Don’t Neglect Your Fluids!
Posted March 4, 2022
Fluids are the life blood of your car. The six fluids that require periodic replenishment or replacement in most vehicles are the engine oil, transmission fluid, antifreeze/coolant, windshield washer solvent, power steering fluid and brake fluid. The last two are the most often neglected. You may top them off, but have you ever thought of flushing them? We all know that having an oil change allows your engine to run more smoothly, efficiently, and allows you to get the most miles out of your vehicle. But, your car’s drive ability and lifetime also depend on clean essential fluids.
Brake fluid in a typical vehicle can become contaminated in two years or less. This is because the fluid absorbs moisture over time, degrading its quality and ability to apply stopping force. Under heavy braking conditions, like those encountered in mountainous or hilly driving, or when towing a trailer, moisture in the overheated fluid vaporizes, allowing it to compress, in turn reducing braking efficiency. Brake fluid must maintain a stable viscosity throughout its operating temperature range. If it’s too thick or too thin, braking action is impaired. Beyond the vaporization hazard, moisture creates an additional problem for owners of vehicles equipped with anti-lock braking (ABS) systems. Rusted and corroded ABS components are very expensive to replace.
Power steering fluid can become contaminated in about the same amount of time as brake fluid and can cause just as much — if not more — damage. Power steering fluid, like brake fluid, is used in a hydraulic system, meaning it transfers force from one place to another. When moisture and dirt break down these fluids, they don’t transfer the force as well as designed, not to mention that the components they travel through can be damaged. In the steering system, you risk damaging the power steering lines, the power steering pump and the rack and pinion (or simply, the rack). The rack is the most expensive component in the system, costing upwards of $800-900 or more on certain vehicles, with the lines and pump ranging from $300 and up, once again depending on the vehicle. Then you add in the cost of the labor to install these parts and you are looking at a pretty steep penalty for what could have been a $145 power steering fluid flush.
So have our trusted auto repair facility inspect the conditions of your fluids and recommend to you which ones should be flushed. These are not time consuming services to have performed and could save you a lot of time, money and headaches in the future. You can also stop by or call us at (248) 668-1200 to set up an appointment today!
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