Regular vehicle maintenance is essential to keeping your car running for years and avoiding breakdowns. An essential part of car maintenance that you can do at home is checking the different fluids under the hood. Here’s what you need to know about inspecting and maintaining the proper fluid levels in your vehicle:
When to Check Your Vehicle’s Fluids
Different parts of your vehicle need to be checked and maintained at varying times throughout the life of the car. We recommend inspecting your car’s fluids once each month to ensure the fluids are clean and at a sufficient level. This is a maintenance check you can easily do yourself at home, but topping off any fluids that are low may require a trip to the store. You can always bring your vehicle in to a Frederick, MD auto repair specialist to have your fluids checked and topped off as needed.
Which Fluids to Check in Your Car
Some of the important fluids in your vehicle that need to be checked and maintained include:
Your brake fluid, also referred to as hydraulic fluid, is necessary to move the components of your car’s braking system. Without brake fluid, your car wouldn’t be able to come to a stop when you push the brake pedal from the driver’s seat.
The master cylinder reservoir is where your car’s brake fluid is housed. This reservoir is likely translucent and has a line that visibly shows you where your fluid level is. If your brake fluid is nearing the “minimum” line, it’s a sign that it needs to be changed and refilled. Brake fluid is typically replaced every 45,000 miles.
If you own a vehicle, you likely already know how important your engine oil is to a smooth and safe ride. Motor oil is needed to add lubrication to your vehicle’s internal engines in order to reduce wear and friction. It also exists to clean the engine from varnish and sludge. Depending on how often you drive and the type of oil you use, your engine will require an oil change, on average, every 5,000-10,000 miles.
You can check your engine oil level by pulling out the dipstick and wiping the oil from the stick with a clean rag. Then, dip the stick back in and pull it out to examine the oil level. If it is low or if the oil looks dirty, it’s time to schedule an oil change with a Frederick, MD auto maintenance specialist.
Just as engine oil lubricates your car’s engine, transmission fluid is there to lubricate the moving parts inside your transmission. This liquid also serves as a coolant and a viscous fluid that allows for the transmission of power from the engine to the transmission. It’s recommended that your transmission fluid be changed every 30,000-60,000 miles.
Transmission fluid can be checked the same way engine oil levels are inspected. The dipstick should have markings that indicate ‘Low’ or ‘Full’. If the fluid is low, has a burnt smell, or is dark brown in color, it should be replaced. Some newer cars do not come with a transmission fluid dipstick, so taking your car into the mechanic is the better choice if this applies to your vehicle.
Additional Fluids to Check
The other fluids that help keep your vehicle’s parts running efficiently and should be checked regularly include:
- Power steering fluid
- Windshield wiper fluid
- Power steering fluid
Let the Pros Check Your Car’s Fluids
Ken’s Automotive & Transmissions is your best resource for Frederick, MD auto repair & maintenance. Our professionally trained mechanics can get your fluids checked quickly and easily, so call us today to schedule regular maintenance and ensure your vehicle’s fluids are full and clean.