What 3 Fluids should be regularly checked in a car ?
The next part of our top hints for car maintenance series is which fluids should be checked regularly. Owners who maintain correct levels will find their car runs smoother, has less mechanical issues and it can extend the life of the car. It’s a good habit to have your car fluids checked 2x a year by a certified mechanic, before summer and again before the winter. Another plus to having a mechanic check out your car fluids is it provides them an opportunity to notice other issues before they cause problems. This can save you money on a more expensive fix If you are going on a long driving trip have your fluids checked prior to leaving. Today we will talk about the top 3 fluids to check.
1. Motor Oil – We can’t stress this enough! Motor oil should be checked at least 1x a month, if it’s a dark/blackish color it needs to be changed. If its low, more oil needs to be added, be careful with this as too much oil can cause problems. Oil lubricates the moving parts in a cars crankcase; this prevents the high heat and friction during engine operation from destroying valves, pistons and other parts. An engine without oil will seize in a short time frame, rendering it unusable. Motor oil needs to be changed periodically, speak to your mechanic to see what schedule is best for your driving habits and car type. At C & G we recommend 3000 miles for cars using regular oil and 7500 for cars using synthetic oil.
2. Brake Fluid – in terms of passenger/driver safety brake fluid is most important. Brake fluid, like transmission fluid, is part of a sealed system. You can check the brake fluid reservoir to insure proper levels. If you find that it is repeatedly low that is indicative of another issue in the brake line. Take the car in to a certified mechanic. A leaky brake system is not something to be ignored!
3. Coolant/Antifreeze – Coolant does 3 things – The first is to protect the aluminum engine parts; the second is to keep the engine from over heating and the third is to keep the engine from freezing. Check this only when the car is cool – not right after driving and the car should be off. Coolant typically is a 50/50 mix of water and coolant. In southern states very often it’s just water. This needs to be adjusted if the forecast is for temperatures to dip to freezing or below freezing.
Very often simple things such as checking fluid levels as part of a good maintenance schedule as outlined above can add to the life expectancy of your vehicle.