Monitoring your vehicle’s fluid levels can protect against premature mechanical failure. While most drivers are knowledgeable about engine oil, you will find other fluids used in modern cars. Regardless of which sort of vehicle you drive, you need to inspect these fluids on a regular basis. This report shows six significant fluids under the hood which motorists should check.
Regularly inspecting and topping off fluids is vital to keeping your vehicle roadworthy. According to research by R. L Polk, the average age of U.S. automobiles has increased to 11.6 years. In addition to regularly scheduled maintenance, you can extend your car’s life by checking a few fluids under the hood. Specifically, there are six fluids in your car you ought to check on a regular basis.
See also: 6 Signs Your Car’s Heater Core Needs Replacing
Engine oil is a lubricating fluid that reduces friction inside the engine’s moving parts. It’s kept in a metal container, called an oil pan, underneath the motor. If your car is running, a pump circulates oil in the pan throughout the engine’s crankcase. As it travels through the crankcase, the oil collects sediment salts generated from combustion and conveys these impurities back into the oil pan. For this to occur, however, your car has to have the ideal amount of motor oil.
Based on how big your vehicle’s engine, it might require anywhere from four to six quarts. You can see if your vehicle is low on engine oil by checking the dipstick. Look around the surface of the engine for a long, slender stick. Now reinsert the dipstick and remove it again to check the oil level. This typically will not show how many quarts of oil are on your engine. Instead, most dipsticks have a low and higher level, indicating if you have too little or too much oil.
Read Next: How to Get Better Gas Mileage and Improve Fuel Economy
Transmission fluid is similar to motor oil, but it is made to lubricate your car’s transmission rather than the engine. Whether it’s manual or automatic, transmissions comprise hundreds of moving parts. Without sufficient transmission fluid, these components will grind against each other, causing internal degradation in addition to heat.
The way of checking transmission fluid changes based on the sort of transmission your car has. If it’s an automatic transmission, you can check it by pulling the dipstick on the transmission. When it’s manual, you will most likely have to get into your transmission from under your car and remove the fill plug using a socket wrench. Some manual transmissions use a dipstick, but most use a fill plug beneath the transmission which you could pull and check to determine whether it is low on fluid.
Related: What to Do When Your Car Engine Overheats
Coolant is a significant automotive fluid that protects your motor from heat in addition to freezing temperatures. Composed of a 50-50 ratio of ethylene glycol to water that is bottled, it is pushed through your vehicle’s radiator, heater core, hoses, and motor. If it travels through the motor, coolant collects heat. It then travels through the radiator where the heat is released, reducing the temperature of the coolant until it travels back through the motor. And since it contains half ethylene glycol, coolant does not freeze at 32 degrees like water. Because of this, maintaining your car topped off with coolant during winter can protect your motor from freeze-related cracking.
Some cars are designed using a telling light which illuminates on the dashboard once the coolant level is low. But even if your vehicle has this attribute, you need to check the coolant level manually so you are not driving around with no or low coolant. To do so, park your vehicle on a flat, even surface and pop the hood. After allowing the motor to cool down, find the radiator in the front end of your vehicle and try to find a cap on top of it. Put a heavy duty cloth or rag over the radiator cap and turn it counterclockwise until it pops off. After that, you can look at the top of your radiator to find out how much coolant it’s.
There is no such thing as overfilling a radiator with an excessive amount of coolant. To the contrary, your radiator ought to be filled to the top with coolant. Missing coolant will hamper your vehicle’s cooling capabilities and might lead to air pockets becoming stuck in the engine or around the thermostat.
Also Read: 5 best Cars For Older Drivers
A practical automotive brake system demands fluid to transfer the power of pressing the brake pedal into the wheels’ brake pads. Without sufficient brake fluid, your car might not stop when you press on the brake pedal. Consequently, you should check your car’s brake fluid frequently. Most cars have a plastic reservoir where brake fluid is saved. With your hood open and the engine warm, find this reservoir and scrutinize the side to see where the liquid is relative to the”low” and “high” markers on the face of the reservoir.
If your vehicle is low on brake fluid, you can top it off by pouring additional brake fluid to the reservoir. Just make sure you use the identical sort of brake fluid advocated t your vehicle’s manufacturer. It is safe to combine DOT3, DOT4 and DOT5.1 brake fluid because they’re all glycol based, but you can not mix DOT5 with one of these fluids because DOT5 is silicone based.
See also: City Car Buyers Guide
Power Steering Fluid
Power steering fluid is a sort of hydraulic fluid which applies pressure to a piston. As you turn the wheel, pressure transfers to the proper side of the piston, letting you easily steer. If your vehicle is low on power steering fluid, then you will need to exert intense force to turn the wheel, which could result in an incident. Moreover, the lack of power steering fluid may cause the pump to wash out and overheat.
Power steering fluid is typically stored in a reservoir like that of brake fluid. To check the level, allow your vehicle to idle for five to ten minutes and have a look at the side of your power steering fluid reservoir. You ought to see the fluid level within the reservoir in addition to a”low” and”high” mark on the side. If the reservoir is metal or not transparent, it needs to have a dipstick you can pull to confirm the level.
Read: Mechanic Rip Off Report
Also called wiper fluid, windshield fluid is a cleaning liquid that is used to wash dirt, debris, and insects away from the windshield. It’s typically kept in a plastic reservoir in the engine bay. If your windshield is dirty, you can engage sprayers on the hood of your car to wash it off with windshield fluid.
Windshield fluid is not as crucial to your car’s health as other fluids mentioned here. When you run out of windshield fluid, then it will not lead to any elements to fail. You just won’t have the ability to use the sprayers to wash your windshield. However, when you’re struggling to see through a dirty windshield while driving, this could result in an incident. So, keep your windshield fluid topped off.
You might like: 8 Ways to Avoid Buying Flood-Damaged Cars
You don’t need to look at those six fluids every time you drive, but you should check them at least once every couple weeks. Ensuring that your car has appropriate engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, brake fluid, power steering fluid, and windshield fluid will protect your vehicle from common types of damage and failure.