Posted July 25, 2012
Most of us know that our car needs regular oil changes. We think of motor oil as the blood of our car. But our cars aren’t vampires! They need more than motor oil to live happy long lives. Let’s look at the 6 Fluids your vehicle needs and what you can do to ensure their quality.
What It Is: Engine Coolant, or Antifreeze as it’s commonly known, is a mixture of half water and half glycol.
Why You Need It: Coolant regulates your engines temperature, keeping it from overheating in warm weather and prevents freezing in the winter.
How to Care for It: Antifreeze should always be properly filled in the self-contained cooling system. If you see puddles of bright green liquid under your car, you have a leak and should head over to our auto repair center in Walled Lake to have it stemmed before your vehicle joins the ranks of the undead. Schedule a flush of the system is every two to three years, or 24,000 to 36,000 miles.
2. Power Steering Fluid
What It Is: Power steering fluids creates hydraulic pressure, cleans and lubricate moving parts like the power steering pump, gear box, or rack and pinion.
Why You Need It: Power steering may seem like a luxury you could live without, but you and your vehicle certainly wouldn’t be the same. Most modern vehicles are incredibly difficult to steer without Power Steering Fluid. If you suddenly lose the hydraulic pressure created by Power Steering Fluid, you could lose control of the vehicle.
How to Care for It: Until recently, manufacturers haven’t specified when to change your Power Steering Fluid. If you notices changes or inconsistency in your steering, bring your vehicle into our Walled Lake auto repair shop. Schedule a fluid change every three years or 50,000 miles—unless you’ve opted for a long life fluid which last up to five years or 100,000 miles.
3. Transmission Fluid
What It Is: Transmission fluid lubricates the gear box so you can switch gears.
Why You Need It: You’re not going anywhere without it.
How to Care for It: Your Transmission Fluid should be at the correct level, have a clear oily (for manuals) or bright red color (for automatics), and smell like clean oil. Low level, dark color, or a burnt smell are warning signs of trouble. Low fluid levels can indicate seal leakage or even malfunctions within the transmission. Never drive with low or no transmission fluid. Change your fluid every 60,000-100,000 miles depending on the recommendations contained in your owner’s manual. We at Mufflers and More check all crucial fluid levels at each oil change.
4. Brake Fluid
What it Is: Brake Fluid is a hydraulic fluid that transfers the force of your foot on the brake pedal into pressure on the brake pads that will stop your car.
Why You Need It: Your car needs to stop and trees aren’t nearly as good of an option.
How to Care for It: Your Brake Master Cylinder Reservoir needs to be full to ensure proper hydraulic pressure. If you brakes are soft and the pedal is low, you may need to bleed your brake lines. Contact a Walled Lake Auto Repair Center to ensure the job is done properly.
5. Windshield Washer Fluid
What It Is: A mixture of detergents and solvents sprayed onto the windshield to ensure visibility.
Why You Need It: If you’ve ever run out of Windshield Washer Fluid, you know this is a silly question.
How to Care for It: Next time you’re in the Walled Lake or West Bloomfield area contact us at Mufflers and More and we’ll make sure everything you need is taken care of.
6. Motor Oil
What It Is: A lubricant designed to ease friction on your engine.
Why You Need It: Without it, your engine is toast!
How to Care for It: Preform regular oil changes! Worn out oil doesn’t lubricate properly and contains microscopic particles that combine with dirt to contain engine sludge. Bad oil will suck the life out of your vehicle faster than a vampire with a bendy straw! Stop by or give us a call at (248) 668-1200 and we’ll get our ASE Certified technicians working for you right away.