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Humans need water to keep their bodies going. Likewise, cars need various fluids to keep functioning properly. It’s pretty weird that we never think about the fluids that are inside our cars. However, those fluids play a very important role in keeping everything running smoothly and maintaining temperature. Otherwise, the heat generated due to the functioning of these parts can melt various components. To support these parts work perfectly, 7 fluids play their role. But do you know what are the 7 fluids of the car?
Keeping an eye on the fluid levels is just as important as performing routine car maintenance. As a result, many car owners fail to properly maintain their vehicle’s fluids, resulting in costly repairs. These fluids play an important role in keeping the car operating smoothly, as well as ensuring that it is safe and capable of withstanding a variety of road conditions. Having a low level of these can result in severe car damage.
For your convenience, we have pilled a list of what are the 7 fluids in a car, their functions, and how you can check them.
Have a look at what are the 7 fluids in a car.
What Are The 7 Fluids In A Car?
In a car, fluids continuously circulate around the engine and other mechanical components to keep them running smoothly. Fluids also help maintain a comfortable and clean environment. Here’s a look at some of the most common fluid types in cars:
- Radiator Fluid
- Transmission Fluid
- Powersteering Fluid
- Brake Fluid
- Air Conditioning Coolant
- Windshield Washer Fluid
Let’s read about them in detail…
Even if you have just a cursory knowledge of cars, you are likely aware of the importance of motor oil. The engine has a lot of moving parts. Heat is produced as a byproduct of the friction that occurs between these components. Maintaining lubrication between moving parts reduces the risk of overheating. In other words, make sure the engine stays well-oiled.
Low oil levels can destroy the pistons, rings, valves, bearings, and other vital engine components. It may even result in complete engine failure.
New cars have a built-in sensor that informs about Oil status, such as when to change the oil, top-up, and more like that. However, if your car doesn’t have such a feature, you will have to stay updated.
It is essential to check the engine oil levels for the longevity of a car’s engine. It is a to check the oil level at least once a month and every time you plan for a long trip.
Usually, the engine oil needs replacement every 3000 miles, but depending on the type, the duration may extend.
How To Check The Engine Oil Level?
It is a pretty straightforward procedure to check the engine oil levels. Before you do anything else, take your car out for a little drive, say, for about five minutes. As a result, you’ll get an accurate reading of your engine oil level. Allow the engine to cool down for at least 10 minutes while parking on a level surface. The engine must be cool enough to touch.
Locate the dipstick or oil cap by opening the hood. Ideally, you should be able to see it in front of you. Colors such as red or yellow should be used for the handle’s paint. If you still can’t find it, refer to your car owner’s manual for assistance.
After wiping it down with a clean cloth, place the dipstick back into the oil tank. Remove it cautiously and check the engine oil level with a dipstick. In order to check the engine oil level, there must be two hash marks on the dipstick. To ensure that the oil level does not fall below the minimum hash marks, you must top up the oil until it is above the hash mark. Recheck the state of the dipstick after cleaning it.
While you check the engine oil levels, keep an eye on its color as well. If the color resembles very dark brown or black, you must get the oil changed before it results in a bigger problem.
Radiator fluid/coolant/antifreeze keeps the car engine safe from overheating. When the engine runs, the generated heat is distributed by coolant into the radiator and the atmosphere. Without a proper coolant level, the engine can reach an extremely high temperature, resulting in super costly damage.
To give you an idea, the average combustion temperature is 2,000°F, which may reach 4,500°F, whereas aluminum melts at 1220°F. Now you know how vital a radiator fluid is. Besides maintaining the temperature, the coolant also protects the plastic parts from excessive heat.
The antifreeze, along with maintaining the engine’s temperature, makes sure that the radiator works appropriately even in extremely low temperatures.
how to check the coolant level in a car?
