Home Automotive Essential Car Maintenance: Don’t Forget the Fluids

Essential Car Maintenance: Don’t Forget the Fluids

Essential Car Maintenance

One of the most important aspects of routine maintenance is checking your vehicle’s fluid levels and replacing or changing these fluids per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Your owner’s manual will provide information regarding appropriate fluid levels and the regularity with which you should change certain fluids. To ensure the long life of your vehicle’s engine, make it a habit to check the engine oil, coolant, and transmission fluid on a regular basis. Here’s why.

Engine Oil

Engine oil is what keeps your engine running smoothly. This essential lubricant combats the friction caused by all the moving parts under the hood. Vehicles will begin to use more engine oil as they age. But even if you’ve just purchased the new Ford for sale that you’ve been eyeing, you’ll want to immediately check the owner’s manual to determine when to calendar the first oil change.

While many folks still adhere to the schedule of changing an engine’s oil every three thousand miles, for many newer vehicles, this standard is outdated. With the advent of more efficient motors and synthetic oils, many manufacturers allow for more mileage between changes. The most important thing is to check the oil level regularly and top it off or replace it as needed.

Engine Coolant

The second most important fluid level to monitor and maintain appropriately is engine coolant or antifreeze. Again, this fluid is essential due to the friction created by the moving parts of the motor. Coolant collects the heat caused by this friction and brings it to the radiator. Fresh air comes in through the radiator and cools this fluid, allowing it to cycle through again and capture more heat.

Knowing how this fluid works, it should come as no surprise that your engine may overheat if you don’t provide it with the appropriate amount of coolant. Again, consult your owner’s manual for information on when and how to check the coolant levels (for example, never check the coolant while the engine is hot) and for recommendations on which type of coolant to use in your vehicle.

Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid is a third liquid essential to your vehicle’s health and longevity. Like engine oil, transmission fluid lubricates the many moving parts of the transmission. Without an appropriate level of fluid, a transmission can wear prematurely, and you’ll notice a change in how the car shifts.

A more modern vehicle, like your new Ford, may feature a completely sealed transmission. This means that you won’t have to worry about the fluid levels decreasing. However, older cars require frequent checks by either the owner or a mechanic. Again, consult your owner’s manual to learn more.

Don’t Forget the Fluids

As soon as you purchase that new vehicle, you’ll want to educate yourself on the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations. This information is essential to maintaining the life and performance of your vehicle’s engine. Whether you bought that new Ford to use as a daily commuter or a sporty distraction, you need to keep a good eye on the engine oil, coolant, and transmission fluid to ensure that it remains healthy for many miles to come.

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