When most people think of fluid changes for their vehicle, they usually think of the standard oil change. However, your vehicle runs on six major fluids, and each one plays an important role. At Collision King, we understand that the fluids in your vehicle are essential to keeping a safe and well-running car, so we listed out the important fluids cars run on and when you should change them:
- Engine Oil
The most commonly known vehicle fluid is engine oil. This important liquid helps keep engine parts properly lubricated. In addition, engine oil also helps prevent excessive wear of parts, inhibits corrosion, and keeps the engine properly sealed. If the oil is not changed regularly, it can result in the engine running inefficiently and eventually leading to engine failure.
When to Change: Change your engine oil every 3 months, or every 3,000 – 5,000 miles.
- Brake Fluid
Also called “hydraulic fluid,” brake fluid helps move various components of your vehicle’s braking system. This fluid can withstand high temperatures and pressure, and your brakes would be unable to function without it. If the brake fluid is not changed periodically, both the brake lines and the brake system can become corroded and in need of replacing.
When to Change: Aim to have your brake fluid changed about every 30,000 miles or so but consult your owner’s manual for specific mileages.
- Power Steering Fluid
Power steering fluid is the vehicle fluid that provides the power in power steering. When changed regularly, power steering fluid helps to prolong the life of important power steering components like the power steering rack and the power steering pump. However, if this fluid is not changed, the power steering pump has to work harder and will eventually wear out.
When to Change: Change the power steering fluid every 30,000 – 60,000 miles.
- Transmission Fluid
Transmission fluid is a lubricant that coats all the moving parts within your vehicle’s transmission. If you have an automatic transmission, this fluid also works as a coolant and lubricant to transmit power from the engine to the transmission. Bad transmission fluid can lead to problems like surging and rough shifting.
When to Change: For manual transmission cars, aim to change the fluid every 30,000 – 60,000 miles. For automatic transmission vehicles, the typical service interval is between 60,000 – 100,000 miles.
Coolant helps prevent the engine temperature from getting too high. This fluid works by absorbing engine heat and dissipating it through the radiator. If proper coolant levels aren’t maintained, it can cause an overheated engine.
When to Change: Check your coolant levels about every 50,000 miles. Be sure to also keep an eye out for signs of a coolant leak, like green fluid spots on the ground.
- Windshield Washer Fluid
While this fluid isn’t essential to vehicle performance, it does keep you safe while driving. Windshield wiper fluid helps clean dust and grime off of the windshield, so you can have full visibility while driving.
When to Change: There is no set schedule to change your windshield wiper fluid. If you notice a weak spray when you use your windshield wiper fluid, or if no spray is coming out at all, check the fluid levels.
The different fluids in your vehicle all play important roles, so it’s important to make sure you are maintaining these fluids regularly. To ensure your car is running at it’s best, give Collision King a call at (713) 686-5677. We’re a leading automotive shop in Houston, Texas.