How often do you need to check your car’s water and oil levels?
- Do you know how many types of essential fluid are required for your car to be up and running smoothly?
- Do you know where and how to check those fluids?
- Do you know how often you should be checking to make sure there are sufficient to keep your engine working?
If your answer is NO any or all of the above questions, fret not! We are here to share with you!
Nowadays, most people know how to drive, but do not know how to check the essential fluids to enable them to keep driving. For youngsters, usually daddy and mummy will do all these checks and it was never something to be bothered. This is especially dangerous for those who are living alone but doesn’t know how to maintain and check on these car fluids!
Motor oil is your engine’s lifeblood. Even if you’ve never changed your own oil before, you probably at least know how to check it, and how often to get it changed. Apart from motor oil and water, other important fluids that you should also know include transmission fluid, brake fluid, and coolant. All these fluids are easy to check at home. So, how often should you check these fluid levels in your car, and how do you know if there is a problem?
Different parts of your vehicle need to be checked and maintained at varying times throughout the life of the car. We recommend inspecting your car’s fluids once each month to ensure the fluids are clean and at a sufficient level. Here is a quick summary:
In order to reduce wear and friction, motor oil is needed to add lubrication to your vehicle’s internal engines. It also helps to clean the engine from varnish and sludge. On average, your engine will require an oil change, every 8,000 to 16,000 km, depending on how often you drive and the type of oil you use,
Check your engine oil level by pulling out the dipstick and wiping the oil from the stick with a clean cloth. Then, re-dip the stick back in and pull it out to determine the oil level. If it is low or if the oil looks dirty, it signifies the time to visit the nearest service centre!
This helps to lubricate the moving parts inside your transmission. This liquid also serves as a coolant and a viscous fluid that allows for the transmission of power from the engine to the transmission. We recommend changing your transmission fluid every 50,000km to 100,000km.
Some cars come with a second dipstick under the hood, similar to the oil dipstick, so it is easy to check your transmission fluid at home. For some other cars, you may need to make a trip to the nearest service centre to get it checked. We recommend checking it every time you get an oil change. ezAuto is here to help!
Transmission fluid can be checked the same way engine oil levels are inspected. The dipstick should have markings that indicate ‘Low’ or ‘Full’. Check the transmission fluid while the engine is running. Observe at the quality of the fluid, not only its level. If it smells burnt, or if it’s brownish instead of red, it means it is time to be changed.
This is also referred to as hydraulic fluid. It is necessary to move the components of your car’s braking system. Without brake fluid, you will not be able to stop your car from moving no matter how hard you step on the brake pedal.
Check your brake fluid every oil change or at least once a year. and brake fluid reservoirs should generally be visible under the hood, with MIN/MAX markings on the side of the tank, showing the proper levels required for your car to run properly. This reservoir is likely translucent and has a line that visibly shows you where your fluid level is.
It is a sign that it needs to be changed and refilled when your brake fluid is nearing the “minimum” line.
Power steering fluid
Usually, mechanics will check your power steering fluid when you change your oil. However, this can also be done by yourself at home. While it is generally best to check power steering fluid when the engine is cold, some cars have markings for checking it hot or cold. Check your user manual what works best for your car.
The reservoir that holds your power steering fluid can be found under the hood. It is usually located at the passenger’s side of the vehicle, where the belts in a smaller or transverse-mount engine are located. The word “Steering” will likely be embossed on the top. The cap will have a dipstick built into it. Wipe the stick off, screw the cap on, then remove it again and check the level.
If the level is low, fill it to the MAX or FULL mark that corresponds to the engine temperature (hot or cold). Be sure to check if there are signs of leakage as well.
Check the coolant level twice a year. Similar to brake fluid, your car’s coolant tank that comes with MIN/MAX markings can be found under the hood. Owner’s manual is your friend in case you need to learn where to locate it.
Windshield wiper fluid
Whenever you check any of the above essential fluids, just take a quick look at this! Open your hood and find the washer fluid reservoir, which is usually a white, translucent container with a windshield or water symbol on the cap. If your vehicle has a rear wiper, there may be a second reservoir for it, so be sure to check that as well!
Remove the cap to check the water level. If the fluid is low, pour some into the reservoir(s) until it almost reaches its max level. You are all set to spray some water on your windshield as needed!
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