Automobiles are complex systems of machinery that require constant care and attention in order to function properly. Beyond simple mechanics, these machines are made up of sub-systems that also require specified care and attention. One of the most critical elements of automobile functioning is fluid maintenance. Your car has different fluids for the various sub-systems of your car’s makeup, and when any one of these fluids becomes dirty or below the optimal level, it can create serious side effects that will wind up being costly and time-consuming to repair. Fluid maintenance is a preventive measure that extends the longevity of your car, but also keeps your wallet full. With the help of the right automotive shop, fluid maintenance can be a breeze; but it helps to be aware of the different types of fluids and their functions so that you can potentially manage them yourself to some extent. Here are the most common car fluids and what they typically are responsible for:
Your motor oil is responsible for lubricating the various moving components of your engine. You can find the proper oil and oil changing frequency for your particular car in your dedicated owner’s manual. In order to check your motor oil, you’ll need to open the hood of the car and look for the oil dipstick. Once you’ve found it, pull it out and wipe it off with a clean cloth, then put it back in, back out, and wipe again. Look closely at the oil level on the stick and the clarity of the oil. If it’s too low or too dirty to read, you’re more than ready for an oil change.
The brake fluid is solely encapsulated within the brake system of your car, and should not leak or become low. However, if you do notice leaking brake fluid, you should have your car towed to the nearest automotive shop for repair—leaking brake fluid is dangerous and can lead to brake failure. Brake fluid can be checked during an oil change, and should be done so frequently as a preventive measure and safety precaution.
Coolant or Radiator Fluid
Coolant, radiator fluid, or antifreeze, is what helps keep your engine from overheating or freezing under extreme temperatures or stress. When coolant becomes low, the radiator is susceptible to damage, as well as other components of your engine. Additionally, when coolant is low, you’re likely to wind up on the side of the road with a smoking engine. Engine overheating is relatively easy to avoid, just keep the fluid full! It helps to keep antifreeze in your emergency car kit, along with bottled water and paper towels in case of emergency.
Transmission fluid is a dark reddish-brownish liquid that is responsible for aiding in gear-shifting, making the transitions smooth. If your transmission fluid becomes compromised, it can cause serious issues with your transmission. You may end up needing a transmission flush, which is relatively inexpensive in the long-run, especially considering a lot of transmission repairs are upwards of 1,000 dollars. Transmission flushes are common in cars that are more frequently driven, or cars that have over 50,000 miles on them.
Power-steering fluid allows your car to take turns smoothly and accurately. When the power-steering becomes low or contaminated, it can create signs and symptoms similar to suspension failure. Along with brake fluid, power-steering fluid should be checked regularly during oil changes and topped off accordingly.
The Importance of Preventive Maintenance
Here at Import Motorworx, we serve the different communities of Lawndale, Culver City, West Los Angeles, and Southbay, CA. Specializing in luxury European imports like BMW, Range Rover, and Fiat, we are the most affordable dealership alternative nearby for such specialty vehicles. We believe that every driver deserves to be able to afford excellent auto care, which is why we aim our focus on preventive maintenance. Pointing our attention to stopping problems before they happen is the best way to help our clients save money, so we offer discounts and affordable pricing to reward clients for routine maintenance. If you would like to know more about our specialized training, certifications, or pricing, contact us directly or look over our website more thoroughly—we appreciate your support, and we look forward to helping your car perform at its best.