The Winter weather is on its way out. Now you should prepare your car for Spring. Many of us think of switching out those winter tires, but that’s just the beginning. Clean your car, examine the headlights, check your brakes, replace your wipers and check for leaks. Just a few tips to getting your car spring ready. You don’t need to be an auto expert to check your fluids.
Here’s a breakdown of the six most important fluids in your vehicle as well as tips on how to check them.
1. Engine Oil
This is perhaps the most important fluid in your vehicle. Without it, your engine will not run properly. Make sure your engine is off and your car is on a flat surface when you check your oil. Open the hood, remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with a paper towel or rag. Place it back into the oil reservoir and then pull it back out again. If the oil is within the acceptable range indicated on the dipstick, you don’t need to do anything. If it isn’t, you need to add oil. Be careful not to add more than is needed, as this too can cause damage to your engine. Check your owner’s manual for specific details about how often you should change your oil and what type of oil you should use.
2. Transmission Fluid
As you did with the engine oil, remove the dipstick from the transmission fluid and follow the same steps. However, to check this fluid, make sure your vehicle is running. Have a mechanic you trust to inspect your vehicle if the transmission fluid is brown or smell burnt. On average, transmission fluid should be changed every 30,000 miles. Check your manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations for your vehicle.
3. Power Steering Fluid
If your vehicle has a power steering fluid reservoir, you can remove the cap and visually inspect the fluid level. If not, you can use the same dipstick method you used for the engine oil and transmission fluid. Your power steering fluid should stay level. If you have to add fluid, that may be a sign that you have a leak. On average, you should change this fluid once every three years or every 50,000 miles.
4. Brake Fluid
You should be able to see your brake fluid level without opening the cap. Markings along the side of the transparent reservoir will let you know if you need to add fluid. Lower levels of brake fluid are an indication of wear to your brake pads. If the fluid drops to two-thirds full, have your brakes checked by a mechanic.
Turn your car off and wait for it to cool before your checking your engine coolant. Like the brake fluid, coolant is usually housed in a translucent reservoir so you can see if you are running low. Keep your coolant levels in the acceptable range to prevent overheating and costly damage to your engine.
6. Windshield Washer Fluid
You can look inside your wiper fluid reservoir to see how full it is. Depending on how frequently you clean your windows, you may need to refill your reservoir each week.
These tips will make sure your vehicle is road-ready after the winter season and will help with your car maintenance. Once you’ve prepared your car for spring, why not make sure your car insurance is all in order too. Contact us to get a free car insurance quote.