• Katie Campbell

Auto Care: Fluids 101


Driving is something many of us do every day, but we don’t often think about how important each part of our car actually is. So many things go into our car’s operation, and it’s important that we get our car inspected regularly, and make sure things are running smoothly. Speaking of that, fluids play a major role in helping our car run smoothly. They help to lubricate, maintain, and clean the moving parts of your vehicle.

Here is a little “Fluids 101” on the five very important fluids that help your car operate!

First up is transmission fluid. This is vital for your transmission. If you don’t already know, the transmission in your car transmits power from the engine to the drive axle, turning the wheels and propelling the vehicle. Pretty important, right? Well, transmission fluid lubricates gears, cools the entire system and protects it from corrosion. And as you would suspect, maintaining it helps to prolong the life of your transmission.

Next up is brake fluid. Now this is a crucial part in how your brakes function. When you step on the brake pedal, the brake fluid pressurizes the system and slows your vehicle. And over time, the fluid can become compromised by moisture and other contaminants and your brake performance can suffer. So, that’s why your brake fluid should be checked regularly or replaced at your next brake service. I mean, you really want to be able to stop on a dime when you need to, right?

Now another very important fluid is anti-freeze, or coolant. This helps your engine maintain the proper operating temperature, whether it needs to be warm in the winter or cool in the summer. This is important because when your vehicle’s cooling system isn’t functioning properly the temperature may get hot enough to cause damage leading to a potentially costly repair. So, having the fluid inspected regularly can save you a lot of money and time spent on the side of the road.

The fourth fluid is the power steering fluid. This fluid transfers energy into your power-steering enabling proper performance and ease of use. Think about how dangerous it would be if while you were driving your steering suddenly went out. Yikes!

And the last fluid I want to talk about is washer fluid. We all know that this helps maintain clean and clear visibility through your windshield right? Well, the more we use this feature on our car, the sooner we are going to have to add more. So keeping a good eye on the washer fluid level in your car will help ensure you won’t be without it.

So what’s the next step? Well, every car is different. These fluids should be inspected regularly, and filled or exchanged according to your vehicle manufacturer recommendations. Check out your car’s recommendations in your owner’s manual. Or if you’re unsure, you can always do what I do and bring your car into your local Jiffy Lube and their technicians will help you out.

Just go to jiffylube.com to find a location near you. And remember taking care of your car and keeping an eye on these fluids will help ensure your safety on the road. Happy driving!

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