How Maintaining Car Fluids Will Keep You Driving Longer
September 19, 2019
By Sanel NAPA
In order to keep your vehicle running at peak performance, it’s important to check your fluid levels regularly. Checking your vehicle’s fluid levels is simple and easy, but there are many considerations to take into account that you may not know about. In this blog, we go over different car fluids, what they do for your vehicle, and how to keep them properly maintained.
Everybody knows about their vehicle’s oil, it’s one of the most recognizable car fluids out there. Following regular maintenance, protocol means changing your oil every 3,000 to 5,000 miles but consult your owner’s manual to learn more about your vehicle’s specific needs. You may be comfortable changing your oil yourself, or you may bring it to your local mechanic, but anyone can check your oil on your own at home.
To check your vehicle’s oil, first, lift the hood and locate the dipstick. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean, reinsert it into the tube and remove again to check the level of motor oil on the stick. If the oil is below the minimum indicator, then you must add more oil to your car. The oil should appear light, but if the oil is black it should be changed along with the oil filter.
Checking Transmission Fluid
Just like your vehicle’s oil, transmission fluid is a lubricant that helps keep the various parts of the transmission working and undamaged. Given the cost of replacing a transmission, it’s one of the most important car fluids to remain aware of.
When checking your vehicle’s transmission fluid, open your hood, locate the dipstick and remove it. The transmission fluid dipstick should be located at the back of your engine near the firewall. Once removed, wipe the dipstick off, reinsert it, and pull it out again to judge the levels. A low level of fluid is a sign that you should immediately address a transmission specialist.
The color of your transmission fluid should be clear pink. If you see any darkness in your transmission fluid during your check, it’s likely time to make a fluid change and consider changing your filter as well.
Checking Brake Fluid
Each vehicle is different and may have different maintenance recommendations. Consult your owner’s manual to find how often you should be checking your vehicle’s brake fluid. When it comes to brake fluids, once a year is normally sufficient, but different car fluids may have different needs to take into account.
When checking your vehicle’s brake fluid reservoir, first locate and clean the area around the cap with an aerosol cleaner. Any particles that may fall into the fluid could result in a costly service. After opening the cap, check the fluid level on the attached dipstick. If the fluid level is low, bring the vehicle in for servicing soon, otherwise, new issues could arise.
As a general rule of thumb, the coolant should be changed every 30,000 miles or every two years. This car fluid is very important as it keeps your vehicle running as temperatures drop.
Begin by locating the coolant reservoir under your vehicle’s hood. This is the simplest of all the fluids as all you need to do is look at the side of the reservoir. On the side there are markings that show the fluid levels, if the level is too low, just add the proper coolant mix to the reservoir until its back to adequate levels.
Checking Battery Level
Finally, you may not realize it, but your vehicle’s battery also has a fluid level that’s important to maintain. Most batteries have a life span of three-to-five-years, but with proper maintenance, they can last longer.
When checking the battery, you’ll see a condition indicator on the top that changes color based on the batteries current condition.
If the battery does require fluid, pour in just a bit at a time until it reaches the top of the battery grids. When filling your battery, do not use tap or filtered water. Contaminates could make their way into the battery and cause costly servicing issues. Always use distilled water to avoid contamination.
If you looking for help checking or replacing your car fluids, contact or visit the knowledgeable professionals at a Sanel NAPA location near you for more information on all things automotive.
About Sanel NAPA
Since 1920, Sanel NAPA has been a leading auto parts, heavy-duty truck parts, and body shop supplies distributor with over 42 store locations throughout New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine, and Massachusetts. We deliver quality car parts, heavy-duty truck parts, automotive paint and body supplies, and tools and equipment that are durable, dependable, and long-lasting to provide our clientele with the best products and services possible. For more information, call (603) 225-4000 or click to find a store near you.