I’ve already written previously about to change motor oil, so you should be an expert on that! But there’s still many more car fluids that a vehicle owner has to check and replace on a regular basis. I’ve listed the most common ones below that you’ll probably find in just about any car. But also check your owner’s manual to learn what your individual vehicle may need.
- Power Steering Fluid
If you’ve gone for a U turn, you know getting that wheel to turn all the way can be a challenge. Power steering fluid helps with this issue and makes it easy peasy to control your steering wheel without pulling a muscle. To help avoid a stiff wheel, open up the hood of your car once a month and find the reservoir that should be labeled on the cap. Open it up and take a peek at the maximum and minimum lines. If your power steering fluid isn’t between these two lines, fill it until it is and save any leftover fluid for next month.
Touching a car hood right after it’s been out in traffic shows you just how hot an engine can run. If it overheats, the car might not only break down, but be permanently damaged. That’s why cars come equipped with a supply of coolant or, as people call it, antifreeze. It keeps your engine at the optimal temperature to get the job done without going into the red zone of heat. To refill your coolant, open the hood of your vehicle and locate the radiator cap. There should be a small line that marks the necessary level of your coolant. Fill it up to there about three times a year. But here’s the important part: never mix brands of coolant. You can get some strange reactions and side effects if you do. Find a brand you like and stick to it!
- Brake Fluid
There’s no denying the importance of brakes on any vehicle. But do you know how valuable your brake fluid is? It keeps the brakes lubricated, so they can do their job without corroding or squeaking. It also stops vapor bubbles from building up in the brake system. Without brake fluid, the brakes could malfunction, putting you in serious risk of an accident. So open up the hood of your car and see where there is usually a clear container with a golden brown liquid. This is your brake fluid and it’s easy to check without uncapping anything. You don’t necessarily run out of brake fluid, but it does get dirty over time, making it less effective. If it’s dark brown, instead of gold, it’s time for a change. My recommendation is to simply take it to your local mechanic for a quick change whenever you do your next motor oil change. It’s a lot easier and quicker than doing it yourself, it’s not too expensive, and it’s only really needed about every two years.
You’re all set to hit the road again! Go enjoy a nice afternoon ride around town, knowing that your car’s fluid levels are in top shape. As I said before, you might find your car has other fluids to worry about, but this is a great start. Happy riding!