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How To Check The Five Essential Fluids In Your Car?

Your car needs as much maintenance and service as any other machine. With its wide range of benefits and convenience, it also brings the responsibility of servicing it regularly. While some of the tasks can only be performed by a trained professional, you can always find a way to ensure your car is in the best health with some DIY tips and tricks.

One of the essential parts of your car is the fluids that run through it to make the car more smooth and functional. When you go for a car service, your mechanic checks and replaces the fluids as and when required, but it is crucial to maintain them between the services also .

Don’t worry! The article will explain to you how to check these fluids and their importance.

Let’s get started.

Engine Oil

The engine is the heart of your car, and you should be extra attentive to the engine oil as it keeps the internal parts lubricated and smooth. If you operate your automobile when the engine oil is below the minimum level, it can have a detrimental effect and can even lead to complete engine failure.

The rate at which your car consumes the engine oil depends upon the age of the car. But it is recommended to check it at least once or twice a month. Make sure you are wearing gloves while handling the motor oil as it is a carcinogen. Always remember to wash your hands thoroughly after the process.

Coming to the ‘how to check it’ part, it is quite a simple process. Pop open the bonnet of your car and find the oil dipstick. The stick usually has a minimum and maximum quantity marked so that you can judge the level easily. Remove the dipstick and wipe it with an old rag. Re-insert the dipstick completely and remove it again, ensuring that you hold it upright or flat. The level at which the dipstick is covered in oil is the engine oil level. This should ideally be somewhere between the minimum and maximum level, but if it is not, add some more engine oil.

Brake Fluid

Brakes are obviously a vital part of the car and its safety. To ensure that your brakes are efficient and well-functioning, you need to make sure the brake fluids are at the required level.

When you press your brake pedal while coming to a halt, the master cylinder attached to the brake pedal pushes the brake fluid through the brake lines. It then travels to the brake callipers where it is utilised to apply the brake and thus bringing your vehicle to a stop.

Before we move on to the checking part, let’s first have a look at the necessary precautions. Brake fluid is termed as hygroscopic which is indicative that it absorbs moisture from the surrounding environment. For this reason, make sure you tightly bolt the reservoirs and open them only when you need to add the fluid. Brake fluid also damages paint, so make sure you don’t spill it anywhere.

Brake fluid is also pretty simple to check. Modern vehicles are equipped with a translucent plastic reservoir which makes it easier to have a look at the fluid level without having to open the system. In case your car does not have a translucent system, you can unscrew the cap and have a look at the fluid. Make sure you wipe off any dirt before opening the reservoir as it can find its way inside the brake fluid. The fluid level should be within about a half-inch of the cap. If it isn’t, make sure you know what kind of brake fluid is added into your car. Additionally, if your brake fluid is extremely dark in colour, go to a car repair garage to get it replaced.

Power Steering Fluid

The upgrade to power steering made handling the car efficient and smooth. These steerings are hydraulic, meaning they use pressurized fluids to give you the effortless turns. If your car uses the power steering system, you need to take a look at the steering fluid regularly.

Checking the power steering fluid is pretty similar to the engine oil check. Open the hood and look for the reservoir. It is usually located on the passenger side and may even have “steering” written on it. Using the dipstick method, clean the stick, and re-insert it. Judge the level of oil based on the minimum and maximum marking on the dipstick. If you find yourself regularly topping the power steering fluid, there might be a leak, and you will have more difficulty in keeping the wheel straight.

Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid, much like your engine oil, lubricates and cools the parts inside the transmission which includes gears, clutches, and valves, even in automatic cars. To keep the transmission running smoothly, the transmission fluid is a necessity. Though it is known as a “lifetime” fluid, you will still need to check it as bad transmission fluid can cause rough shifting, uncontrolled surging, etc.

To check the fluid, follow the same dripstick system as done with engine oils. If your car does not have a dipstick, you will need to take it to a car service centre. Just remember, when checking for the transmission fluid, your engine should be turned on and you have to pay attention not only to the quantity but also to the quality of the fluid. In ideal cases, the fluid is red and doesn’t smell burned. If it’s dark, cloudy, or gritty, that indicates a problem and you need to get your car transmission fluid replaced. Transmissions are complicated pieces of equipment, so if you continue to have problems it’s best to get your car serviced by a professional.

Coolant

Your automobile has a complex mechanism that keeps the parts moving on the inside for the smooth functioning on the outside. Combustion and friction lead to a lot of heat. This is absorbed and cooled down with the help of the coolant, and dissipated through the radiator.

They do not require constant check-up, but if you find that your car overheats a lot, you should probably have a look.

Make sure your engine is cooled down before you decide to check your coolant. Pressurized coolant can spray and cause burns.

To check the coolant in your car, locate the coolant expansion tank and have a look if the coolant is between the minimum and maximum indicators. You can also remove the radiator cap and check if the fluids are up to the designated level. If it is not, you can fill it to the top, but make sure you’re using a coolant that is approved for your vehicle. Wait for a few minutes to allow the radiator to “burp” out any bubbles before screwing the cap back.

Your car needs regular servicing and checking. Make sure you are doing the essential fluids check-up as it helps you avoid a larger cost, later on.

If you have any questions, feel free to comment below, and we will get back to you!

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