Checking Your Car’s Fluids: What You Should Know

Checking Your Car's Fluids: What You Should Know

One of the best ways to keep your car running well and in peak condition is to perform regular maintenance. This includes checking the fluids. Doing so isn’t difficult but can help you prevent major issues or repairs with your car. Here’s all you need to know about your car fluids, how to check them, and why each is essential.

Transmission Fluid

The transmission fluid is what keeps your gears shifting smoothly and your transmission operating correctly. It can also help prevent corrosion and oxidation. Low or dirty transmission fluid can cause a lot of costly issues with your car, so you should pay special attention to this. Even if you just bought a new Mitsubishi for sale or any new car, you should still keep an eye on this fluid.

Checking the fluid level usually involves checking a dipstick. Under the hood, look for a dipstick near the transmission. It can be beside the engine or the firewall and normally has a gear symbol on it. Some cars don’t have dipsticks and must be checked by a mechanic or dealer.

You should check the transmission fluid when the engine is warm. The dipstick should mark where the minimum and maximum levels are. If you check, and it’s low, you should add some. It’s perfectly fine to top this fluid off until 100,000 miles or five years have passed. At that point, the fluid should be changed completely.

Engine Oil

Oil lubricates the moving parts inside your car engine and helps keep things from overheating due to friction. You should park your car on a flat surface and let it cool down a little. Then, locate the dipstick. It is usually yellow or red and should be labeled “engine oil”. Pull the dipstick out, clean it off with a paper towel or rag, and carefully reinsert it. Then, pull it out again and check the oil level.

Add more oil, if needed, and change it out completely every 5,000 to 7,000 miles or so, depending on your make and model.

Brake Fluid

No car can run right without brake fluid. The brake fluid reservoir is usually under the hood on the driver’s side. It is transparent, so you can see easily where the fluid level is. There is a minimum and maximum mark on the reservoir. If you need more, simply add more brake fluid. Just ensure that it is the correct type for your vehicle.


Antifreeze, which is also known as coolant, helps to keep your engine from overheating in summer and freezing in winter. This is one fluid that should be checked when the engine is cool. It is usually a transparent tank. You can easily see if the fluid level is low, and you can add more coolant until you reach the correct level.

Power Steering

Power steering fluid ensures that you can drive more easily and keeps certain parts working correctly. The reservoir is near the power steering pump and you can visually check the level and add fluid as needed.


Check your fluids regularly to ensure your vehicle operates properly and avoid bigger issues down the road.

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