It’s easy to check the coolant level in the car, but before you check the coolant level in the car, make sure that the engine is not hot. Never remove the cap when the engine is hot because the contents of the radiator are pressurized, and by doing so, you may end up with severe burn injuries.
When you lift the hood, look for the radiator cap, which is usually located in the front center of the engine bay. Open the cap using a cloth. Coolant level visibility is a must; otherwise, you will need to top off the radiator with coolant until it reaches the near-top cap.
There is no hard rule on when to change the coolant. Each coolant has its own life; kindly check the life of your coolant.
It is recommended to check the coolant level in the car every two weeks or whenever you notice a heating issue.
Transmission oil lubricates moving parts like gears, valves, and the clutch, just like engine oil lubricates the engine’s moving parts. It also aids in keeping the transmission’s interior components cool. Red is the most common color for transmission oil, but blue and yellow are also common.
Transmission oil, in contrast to engine oil, rarely needs to be changed. Transmission oil should be changed every 100,000 kilometers, according to some experts, but your owner’s manual will provide you with clearer instructions. The transmission fluid should be replaced if it turns a dark brown or black color.
How To Check The Transmission Oil?
Park your car on a flat surface and start the engine to warm it up to check the transmission oil. Like oil dipstick, transmission oil dipstick is usually the second of two dipsticks and is usually colored red. If you are unable to locate it, kindly consult the owner’s manual.
Pull the transmission oil dipstick out and wipe it with a clean cloth. To check the transmission oil levels, please reinsert the dipstick. The dipstick contains two warm and cool marks, and the oil must be closer to the warm mark.
If the oil level falls below the cool marks, add some oil to fill it. Again insert the dipstick, take it out and check the transmission oil level. Unless you notice any lag in transmission, it is recommended to check the transmission oil level every six months.
Power Steering Fluid:
Did you ever drive a car without power steering? It’s more like a workout than driving. In this new era, power steering is an essential feature provided in every vehicle. To make the maneuvering easier, the power steering fluid plays its role. It lubricates the power steering system, making its function smooth.
If the power steering fluid level drops, the steering will be hard to operate.
How to check the power steering fluid?
To check the power steering fluid, first, you will have to locate the reservoir. Open the hood and search for a passenger-side reservoir labeled with “Power-steering fluid” or “steering.” These reservoirs are usually transparent to give a clear inside. Clean the reservoir if you are unable to see the inside.
You won’t have to open the reservoir to check the fluid level after you’ve cleaned it. Open the reservoir and wipe the dipstick with a clean cloth if you are unable to inspect the fluid level. Then insert the dipstick again and check the level. If the fluid level is low, top it off with some high-quality power steering fluid until it’s back to normal.
Replace the power steering fluid after 30,000 miles and check the level monthly. If the steering seems sluggish or the fluid looks to be black in color, it may be time to replace the fluid right away.
Your car’s brakes are one of its most critical components. Brakes that work properly increase your chances of surviving an accident. Fluid is used to operate these brakes. Breathing in and out slowly slows your car down because each time you press your brake pedal you’re using brake fluid to slow your car’s rotor.
Due to a low level of fluid, the brake pads will not press against the rotor correctly, resulting in poor stopping ability. The first thing you should do if you detect poor braking performance is to check the brake fluid level.
How To Check The Brake Oil?
To check brake oil, open the hood and locate a reservoir labeled “Brake oil” at the engine’s end. Clean the reservoir, open the cap and check the brake oil level in it. If the level is below the minimum mark, top it until it reaches optimum level or at least half an inch of the cap.
Find out what kind of oil you should use by consulting the owner’s manual. Keep the cap closed for no longer than 15 minutes to prevent the fluid from becoming contaminated with moisture. The fluid should be replaced if it seems cloudy or black, or if it has exceeded 50,000 miles.
Air Conditioning Coolant:
When the summer hits, it gets nearly impossible to drive a car without using air conditioning. An essential part of this is an air conditioning coolant (also known as refrigerant or Freon). As the refrigerant depletes over time, the air conditioner’s ability to cool properly suffers. If your car is putting out a lot of air but not cooling it, you’re definitely running low on coolant.
