A vehicle's fluids are critical to safe and efficient operation and should be checked regularly. They are also often very simple and fast to check and top up, typically not requiring more then a few minutes. For other maintenance information, visit our maintenance blog. Here are some tips for checking, and replacing common vehicle fluids:
- Brake Fluid – This check is done by loosening the clip on the master cylinder and removing the lid. If fluid is needed, consult your vehicle owner's manual for correct type and fill to the recommended level.
- Engine Oil – Correct engine oil levels should be maintained to assure proper lubrication of your vehicles' engine. It is best to check engine oil levels approximately five minutes after a fully warmed-up engine is turned off or before starting the engine after it has been sitting for a longer period of time. Remove the engine oil dipstick, wipe the dipstick clean with a lint-free cloth or paper towel. Reinsert the dipstick until it fully sits in the tube. Remove the dipstick and read the oil level. Add oil only when the level is at or below the "ADD OIL" mark.
- Transmission/Transaxle Fluid – This check should be done while the engine is running in neutral with the parking brake securely set. The transmission should be at operating temperature. Remove the dipstick, wipe it clean, then insert and remove it again to check the fluid level. (CAUTION: DO NOT OVERFILL!)
- Windshield Washer Solvent – This should be done by simply removing the cap of the reservoir and refilling it with wash fluid solvent until the reservoir is full.
- Antifreeze – This check is done by removing the radiator cap from the cooled engine and refilling, if needed, with antifreeze. (Caution: Make sure the engine is completely cooled, and only use the recommended engine coolant as identified by your owner's manual.)