A good way to keep your car in action between the major interventions is to check the fluids yourself. This is a cost effective and easy way to avoid engine wear or damage and to save your money. Although checking the fluids in your car is fairly straightforward.
Here are seven liquids to watch out for to get your car running properly:
Your engine requires oil to keep the moving parts lubricated. To check the oil, take your car first for a short ride, then wait about five minutes for it to cool. Under the bonnet, the dipstick should be in the oil tank near the front of the engine. It’s
usually pretty easy to find. Remove the dipstick, wipe it off with a cloth or towel, and then immerse it in the oil tank. Pull it out again and see where the oil line is. The dipstick should have a notch indicating where a safe oil level should be. If it appears low, check the lid or the car manual for the type of oil you should use and then add something yourself.
The radiator fluid protects your engine from overheating. If you have too little, there is a risk that your vehicle overheats in traffic and you are stuck on the side of the road. Check this fluid if your car has been driven and not when it is cold. The cooler contents are under pressure. Never remove the cover when the engine is hot or running. Probably the radiator cap is located at the front and in the middle of the engine compartment. Gently open it with a rag and look into the radiator to see if you can see the coolant. If you can not see it above, you will need to add more.
The transmission oil keeps your transmission lubricated, which can prevent the emergence of many expensive problems. The other oil dipstick in your engine is for your transmission fluid. Similar to the oil you just have to take out the dipstick, wipe it with a rag or cloth and put it back in the tank. Pull it out again to see how high the liquid gets on the rod. You also want to check the quality of the liquid. Grab your fingers and rub it around to see if it’s pink or clear as it should be. When it smells burnt or contains particles, it’s time for a change.
Power steering fluid
The power steering fluid keeps your car’s power steering functioning by keeping it lubricated and boosting your ability to steer the car’s wheels. To check the power steering fluid, locate the reservoir under the bonnet. It’s usually on the passenger side. In any case, it is likely to be near the straps and the cap is likely to show "steering". Most cars have an opaque container so you should be able to see the fluid level without opening the lid. Otherwise, clean the environment with a cloth before opening the cap to prevent dirt from entering the system. Then open the lid and use the dipstick as well as the oil tank. If the liquid level is low, you can easily add more by yourself. You may also want to check the reservoir to make sure there is no leak.
Your brake fluid is under pressure, increasing the braking force and preventing you from bumping into other vehicles. The brake fluid reservoir is usually located near the rear of the engine compartment. Clean the outside before opening the tank as dirt in the fluid in your system can be dangerous. To open the reservoir, simply unscrew the cover or pry off a clip with a screwdriver, which may hold it in place. Look in to see where the fluid level is. It should be within half an inch of the cap. If not, refer to your manual for the type of fluid you should add. Also check the color of the brake fluid. If it looks dark, have it replaced by a mechanic.
Air conditioning refrigerant
When the weather warms, check the coolant level in your air conditioner to make sure it is ready for use. Checking this fluid can be a bit tricky, but it’s better than having a mechanic handle it when you fill up more when it’s not needed. Before you begin, you must obtain the correct AC meter and the right thermometer from an auto parts store. If your coolant level turns out to be low, you can easily recharge the system with accessories from the auto parts store.
The windscreen washer fluid does not keep your engine running but is very helpful so you can see it more easily while driving. Checking the washing liquid is easy. Most cars have opaque wash fluid tanks with a label on the cap such as "windshield" or "washer". You should be able to see interior without removing the cap. Otherwise, it should only rotate as the fluid is not under pressure or dangerous. If you need more fluid, do not use only soap and water. Get some washing liquid that has been developed for handling insects and road dirt. If you are completely out of the house because of a dirty drive, the window cleaner you use at home can be used until you get washing liquid.