Why Basic Fluid Checks Are So Important
Acting as the lifeblood of your vehicle, your vehicle’s internal fluids keep your most important systems and parts properly lubricated, working efficiently, and at the proper temperature and with the correct amount of power. That’s why it’s so important to regularly check, top-up and replace your fluids. There are many vital fluids in your vehicle, from engine oil to coolant to brake fluid and more, all crucial in the proper running of your vehicle, and all to be consistently monitored. Read on with us at Southside Dodge as we go over some of the most important fluids found in your vehicle, and why it’s so essential to check them.
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Only behind fuel as the most important fluid in your vehicle, engine oil is the most common fluid change performed, so many are aware of how vital it is. Engine oil works to lubricate the metal parts inside your engine, ensuring that a powerful system can work as it should. After about 3,000 to 5,000 miles (3 months or so) your oil will start to break down, becoming more viscous and sludge-like, affecting its ability to operate as intended. Consult with your owner’s manual to get the exact recommendation for your specific vehicle as to when you should get your oil changes.
Transmission fluid helps to protect and cool the gears in your transmission. These gears in your transmission need to rotate freely and without hassle in order to reach the force needed to move your vehicle forward. If very low on fluid, the harder it will be for the vehicle to move. Your transmission is a major part of your vehicle, so ensuring you’re always up-to-date on its fluid level is a vital part of vehicle ownership. Check your transmission fluid every 6 months.
Coolant (also known as antifreeze) does what’s hinted at right in its name, it helps to cool the engine. Engines run hot, but they can’t operate at that high of a temperature forever, they need to be regulated, and that’s where coolant comes in. Coolant goes through the engine system and prevents it from overheating, regulating the temperature inside and preventing overheating that could cause irreparable damage. Regularly check your antifreeze level, and help protect against future engine problems that can be easily defended by maintaining proper amounts of coolant. You should at least be checking your coolant before the major seasons of summer and winter.
It doesn’t need much explanation to outline why brakes are so important to your vehicle, and thus why brake fluid is essential. Hydraulic brakes utilize brake fluids in the line that moves toward the pads when you press down on the pedal, signalling for them to clamp down and slow your vehicle. Brakes need to work on a dime, there’s no room for delay, so if you feel anything off from your brakes, it’s time to get your brake fluid checked. As with all fluids, brake fluid will break down over time, but also make sure to check any lines that could also possibly be rusted or damaged, which could spell even more problems. Getting your brake fluid checked during every oil change is a good habit to get into.
Power Steering Fluid
Luckily, our modern vehicles have power steering, which allows us to easily navigate in your vehicle at any speed. These systems are hydraulic, though, which thus means fluids under high pressure cause it to work, allowing you to turn the wheel with ease. Mobility and maneuvering in your vehicle is obviously essential and should be set aside to check once a month to ensure it’s at a proper level and that you’re getting the best performance possible.
Windshield Wiper Fluid
We all know what it’s like living in Alberta in the spring, the snow finally melts away, only to leave our roads dirty and grimy with puddles and slush that easily kick up into our windshields. It can use up a lot of windshield wiper fluid dealing with all of that mess, making it an especially important time to keep up on your wiper fluid. Of course, that’s just one time of the year, but is still used consistently throughout the other months, and is vital to maintaining a safe ride. It’s simple to maintain, just keep a couple jugs on hand so you can easily top up your fluid when you notice it getting low.
While these are some tips on how you can keep your vehicle’s fluids topped up and why it’s so important, if you ever need any assistance regarding simple checks, top-ups or total flushes, at Southside Dodge we’re always here to help. Our service department are experts in fluid maintenance, ready and waiting to answer any questions you may have.