Numerous different fluids are required to keep your car running smoothly. Know how they work and how to maintain them.
Up to 60% of the human body is water. Without water, we will not be able to function normally, and replenishing this fluid is essential if we are to perform at our best. Cars are similar, but require more than one type of liquid to operate at an optimal level. Like dehydrated bodies, your car’s performance starts to degrade if these fluids run dry or lose their quality. It may also result in damage to your car parts, which in some cases are irreparable. Take note of this and upkeep these key fluids to avoid any heartache.ENGINE OIL
Engine oil is the most common and yet vital fluid that determines your car’s ability to run. This oil lubricates the engine’s internal moving parts and prevents premature wear and tear. Do the easy and simple dipstick check to determine the oil level and quality. Make sure your car has cooled down before popping the hood. Pull out the dipstick, which has a ring-like top. Wipe it once before reinserting it to get a fresh reading. Check against the markings on the dipstick to make sure the level is within the acceptable range. Keep an eye out for the oil quality. Poor-quality or contaminated oil is likely to be gritty in texture or dark in colour, and should be replaced. A good-quality oil should have a clear yellow or amber colour. In addition to this simple check, make sure to change this oil at the recommended intervals to keep your car running efficiently.
Most modern cars have automatic transmissions and these need fluids to keep the gears shifting smoothly. The fluid lubricates and produces the hydraulic pressure to operate the transmission gears. If your car has difficulty, or is late in getting into the right gears, or the gear slips resulting in a higher than normal RPM, these are signs of a low or failing transmission fluid. Modern cars have a sealed transmission, which means you should take it to a qualified workshop to look into the transmission fluid rather than try and do it yourself. Make sure to change this oil at the recommended intervals to keep your car running efficiently.BRAKE FLUID
This fluid makes sure the brakes on the car function as they should, and their upkeep is crucial for your safety. When the brake pedal is pressed, the master cylinder pressures the brake fluid into the brake lines and into the brake calipers of the wheels. If the fluid is running low or deteriorates, you may find the brake pedal harder than normal to depress, or experience vibrations when you brake. If you notice the ABS system activating in situations where it normally doesn’t, it is best to have a workshop take a look. Replace the brake fluid at the recommended intervals to maintain optimal braking performance.
This fluid circulates through the engine to keep it from overheating. It assists in maintaining the correct working temperature of the engine’s components, and also lubricates water pump bearings and prevents corrosion in the engine. The coolant can be less effective if rust and contaminants build up in the engine’s cooling system. This can cause premature wear and can lead to engine failure.
Today’s cars are usually equipped with on-board warning to signal rising temperature. Some cars even have an automatic engine cut-off feature that kills the engine to prevent damage from overheating. Never attempt to check the coolant while the engine is still hot. Drive to a safe spot to let the engine cool down, and call for roadside assistance if you are unsure how to proceed. A qualified workshop for your car will keep the coolant system operating efficiently and safely.
POWER STEERING FLUID
One of the enhancements to the modern driving experience is the power steering system, which aids steering assistance. For cars with hydraulic power steering, the key ingredient that drives it is the power steering fluid. This fluid also lubricates the moving components of the steering mechanism, reducing wear and tear. It is critical to stay on top of fluid levels as well as the quality of the fluid. Keep an ear and eye out for telltale signs, such as a whining sound when you turn your steering wheel, or if you start to struggle with the steering wheel. At this point, get your car checked promptly by a qualified workshop to tend to the problem.
Preventative maintenance of these fluids will go a long way towards protecting your car and avoidingpotentially costly damage, so don’t neglect them.