The Importance of Fluids in the Vehicle

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The Importance of Fluids in the Vehicle

To keep your vehicle lasting as long as possible, make sure you keep the vehicle well maintained. This is the best way to make sure your vehicle is safe and reliable when you need it to be. Between visits it is important to check the fluid levels in your vehicle. Make sure the fluid levels are at the designated line on each reservoir. You can also bring the vehicle in and we can inspect the fluid levels for you.


Engine Coolant is Important for Your Vehicle

Engine coolant runs through your vehicle’s engine, absorbing and transferring heat to the radiator where it is cooled before being re-circulated. Coolant contains specially formulated chemical packages that inhibit rust and scale buildup, lubricate water pumps, help protect against freezing, and improve heat transfer. There are plenty of things that can cause your coolant to wear out. Not changing it frequently enough, running the engine in an overheated condition, and even just working the engine extremely hard can result in breakdown of the coolant’s chemical properties. This leaves the cooling system more susceptible to rust and scale buildup and freezing in the winter. In addition, the water pump can wear out from excessive friction and heat.

Power Steering Fluid Should be Inspected

Power steering fluid is hydraulic oil, just like transmission fluid. Your power steering system consists of a pump and fluid reservoir, lines, and a power steering gear. The pump creates hydraulic pressure from pumping the fluid, which powers the steering gear, making steering easy. On most vehicles, power steering fluid does not show up in the maintenance schedule, so there are no severe or normal service recommendations. Check it at every oil change, inspecting closely for evidence of metal flakes, indicating steering gear or pump wear, or a black or dark color, indicating overheating. Either condition calls for replacement of the fluid and inspection of the system. If the fluid appears to be overheated, the pump should be checked for internal wear. If you catch these problems early enough and replace the pump, you can usually circumvent replacing the steering gear later.

Don’t Forget to check the Brake Fluid

Check the brake fluid every oil change, inspecting closely for the proper level and signs that the fluid needs to be changed. Some manufacturers do suggest having the brake fluid completely changed every five to seven years. Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid used as a medium to generate the pressure needed to activate the brakes. When you press the brake pedal, the master cylinder pumps fluid through the system, which pushes the brake caliper pistons against the brake pads, which in turn make contact with the brake rotors and slow the vehicle. Brake fluid that is black in color has been overheated. If the brake fluid is dark in color, the brakes should be checked for a malfunction. Rust sediment is an indication that moisture has contaminated the brake fluid. By checking the fluid levels, you can help keep your vehicle lasting as long as possible.


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