You might not consider fluids to be a vital component of your engine but they’re just as important as anything else and critical to your vehicle’s health. Just like you need to perform regular maintenance on the physical components on your car to keep it in good shape, your fluids need to be tended to regularly as well in order to stay safely on the road.
Automotive fluids are involved with a wide variety of mechanical functions, all of which are designed to make sure your motor is working properly. Your fluids should be monitored consistently and changed out regularly so your vehicle stays safely on the road between tune-ups.
Brake Fluid. Responsible for amplifying the force with which your car comes to a stop, this hydraulic fluid is typically glycol-ether-based but can also be comprised of silicone or mineral oil depending on the brand. You should generally change this liquid out every year or so to ensure your brake system is able to continue working at an optimal level.
Automatic Transmission Fluid. Typically colored red or green to distinguish it from other liquids, ATF is designed to augment valve operation, torque conversion, gear lubrication and other functions associated with your vehicle’s transmission. There are several different types of ATF so their flushing schedules tend to vary depending upon the specifications of their manufacturer.
Coolant & Antifreeze. If your vehicle isn’t running at the right temperature, your engine won’t be able to function at a high level for very long. Originally developed because water wasn’t able to transfer heat in an internal combustion engine, coolant/antifreeze prevents both overheating and freezing vis-à-vis a process known as “convection”. Like ATF, coolant/antifreeze’s flush schedule is dependent upon its make/brand.
Motor Oil. The fluid with the busiest life cycle, motor oil lubricates every moving part in your engine to make sure everything is running smoothly. Since it’s so active, your motor oil will need to be changed out every three months or 3,000 miles – whichever comes first. Aging motor oil will tend to thicken which can lead to serious problems for your engine so definitely stay on top of its change cycle.
If you have any questions about your vehicle’s fluids or anything else pertaining to its health, be sure to give us a call at 361.444.1355 – our ASE-certified technician can answer any auto-related query you may have!