dispersants, and detergents. Also, most lubricant oils also contain corrosion and oxidation inhibitors to prevent the parts from being oxidized. Aside from that, it also helps in clearing the accumulated sludge from the engine.
To check if your cars need engine oil — all you have to do is park the car and let it cool down. Once the engine is calm, open the hood and use the dipstick to check the level of the oil present. While this helps in knowing how much oil is there, it is essential to change the oil regardless. The general rule is to change the oil every 3000 miles (today, 7500 miles) or every three months. Depending on the distance traveled, it is simple to grasp the number of heating cycles.
Moreover, ensure to change the car every three months or so — even if you haven’t used your vehicle much. The reason: over time, lubricants could accumulate contaminants like water, as the engine hasn’t produced heat to vaporize the water. And that water could create problems.
Aside from oil, the oil filter also needs regular replacements. That is why it is imperative to visit only good car services like Black Label Automotive that ensure to change both the engine oil as well as the oil filter. Where most car owners do not bother looking at the manufacturer’s requirements before feeding an engine oil, the Black Label car service is careful about the manufacturer’s requirements. And use motor oil approved by the car manufacturer.
2. Transmission Fluid
Essential in vehicles with self-shifting or automatic transmission features, transmission fluid is critical for valve operation, brake band friction, and the torque converter. In all, it helps the car gears to run smoothly. Now located in a closed system, the new-generation cars are designed to run well without revising transmission fluid. But it is ideal changing the fluid when the color changes or gives a charcoal-like smell.
3. Power Steering Fluid
Used to lubricate the car’s power steering system, Power Steering Fluid provides smooth operation and allows easy handling of the vehicle. It ensures that the parts needed to steer and turn the vehicles, i.e., hoses, pistons, valves, and power steering pumps to work correctly. Located under the hood, at the passenger’s side, regular changing of the power steering fluid reduces the effort to turn the front wheels.
4. Radiator Fluid
Radiator fluid helps cool down the engine by drawing heat from it and distributing it thoroughly. Of course, if you do not check it regularly — the engine will overheat and damage itself.
The good thing is any car owner could effortlessly check the radiator’s fluid level. All you have to do is pop the hood and hover to the radiator fluid tank. If you could see the radiator, it does not need the coolants. However, in case you couldn’t find any sign of the coolant — it is best to refill the antifreeze coolant.
5. Brake Fluid
While the capability of the car pacing at high speeds is what makes them the talk of the town, its ability to come to a halt is also vital. The brake system in automobiles is hydraulic and relies on the fluid to function properly. And the low levels of the brake fluid could be dangerous as it affects the stopping performance immensely.
Present in the back section of the engine compartment, you could change the brake fluid — but to avoid the accumulation of contaminants — it is best to opt for a car mechanic to change it.
6. A/C Coolant
Do you notice that the air conditioning is not performing in its optimal condition? It could be because of no coolant present to cool down to pumped air. If you have an A/C gauge and Freon charging kit — you could check the pressure. In case it is less than 30 PSI — refrigerant is required.
7. Windshield Washer Fluid
If your car is not popping washer fluid, open the hood and look for a transparent container (usually, with blue fluid). Refill the bottle with washer fluid.
Some of these fluids — like the windshield washer fluid and radiator fluid — are simple to change yourself. But when opting to change fluids like A/C Coolant, Brake-fluid, and transmission oils — going to a professional is the best choice.