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Auto Care 101: Here’s A List Of The Fluids Your Car Needs

auto care vehicle maintenance

Three days. This is the small amount of time that your body can survive without water. Fluids are vital to our existence as human beings. But what about fluids for your car? How long can your engine run without oil, or coolant?

It’s not something you want to gamble with to find out. Your car relies on several fluids to keep it running smooth and safe. Here are the six fluids that you should keep your eye on. Focus on these fluids to ensure the best vehicle maintenance for your car.

Engine Oil

You probably guessed this one. Engine oil is paramount to your engine’s health. It’s the lifeblood of your engine. Engine oil keeps the moving components of your engine lubricated. It also helps to keep your engine’s temperature under control. An engine low in oil is at risk of much harm. The internal components will wear faster, and your car engine could overheat. Give it long enough without oil, and you’ll completely wreck your engine.

It’s not just about making sure that you top up your engine oil. Engine oil needs to be replaced at various intervals. Over time, oil builds up contaminants that aren’t able to be filtered out. This is even more important in diesel engines, which need regular oil changes. How often should you change your oil? The general rule of thumb is every 3,000 to 5,000 miles. But every car has different requirements. It’s best to chat with your trusted auto repair facility for vehicle maintenance advice.


The next fluid on our list is coolant. As you may have guessed, coolant helps to regulate your engine’s temperature. As you may imagine, your engine is always combusting, which causes excessive heat. Engine coolant absorbs this heat and dissipates it through your car’s radiator. How does it work? Coolant circulates inside your engine block through coolant water jackets. It then moves the coolant out of the engine and back towards your radiator. This is all done by means of a water pump.

The good news is that engine coolant has a longer life than engine oil. Often, it can last for tens of thousands of miles. It’s still important to focus on auto care by getting your coolant level checked. Over time, the level will begin to deplete, which could result in a blown head gasket.

In case you were wondering, electric cars also create heat via their battery packs. Coolant circulates around the battery packs to help cool them down. As you may have guessed, this will be via an electric pump.

Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid keeps your transmission running smoothly. Like an engine, your transmission also has moving components that need to be cooled. Transmission fluid is critical in automatic transmissions. In auto boxes, transmission fluid also acts as hydraulic fluid. It actually helps to operate certain components controlled by your transmission chip. Yes, most autos have a small transmission computer. Missing your transmission fluid replacement is not something you want to do as it can cause various engine problems. You could be putting your entire transmission at risk of failure. Be sure to speak to your service center about an auto care plan for your transmission.

Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is another crucial fluid for good vehicle maintenance. How does it work? Well, brake fluid transmits the force you apply to your brake pedal into actual stopping power. It transfers the pedal pushing power to the braking components on each of your wheels. Brake fluid is a glycol-based fluid, which means it can’t be compressed. This makes it ideal for transferring brake pressure.

The downside of brake fluid is that it tends to attract moisture. The more moisture that’s present in your brake fluid, the spongier your brakes will feel. Sponginess is that feeling when you stomp your pedal, and it feels soft and ‘spongy’. Moisture-ridden brake fluid will affect your braking performance. This is why it’s necessary to change your brake fluid regularly. Generally, every two years is a good rule of thumb. A brake service expert will be able to advise you on the specifics.

Power Steering Fluid

Some of us may be able to remember what it felt like to drive a car without power steering. If you’ve experienced this, you’ll know how amazing power steering is! Good luck trying to perform a 3-point turn without it. Power steering is hydraulic or electric steering. It’s powered by your engine using a steering pump. Power steering fluid is pumped through lines to your steering rack.

This process gives you that sense of ‘powered’ steering. Power steering fluid doesn’t need regular changes. But you will need to keep an eye on the condition of the fluid. If it becomes discolored, then it’s time to get it changed.

Windshield Washer Fluid

Last but not least, this one can be easily forgotten about. And yet it plays such an important role in our driving safety. Windshield washer fluid ensures that you have clear vision when you drive. A professional service facility will add a specialized additive to your windshield water. This will ensure that your windshield stays crystal clear. Keep putting your family’s safety first by checking your windshield washer fluid.

The Auto Care Specialists In South Florida

At Foreign Affairs Motorwerks, we place high importance on auto care. Our team of experienced technicians treats every car individually. We work hard to ensure that every element on your car is taken care of. At Foreign Affairs, we offer specialized auto maintenance plans. This way, your car’s fluid levels will never miss a beat. Call us at 954-746-0488 to book your car for a fluid check today.

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