What Fluids Your Car Needs & When To Change Them

September 8th, 2022 by

If you don’t have an affinity for the mechanical aspects of your car, you may not be aware of all the fluids required for it to operate properly. Read on to review some of the most common fluids your car needs and learn when to change them so you can stay on top of your vehicle’s maintenance.

Windshield Wiper Fluid

Windshield wiper fluid helps you see the road ahead of you. You may experience obscured vision because of mud and dirt streaks without it. You’ll know when your vehicle is low on windshield wiper fluid if it comes out in a weak stream when you attempt to spray it or releases nothing at all. If you suspect that your windshield wiper fluid is getting low, you can check it yourself.

Open your vehicle’s hood and locate a transparent container — it typically contains blue liquid. It should have a label that reads something like “Windshield” or “Washer.” You should be able to screw off the cap to this container easily. If the container is less than a quarter full, you should refill it to avoid running out of windshield wiper fluid at an inconvenient time. Pour a bottle of windshield wiper fluid into the container’s opening. Consider choosing an anti-grime wiper fluid to prevent unwanted buildup on your windshield. Continue pouring until the container is full.

Several factors determine how often you need to change your windshield wiper fluid. For example, if you drive on back roads with muddy conditions, you may need to refill this fluid more frequently. It’s a good idea to check the level every two months to ensure you always have enough windshield wiper fluid.

Engine Oil

Engine oil is arguably one of the most important fluids for your vehicle. It lubricates all the moving parts so your engine can operate efficiently. Allowing your engine oil level to drop below what is safe can result in your engine needing costly repairs.

Before you dive headfirst into changing your engine oil, check the oil level to confirm it requires replenishment. First, turn your car on and drive it for a few minutes. This process will let the engine oil warm up, giving you a more accurate measurement. Then, turn your car off, open the hood, and locate the dipstick and oil cap. If you’re unsure of where these components are, you can find them by consulting the owner’s manual of your vehicle.

Wipe the dipstick with a clean rag and insert it into the oil tank. Remove the dipstick and observe the oil level. Find the notch on the dipstick that indicates a safe oil level. If the level is below this notch, you should replenish your oil or get an oil change.

Getting your oil changed regularly is an important aspect of maintaining your vehicle. You should get an oil change every six months if your car uses conventional oil or every year if it uses synthetic oil. You may consider changing your oil even if it’s at a safe level because engine oil can collect byproducts that may negatively impact your engine’s performance.

While you can change the oil yourself, you may not have the time, patience, or equipment for the job. Instead, bring your vehicle to Eskridge Chevrolet’s service center here in Guthrie, Oklahoma. Our certified service experts can complete any maintenance services your vehicle needs, including oil changes.

Brake Fluid

Brake fluid helps your brake system’s hydraulics work properly. A sufficient brake fluid level ensures that you can make stops safely and avoid dangerous situations on the road. You can find the brake fluid reservoir near the back of your vehicle’s engine compartment. It’s common to replenish or change this fluid once every two years. If your car is in need of a tune-up in this area, click here to see what Eskridge Chevrolet can do to help!

Power Steering Fluid

Power steering fluid keeps your vehicle’s power steering system lubricated. Having sufficient fluid levels enables you to steer smoothly and turn your vehicle. An insufficient power steering fluid level may make your vehicle difficult to operate, as it can cause your steering wheel to shift and vibrate.

To locate the reservoir for power steering fluid in your vehicle, open the hood and look for a cap labeled “Steering.” It’s typically on the passenger side and transparent. You can check the fluid level visually and use a dipstick for further confirmation. If it’s low, pour in high-quality power steering fluid.

Experts typically recommend that you change your power steering fluid every two years or 50,000 miles. You may need to change it sooner if you notice your steering wheel shifting or vibrating.

A/C Refrigerant

A/C refrigerant allows the air in your car to remain cool. If you notice that your vehicle’s A/C system is pumping air but isn’t cold, you may need to top off your refrigerant levels. In most cases, you’ll need to replenish this fluid every one to two years.

Checking the A/C refrigerant level in your vehicle and replenishing it can be an arduous task to do yourself because of the equipment you need, like a Freon charging kit and an A/C gauge. Taking your vehicle to a certified dealership that offers maintenance services is best. Our team at Eskridge Chevrolet can easily handle this task for you, so don’t hesitate to reach out to us today to schedule an appointment.

Radiator Fluid

Radiator fluid is important for regulating the temperature of your engine. It draws heat from the engine and distributes it throughout the radiator and into the outside air. A sufficient radiator fluid level prevents your vehicle from overheating and wards off engine damage. Most vehicle owners should replenish the radiator fluid every 30,000 miles or two years, whichever comes first.

As a current or aspiring Chevy owner, it’s important to have a reputable dealership on your side. Contact our team at Eskridge Chevrolet to experience our friendly and helpful customer service. We’ll walk you through our inventory, add you to our maintenance schedule, discuss financing options for a new vehicle, and assist you with any of your other Chevy-related needs.

Windshield wipers by State Farm is licensed with CC BY 2.0

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