How To Check And Top Up Fluids

One of the easiest and most important parts of car maintenance is regularly checking and topping up fluids. All of the fluids are needed to make sure that the car works efficiently and regular checks will ultimately save you a lot of time and money. In this article we cover all the important fluids and what you need to know about them:

Motor Oil

The key role of motor oil is lubrication. The car engine consists of moving parts that come into contact with each other and motor oil acts to reduce the effect of friction and lower the rate of wear and tear. However, the oil will pick up dirt over time and needs regular replacement. It is also a good idea to change your oil filter at the same time.

Checking and Topping up

A dipstick is provided to help you check the oil. The process is simple:

  1. Ensure the car is turned off and stationary for a minimum of 10 minutes.
  2. Remove the dipstick wiping all the oil away with a clean, lint-free cloth.
  3. Replace the dipstick and remove to check the reading.
  4. Makes the oil level sits between the minimum and maximum mark, closer to maximum.
  5. Top up the oil if necessary.
  6. At the same time check the colour of the oil – it should be yellow or amber but if it is darker than this (or black) you will need to have it changed. You can feel if the oil is dirty by rubbing a little between your fingers. If the oil feels gritty then it needs to be changed.

Brake Fluid

This fluid is what keeps the hydraulic brakes working well. As the car is driven moisture can accumulate in the fluid which makes it less effective. It also reduces naturally over time so you will need to have it changed regularly and once a year is the usual recommendation. Levels can be checked in the same way as the engine oil as brake fluid also has a dipstick and reservoir for this purpose.

Power Steering Fluid

Another part of the hydraulic system is the power steering fluid which helps you turn the car smoothly and easily. The fluid can reduce naturally over time, more so if there is a leak in the system. There is a dipstick for this fluid under the bonnet so you can check and top up as needed.

Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid is essential to provide lubrication to the gears and valves. It doesn’t often need to be changed but can become dirty and less effective over a long period of time. If you find that there is screeching, that gear changes are rough or that the car surges, these are all signs that you need to take a look at the transmission fluid. To change the fluid the car should be placed in a neutral gear and a reading taken using the dipstick. Fluid should normally be amber or red; darker coloured or cloudy fluid means it is time to have it changed.

What Fluid Do I Need?

You should receive a handbook with your car which shows the appropriate fluids, levels and checking schedule. If you can’t find that there are many professionals who can answer your questions and will also run any checks and carry out maintenance, resolving any fluid-related problems.

Regular maintenance helps maintain the fuel efficiency of your car besides ensuring good performance and safety. For a car service in Manchester and nearby areas, use our quick form to get a quote that is much lower than the main dealer. Our hassle free service includes collection and return of your vehicle from and to your home or work and a free wash and vaccum. Once you try servicing with Servicing Master you’ll never get a service the old fashioned way again.

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