There are a lot of different fluids involved in keeping a car running, and all of them are crucial. Some are used as lubricants to keep the metal parts from rubbing against each other, and some are coolants to keep your car’s parts from overheating. Here we will walk you through the basics of all the fluids involved in your car, and how often to change them to keep your car running in optimal condition.
Transmission fluid is a lubricant for the transmission, which is what shifts the gears to ensure the proper power is going into the wheels. In automatic transmissions, the fluid also doubles as a coolant. There are different fluids used for different transmissions, and it is usually recommended that you have the fluid changed every 30,000 to 100,000 miles. This number changes depending on the manufacturer, so to find the recommended frequency for your car you should check the manual. If the transmission is not managed well, you could lose fuel economy or, in some cases, lose the ability to drive.
Power steering is what helps you turn the wheels of your car easily. The fluid used in power steering is in the hydraulic pump. It is pressurized to help with the motion created by turning the steering wheel. This is important for parking, driving at low speeds, and handling. Without it, steering would be much harder to do. In some cases, even braking is affected. To keep good control over your car, it is important to keep the power steering fluid changed. We recommend it to be changed every 75,000 to 100,000 miles, or every 2 years.
Coolant in general is a term for something used in cooling something else. In a car, the coolant is a liquid that is responsible for cooling the engine. The coolant is a green or rusty brown liquid that transfers heat from the engine into the radiator. The radiator is responsible for cooling the liquid which then returns to the engine to transfer more heat back into the radiator. If the engine is not properly cooled, it can overheat, which could lead to combustion. To prevent your car from catching fire, most car manufacturers recommend that you change the radiator fluid in your vehicle every 24,000 to 36,000 miles, or every 24 to 36 months.
Brake fluid, true to its name, is a necessity for your brakes. This fluid is used in the hydraulic system that pushes the brake pads into the disc, which slows the wheels down because of the friction created. This friction generates heat, and over time the boiling point of the liquid drops. It is important to change the liquid for this reason, since the friction exposes the liquid to heat that could be bad for the car. However, low brake fluid would also indicate that your brakes are worn out if the fluid level is under the “low” mark. You will want to change your brake pads at the same time as you refill your car with brake fluid.
Engine oil prevents metal-on-metal contact inside the engine, and it helps to cool the engine and cleans dirt and sludge deposits from the engine. This is to prevent friction and wear on the engine parts. An Oil Flush does exactly that: flushes all the gunk out of the oil. If your car is only driven for short trips or more stop-and-go driving, there begins to be deposits building up which prevents the oil from its job. The engine oil flush takes those deposits and pushes them into the oil filter. Many cars don’t need an oil change for at least 5,000 miles. Severe conditions- braking and moving frequently, towing another car, extreme heat, and the like- means your oil should be changed more frequently, the recommendation being every 3,000 miles or so.