Can I Check My Own Engine Fluids?

October 24, 2022 12:00 am Published by Leave your thoughts

Your car is a big investment; you want to keep it running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. Checking essential fluids in your car is a must and can help you determine what is low, what might not be the right viscosity, and what needs to be changed out for the health of your car.

Why Check the Essential Fluids in Your Car?

The first essential fluid in your vehicle that you can check yourself is the engine oil. Your engine oil should be dark brown, it should be of medium viscosity, and your owner’s manual should tell you how much oil your car needs. When you take out the dipstick, there are measurements that tell you how much oil is in the engine so that you can then adjust it as needed.

Another vital engine fluid is coolant. You can see down inside your radiator from the top of your engine. The radiator does have marks on the side that show where the coolant should be and how much should be in the tank. A good indicator that your coolant is low is if your vehicle overheats easily.

There is also power steering fluid. You cannot check this on your own, but you can tell when it is getting low or something is wrong. If your power steering fluid is low, it will be hard to turn your wheel and drive your vehicle.

Brake fluid is another fluid you cannot really check. You can tell that there might be something wrong with your brake fluid if your brakes seem spongy or if they are not stopping well. Transmission fluid is also crucial. Again, this is not something you can check, but if you are having trouble shifting or notice that your car makes noise when you shift gears, you may have trouble.

The last fluid you need to keep an eye on is windshield washer fluid. You can change this and keep track of it on your own very easily. Your vehicle likely has a low fluid sensor that will tell you when you are out of washer fluid.

Why Is Checking Fluids Important?

It is essential to keep your engine fluids up and to ensure that they are changed out when needed to ensure that your vehicle is going to drive properly. If you run out of oil, your engine will not be properly lubricated; if you run out of coolant your car could overheat. The transmission needs to stay lubricated so that your vehicle can shift gears, your brakes need fluid to work, and your power steering also needs fluid to function.

You can get most of these fluids checked when you get an oil change and can have fluids topped off. With closed systems like your transmission and your power steering fluid, you will need to make an appointment with a full mechanic.

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