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How to Check Your Fluids pt. 2

In our last article we talked about 3 of the 7 fluids found in your car which need to be checked regularly in order to stay safe on the road.

In this article we’ll discuss how to check your coolant, power steering fluid, transmission fluid and windshield wiper fluid.

To check your coolant levels, look to the coolant overflow reservoir. It will have marks on it to indicate coolant levels when the engine is hot or cold. If the levels are low you’ll want to add coolant to your radiator, but never open the radiator cap when the engine is hot, you can get severely injured.

Unlike engine coolant, power steering fluid can be checked while it is warm. Some manufacturers recommend you warm the engine, other say to keep it cool. You’ll need to refer to your owner’s manual for recommendations on your particular car. To check the fluid levels, locate the power steering tank and remove the cap. Some power steering reservoirs will have a dipstick that is inside the cap, or there may be “MIN” and “MAX” lines on the outside of the reservoir. When you’re checking power steering fluid make sure you use a clean rag to clean off the cap to avoid any dirt or grime getting into the reservoir.

Your vehicle may or may not have a way for you to check your transmission fluid on your own. In older cars you’ll find a dipstick to check levels, but newer cars don’t have this and adding transmission fluid to a newer car is very difficult to do if you don’t have the right tools. Your best bet is to let us check the transmission fluid for you.

Finally, windshield wiper fluid may not be crucial for running your car engine, but if you are driving in dusty, dirty conditions or a flock of geese decides to pass directly overhead you will be glad you topped off your windshield wiper fluid. Adding windshield wiper fluid is fairly simple to do.

Keeping an eye on your fluids can help your car go for miles and miles without any trouble. Learning how to run a quick check now and then can definitely pay off in the long run. And if you do notice an issue with losing fluids, be sure to stop by NAPA AutoCare and we’ll be glad to take a look for you and diagnose the issue.

Posted August 25th, 2016

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