A Car Owner’s Guide To Vehicle Fluids

long life coolant
Long life coolant, engine oil, wiper fluid — liquids are essential to your car’s function. But all of the different types of fluids can get confusing. While you should talk to your mechanic about your car’s specific maintenance schedule, this guide will explain the function of the most important vehicle fluids.


Why You Need It: Coolant, also called antifreeze, keeps your engine cool while it is running. This not only keeps your engine from reaching dangerous temperature levels, but it also protects it from general damage.

When You Should Change It: While the specific time interval depends on whether you have lower grade or long life coolant, as well as the make and model of your car, a general recommendation is every 30,000 miles or every five years.

Motor Oil

Why You Need It: Conventional motor oil keeps all of the engine parts lubricated. This is important because, without oil, your engine parts will grind against each other. This is a recipe for damage.

When You Should Change It: Check your engine oil every three months or 3,000 miles. Talk to your mechanic about setting up an oil change schedule.

Power Steering Fluid

Why You Need It: Have you ever had your power steering fail? This likely left you cranking the wheel to make a simple turn. Quality power steering fluid keeps these turns smooth.

When You Should Change It: Older cars might need more frequent changes, but on average, you should change your power steering fluid about every two years.

Wiper Fluid

Why You Need It: This nifty fluid is essential while driving in snow, ice, or dirt. By keeping your windshield wiper fluid full, you can clean off the windshield whenever it gets too dirty, maintaining visibility and safety.

When You Should Change It: You can generally notice when your wiper fluid is getting low, since it squirts out in low quantities. This often happens at the end of winter.

Transmission Fluid

Why You Need It: This fluid is similar to engine fluid since it lubricates the parts of your transmission. This can be key to making your transmission last as long as possible.

When You Should Change It: Talk to your mechanic about how often you should bring your car in for a transmission flush. Older models may need this service more often.

From long life coolant to high mileage motor oil, filling your car with high quality fluids is essential. By keeping up with your car’s maintenance schedule, you can keep all of its parts running as it should. And this will allow you to enjoy your car for years to come.

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