Did you know that your car contains seven fluids and that, in order to keep your car running safely, you need to check all of them on a regular basis? We understand the importance of checking your fluid levels so we put together this two-part series to teach you all about the different fluids and how you can check them. Part one will look at gasoline, motor oil, and brake fluid.
You’ll likely learn how to check the gasoline levels of your vehicle and put more gas in within the first week of owning the car. If you don’t then you won’t be getting very far in your second week! When you get a new car you should take a look through the owner’s manual. This manual will tell you everything you need to know including how much fuel you should keep in your car and how to check fluid levels. If you can’t find your owner’s manual then you can likely find a digital copy to download on the manufacturer’s website. You should be able to find it with a quick search on the internet.
After you’ve gotten used to checking gasoline levels and putting fuel into your car It’s time to pop the hood and learn about the other fluids you need to check.
Checking the oil levels in your car is a great skill to have and it’s the fluid you’ll be checking the most often. You need to start out by finding the dipstick in your car and then removing it. Use a clean rag to wipe the oil off of the dipstick. Then put the dipstick back and take it out once more. Now you’ll be able to see how much oil you have left. Your dipstick should also have markings including “Add” and “Full” to tell you about your oil levels. If the oil level has gone below the “Add” level then it’s time to add some oil. You should also change the oil if it’s gone from being a clear amber to a black. If the oil level has somehow gone above the “full” level then your car has too much oil and you should take it into the shop to have it fixed.
Something to keep in mind is that older cars can leak or even burn fuel so you might not notice that you’re losing oil between oil changes.
After checking the oil it’s time to check the brake fluid. Consult the owner’s manual again and find out where the brake fluid reservoir is. This reservoir is usually a translucent plastic so that you can see through it and check the fluid levels inside. There are also markings on the side of the reservoir to let you know if you need to add more fluid. Remember that brake fluid is supposed to be clear with a slight yellow tint. If the brake fluid has gone dark then you should have the fluid flushed and refilled.