All of us lead busy hectic lives. Sometimes the crazy pace of life can distract us from taking care of basic maintenance issues with our automobiles. Do you know when to check or change the basic fluids in your car’s engine? Use these car maintenance tips to check and change fluids during the specified intervals and keep your car running as efficiently as it can!
- Change your engine oil regularly—The rule of thumb is to change your oil every 3000 miles. You can push that limit a little but don’t go too far. You want to keep your car’s oil running clear and use the correct viscosity. Make sure you use the specified oil for your car. You can find it on the oil cap itself or in the owner’s manual. Most service stations place "reminder" stickers on the upper left-hand corner of your windshield so you won’t forget, but if you take on this task yourself, don’t forget it! Aside from putting gas in your car, it is the most important maintenance item out there to keep your car running smoothly.
- Check your car’s power steering fluid—The power steering fluid should be red in color. If it is black, it’s dirty. Once power steering fluid gets dirt in it, it can damage the pump and make your car whine or squeal. This fluid only needs to be changed every 3-4 years or every 75,000-100,000 miles.
- Check your coolant fluid—Modern cars are built to run on coolant for years. This is something you want to check only every once in a while, to make sure your levels aren’t dropping. Most coolants (or anti-freeze) are designed to run in your vehicle for up to 5 years or 175,000 miles.
- Check your transmission fluid—Just like oil and power steering fluid, the transmission fluid gets dirty and begins to wear internal parts due to friction, so make sure you check your transmission fluid every 30,000 to 60,000 miles.
If you want to drive your car for years to come or if you want to get the best trade-in or re-sell value once you change cars, use these tips to keep your car running in “Tip Top” shape. The cost to maintain your car using these tips is relatively cheap. Neglecting to care for your car can cause major problems and costly engine repairs. So, stay on top of your vehicle’s fluid maintenance using these reminder tips and you can sit pretty in your car for years.