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Changing Your Vehicles Fluids



Changing Your Vehicles Fluids

It is important to maintain all car fluids so that you ensure your car will last as long as it can.

Here are seven fluids to get familiar with:

1.       Oil

Oil is a critical part of keeping your vehicle working smoothly. The oil lubricates the engine to keep the parts moving smoothly.

2.       Radiator Fluid

This is what keeps your engine from overheating.

3.       Transmission Fluid

The transmission can be a pricey repair if damaged. This fluid maintains a smooth working transmission by keeping it lubricated.

4.       Power Steering Fluid

Helping the control of your steering wheel, the lubricated parts are easier to maneuver.

5.       Brake Fluid

This fluid in particular allows more power to get to the braking system to make for an easy stop.

6.       Air Conditioning Coolant

Coolant controls the significance of your air conditioning. This is a fluid you will want to make sure you keep up with in the summer time!

7.       Windshield Washer Fluid

For those of us in Washington State, we are no stranger to using our windshield wipers. Windshield washer fluid allows for more visibility during rain fall or in the case of a dirty windshield.


Now that we know what all these fluids are and what they do, let’s find out how to check them.


1.       Checking your oil can be done in just a few simple steps. First, you will want to check your oil after it has been driven to receive an accurate estimate. Wait five to ten minutes to let the engine cool before checking. While looking under the hood, locate the dipstick (little rod that indicates it is in fact oil). Pull up on the dipstick and wipe it with a towel. Put the stick back into the oil tank, and then pull it back out. When you have pulled the dipstick back out, you will be able to see where the oil line is formed. There should be a line that indicates a safe oil level. If it seems low, add oil to the tank.

2.       Check the radiator fluid while your car had just been driven, this is a pressurized content that should be handled with caution. Open the radiator cap with a towel as it may be hot or greasy. If you do not see the coolant near the top, you will need to add more.

3.       As the second dipstick will indicate the transmission fluid, act although you were checking your oil. Remove the dipstick with a towel and place it back into the tank. When removed, see where the fluid lies on the stick. Not only do you want to check the quantity, but the quality as well. By checking the quality, rub the fluid on your fingers to examine the characteristics. The fluid should be a pinkish clear color, and be smooth with no harsh smells.

4.       Locate a small tube like reservoir under the hood of your vehicle. You should be able to see the amount of fluid inside the tube without opening it. If not, clean the area around the cap. Next, open the cap and continue with the dipstick as if it were oil. Check for any leaks, and top the fluid off if needed.

5.       Near the back of your engine, you will find the brake fluid compartment. Start by cleaning the outside of the cap, and unscrew it. Check the fluid level. For a safe amount, it should be about half an inch from the cap. If not, add the appropriate fluid for your vehicle. Although there should be an indicator that you may want to see a mechanic if the color was dark.

6.       Checking your air conditioning fluid may be a bit more complicated. Begin with an A.C. gauge and thermometer which can be purchased at any auto parts store. Changing the fluid is less of a tangible function than a recharge.

7.       People may say that windshield washer fluid is not as important to the overall wellness of your vehicle, but it is a smart to know just in case how to change it! Normally, the windshield washer container is clearly marked and be able to see clearly through the container to see if it needs to be filled. If it needs more fluids, a simple twist will get the cap right off. Using a windshield washer fluid that is adequate for vehicles can be found almost anywhere.


If you are having doubts on your capabilities to changing any of these fluids, never hesitate to get help from a mechanic. It is better to be safe than sorry, and here at Larson Ram we are here to help in any way we can. Schedule an appointment with us and get all the answers to your questions.


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