Regular vehicle maintenance is an essential aspect of car ownership. It helps to ensure that your vehicle remains in good condition and runs smoothly. One critical component of vehicle maintenance is fluid replacement. The various fluids in your car play important roles in the proper functioning of various systems. But what are they and when do you need to worry about them? Let’s take a closer look at the types of fluids that need to be replaced regularly.
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Engine oil is one of the most important fluids in your car. It lubricates the engine's moving parts, reduces friction, and prevents wear and tear. Over time, engine oil breaks down and becomes less effective, which can lead to engine damage. While older cars required oil changes every 3,000 miles – advancement in technology has allowed us to go even longer in between oil changes. Today – most vehicles need oil changes every 5,000 to 7,500 miles.
Of course, this can vary depending on how you drive and the type of oil you use. Synthetic oils tend to last longer and offer better performance, so they may not need to be changed as frequently.
Transmission fluid is another critical fluid in your car. It lubricates the transmission's moving parts, helps to transfer power from the engine to the wheels, and keeps the transmission cool. If you neglect to change your transmission fluid, it can become dirty and contaminated, leading to transmission failure.
Most car manufacturers recommend changing your transmission fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles. But like with your oil, this can vary depending on how you drive and the type of transmission your car has. Automatic transmissions tend to require more frequent fluid changes than manual transmissions.
Brake fluid is essential for the proper functioning of your car's braking system. It transfers the force from the brake pedal to the brake calipers, which then apply pressure to the brake pads to slow down or stop the car. If your brake fluid is low or contaminated, it can cause your brakes to fail, which can be dangerous.
Generally, it’s recommended that you change your brake fluid every two years. If you typically drive in stop-and-go traffic or tow heavy loads, you may need to change your brake fluid more frequently.
Power Steering Fluid
Power steering fluid is essential for vehicles equipped with power steering. It assists with steering and makes it easier to turn the steering wheel. If your power steering fluid is low or contaminated, it can cause your steering to become stiff or fail altogether.
For this fluid, it’s recommended you refresh it every 50,000 to 100,000 miles, but of course, this can vary depending on your driving habits and the type of power steering fluid you use.
Coolant, also known as antifreeze, helps to regulate your engine's temperature. It prevents the engine from overheating in the summer and freezing in the winter. If your coolant level is low or contaminated, it can cause your engine to overheat, which can lead to engine damage.
You’ll typically want to change this fluid every two to three years. But some coolants are designed to last longer than others, so be sure to check your car's owner's manual for specific recommendations.
Windshield Washer Fluid
Not to be outdone or forgotten, when you’re replacing any fluid in your vehicle… take a moment to top off your windshield washer fluid. Those lovebugs aren’t going to wipe away themselves.
Stay On Top of Your Car’s Fluids with Ron Jon’s Automotive
Regular vehicle maintenance is essential for keeping your car running smoothly and avoiding costly repairs, and fluid replacement sits at the top of the list. By following the recommended maintenance schedule for your car, you can help to ensure that your vehicle remains in good condition and performs at its best. If you're unsure about when to replace your car's fluids, come on in to Ron Jon’s Automotive and we’ll help make sure your vehicle maintenance is on track.
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