If you have an A/C gauge and a Freon charging kit, you can refill the refrigerant easily at your home. Otherwise, you will have to consult a professional in this regard.
How To Refill The Air Conditioning With Freon?
You must have an A/C gauge and a freon charging kit in order to refill your air conditioning system with the gas freon. Locate your car’s low-pressure ac port by opening the hood. Remove the cap and proceed to use the freon charging kit.
A built-in pressure gauge will be included in the package. When the gauge is attached, the pressure reading will be shown. You’ll have to add freon to the system if the pressure falls below 25 pounds per square inch. To begin adding pressurized Freon to your system, just depress the lever on your freon charging kit.
To find out how much more you’ll need, consult your car owner’s manual. The system’s pressure should be between 35 and 45 pounds per square inch, so the Freon should be added in accordance with that. Watch this video to get a better understanding.
Windshield Washer Fluid:
A clean windshield is essential for your safety while driving, yet it is practically impossible to have a clean windshield without using washer fluid. Although it does not lubricate or regulate the temperature of any moving parts, this fluid is necessary for easy windshield cleaning.
How To Check Windshield Washer Fluid?
To check windshield washer fluid, open the hood and locate a transparent, opaque container marked with “Windshield” or “Washer.” There is no need to open the cap. You should be able to see the level through the container.
Because the container is not pressurized, the cap can be opened whenever you like without risk. Open the cap and add more fluid if you see the level is low. To get rid of bugs and road filth, you need use a windshield washer fluid. You can, however, use a water soap solution until you have adequate windshield washer fluid.
There is no specific interval to check or replace the washer fluid, but checking the level every two weeks is a safe side to go for. This was our compiled list of what are the 7 fluids in a car. We discussed the functioning of each fluid and how you can check them.
This was not all, another fluid, that is only present in rear-wheel drive or 4-wheel drive cars. Have a look at it.
As discussed, this fluid is used in rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive cars. In these cars, differentials are separated from the transmission; that’s why they need fluid to operate correctly. Just like transmission fluid, it lubricates the moving parts and maintains the temperature of the differential components.
The differential keeps the distance maintained between the outer wheels and the inner wheels every time you take a turn. In short, it helps the car to take turns without any problem.
Usually, its maintenance is neglected because of its location (located at the rear, under the car)
How To Check The Differential Fluid?
Depending on your car, it can be very easy or challenging to check the differential fluid. Some need to remove the housing cover, whereas others have a drain plug. Check the owner’s manual to know the location of the fluid and what type you need.
Locate the differential by parking the vehicle on a level surface. It has the appearance of a pumpkin-shaped piece of metal mounted between the back wheels of the car. Clean the area around the drain service port. For best results, use a steel-bristled brush in conjunction with a brake cleaner.
Open the service port using a ⅜ inch ratchet, insert a finger into it and check the fluid level. You are good to go if your finger touches the fluid; otherwise, you need to top it off. Insert a long spout into the port and squeeze the bottle to push the oil out. Fill until the fluid begins to leak out of the service port.
Once you’re done, use a clean towel to wipe up any oil that’s gotten into the service port and secure it to prevent further leaks (by turning the plug clockwise). If you’re not sure how often you should change your differential fluid, refer to your owner’s manual. Consult a mechanic if you have difficulty replacing the differential fluid.
In conclusion, there are 7 fluids in a car that you should be aware of and know-how to change. These fluids are important for the overall health of your car and should be checked on a regular basis. Be sure to consult your owner’s manual to find out where these fluids are located and how often they should be changed. Doing so will help keep your car in good condition and running for years to come.
Keep an eye on motor oil, radiator fluid, transmission fluid, power steering fluid, brake fluid, air conditioning coolant, windshield washer fluid, and differential fluid (in some cars).
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