Tune-ups are an effective and affordable way to keep the vehicle in good shape. However, in between tune-up services, monitoring the basic fluids of your vehicle can help prevent engine wear or damage, and save money at the auto shop. Today, we at Top Notch Auto Body & Mechanic would like to share the top fluids you should be monitoring in your vehicle.
Car Oil Guide
To keep the moving parts lubricated, the engine requires oil. First take your car for a short drive, then wait about five minutes so it can cool down to check the oil. To the front of the engine, near you is where the dipstick in the oil tank is located under the hood. After pulling the dip stick out, wipe it with a cloth or towel, and then dip it all the way back into the oil tank. Immediately, pull it back out to see where the oil line is. The line indicates the safe levels, if the oil has decreased below the line, be sure to fill it up with the appropriate oil for your vehicle.
Radiator Fluid; Antifreeze or Coolant
To prevent the engine from overheating, it needs radiator fluid. Running low increases the risk of the vehicle overheating and leaving you stranded. The fluid needs to be checked when the car has been driven and not cold. Never remove the cap when the engine is hot or running as the contents of the radiator are pressurized. Use a rag and carefully open the cap to check for coolant, if there is not any near the top, your vehicle needs more.
To avoid many expensive issues from developing, the transmission fluid keeps your transmission lubricated. The opposite dipstick from the oil one is for your transmission fluid. Check the transmission fluid like you would the oil. Not only are you checking the levels but the quality as well. The oil should be pinkish or clear, if there is particles in it or smells burnt, it needs to be cleaned.
Power Steering Fluid
Adding power to your ability to control the car’s wheels, power steering fluid keeps your car’s power steering working by keeping it lubricated. Find the reservoir under the hood to inspect the power steering fluid. You should be able to see the fluid level without opening the cap as most vehicles have an opaque container. Use the dipstick as you would the oil if not to check on the oils.
Your braking power and to keep you from running into other vehicle, the brake fluid is pressurized. Usually near the back of the engine compartment, the brake fluid reservoir can be found. Any dirt in the fluid can be dangerous in your system so make sure to clean off the outside before you open the tank. Unscrew the cap or use a screwdriver to pry off a clamp that may be holding it in place to open the reservoir. Check the levels and the color. If the color is dark, it needs to be replaced.
Auto Air Conditioning Refrigerant
In the warmer seasons, you’ll want to check the coolant, often referenced as Freon or refrigerant. This fluid can be challenging to monitor. However, if the A/C is not working efficiently, the coolant is likely the culprit.
Windshield Washer Fluid
Though it does not keep the vehicle running, windshield-washer fluid makes driving simpler. Checking the levels is usually simple. With a label on the cap like “windshield” or “washer: the container is usually opaque. Though it takes time to deplete, you will likely need it to fill eventually.
Mechanic Auto Repair Tune Up Maintenance Services & More in Dallas, Texas (Just Minutes Away from Addison, Balch Springs, Carrollton, Cedar Hill, Coppell, DeSoto, Duncanville, Farmers Branch, Ferris, Garland, Grand Prairie, Grapevine, Irving, Lancaster, Lewisville, Mesquite, Ovilla, Richardson, Rowlett, Sachse, Seagoville, Sunnyvale & Wylie, TX)
For your next tune-up, where our specialists can ensure your vehicle is in optimal condition and the fluids are clean and leveled appropriately, call Top Notch Auto Body & Mechanic to schedule your appointment.