If you aren't checking your car's fluids, then you might want to start setting reminders to do so. Similar to the water we drink, your car needs these six fluids to stay alive and moving. If these aren't routinely topped off, your vehicle is at risk of decreased performance, gas mileage, and value, as well as increased risk of a breakdown or accident.
What are the 6 Essential Fluids?
The six essential car fluids you should regularly check are engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, coolant, power steering fluid, and windshield washer fluid.
Motor oil is the most critical fluid, as its primary function is to lubricate and protect the engine's parts from heat and dust. Before even thinking about checking your oil, you must know the type of oil your vehicle requires. This information is usually found in the owner's manual. There are three types of engine oil: conventional, semi-synthetic, and synthetic.
Very similar to engine oil, transmission fluid serves to lubricate your transmission. Every car has a dipstick that's intended to check the level of this oil—if you can't locate it, bring your vehicle into The Model Garage for assistance. If the status of the fluid is above the marked notch, it's safe. But if it's below the marking, it is time to replace your transmission fluid.
Without this fluid, your vehicle would not be able to slow down or stop. If you notice a delay or unusual feeling in your brakes, this solution is the first thing you should examine.
Engine coolant helps by cooling down your engine by absorbing heat and expelling it through the exhaust. Without coolant, your engine would simply overheat. However, don't let the name mislead you--it also helps protect your car in the colder months as it's immune to freezing.
POWER STEERING FLUID
The power steering fluid is a solution that lubricates your car's steering system for smooth operation. Therefore, if your power steering fluid is running low, your car's steering wheel will tend to judder and stiffen up, making it difficult to make turns. You should ask your mechanic to check the power steering fluid once or twice a year.
WINDSHIELD WASHER FLUID
Windscreen washer fluid is used to clean the windshield and is crucial for safe driving. Though it doesn't directly affect your vehicle's performance, you still need it to see clearly.
You should check all the fluids in your vehicle at a minimum of every oil change interval. If you need any of these fluids replaced or topped off, take your car to The Model Garage for service.