Checking your car’s fluids is one of the best ways to keep it in good working order. Not only is it a simple and cheap way to prevent engine damage and wear, but it may also help you save money on automotive repair services. Here, you’ll learn about three fluids to monitor closely.
Motor oil serves an important purpose: it keeps the engine’s internal parts lubricated and moving freely. To check your oil, take the vehicle for a quick drive and wait about five minutes for it to cool down. Lift the hood and look for the dipstick handle; on most vehicles, it’s yellow and easy to spot. Remove the dipstick, wipe it with a towel, and re-insert it fully. Take it out again and note the location of the oil line. The dipstick should include a notch that indicates a safe oil level; if it is low, check the oil filler cap or vehicle owner’s manual for the correct oil type.
Radiator Fluid/ Engine Coolant
Coolant or radiator fluid prevents overheating and catastrophic engine failure. The radiator fluid is highly pressurized, and you shouldn’t remove the radiator cap if the engine is at operating temperature. On most vehicles, the radiator cap is at the front of the engine compartment, near the center. Open it safely and look inside the radiator. If there’s no visible coolant, it’s time to add more.
Like engine oil, transmission fluid lubricates internal parts and prevents expensive mechanical issues. There’s a second dipstick with which you’ll check the transmission fluid level, and in some cases, you’ll find its red handle at the back of the engine compartment near the firewall. Check it when the engine is warm by removing the dipstick, wiping it gently with a paper towel, putting it back in, and removing it once more. If the fluid is low on the stick, add some; if it looks burnt, smells odd, or has particles in it, take it to a professional for a flush and a fluid change.
Take Care of Your Car by Monitoring Fluid Levels Regularly
Today’s vehicles have numerous important fluids that keep them running smoothly, and a low level of any of these fluids may cause serious (and costly) mechanical issues. By closely observing these crucial fluids, such as engine oil, coolant, and transmission fluid, you’ll keep your car on the road for years to come.