Fluids are to your vehicle what your blood is to you; these liquids serve different purposes, but the system they are found will die without them. Check your owner’s manual for your vehicle’s fluid change schedule, and then stick to it. This not only extends the life of your car but also prevents expensive repairs. Integrity Auto Repair changes the following fluids for our customers every day.
If your vehicle has air conditioning and probably does, you need to have the refrigerant changed per the manufacturer’s schedule. The AC will not work right with low refrigerant. Signs the refrigerant is low include warm or hot air coming out of the vents and, of course, leaking refrigerant.
Brake fluid stops your car, truck, or utility vehicle. It cannot stop without it. Brake fluid is amber to dark brown depending on its age and feels slick/oily when you touch it. If your brake light comes on, this is a sign of brake trouble. It could be that the fluid is low or too dirty and old to do its job.
Engine coolant prevents overheating and total engine failure. A hot engine not only seizes, but it can also catch on fire and/or damage expensive parts such as the exhaust manifold. The cooling system is only as good as its coolant, so change it regularly and use only the recommend antifreeze/coolant.
Every 3,000 miles, you should change your motor oil like clockwork. This fluid, too, helps keep the engine cool and prevents complete engine failure. If your vehicle uses synthetic motor oil, you can wait longer between changes. Either way, change the oil when it needs it; it’s the lifeblood of your engine.
Power Steering Fluid
Most vehicles have power steering as a standard accessory, and many power steering systems use fluid to aid with the steering motion. If your vehicle has a hydraulic power steering system, you’ll need to have the fluid changed at the proper mileage milestones to ensure the system works as it should.
Both automatic and manual transmissions use oil (or fluid if you prefer). The fluid must be changed regularly because it protects much as your motor oil does. New transmission fluid is red; it turns black and oxidizes as it ages. Once it has reached this point, you run a high risk of transmission damage.
Windshield Washer Fluid
Finally, not the end of the world, but your windshield washer fluid needs to be replaced when you run out. This fluid is crucial in the winter when the temperatures drop, and you have ice on your windshield. It’s also pretty handy when you drive through a swarm of bugs in the spring.