In our last post we detailed how to check 3 of the 7 fluids that you can find in your car. Now we’ll take a look at the other four; the coolant, power steering fluid, transmission fluid and windshield wiper fluid.
When you check your coolant levels you need to check the coolant overflow reservoir. This reservoir has little markings on it that show you coolant levels when the engine is hot or cold. If the levels are too low you need to add more coolant to the radiator, but you should never open the radiator cap with a hot engine because this could result in serious injuries.
Power steering fluid is different from engine coolant in that it can be checked while it’s warm. In fact some manufacturers will suggest you warm up the engine while others will suggest keeping it cool. That’s why you should consult the owner’s manual for your car to see what the recommendation is for your car. To check the fluid levels you need to first find the power steering tank and take off the cap. There are some power steering reservoirs that have their own dipsticks you can remove while others have “MIN” and “MAX” markings on the outside of the reservoir. Remember to use a clean rag to wipe off the cap when checking the power steering fluid to stop dirt and grime getting into the reservoir.
Some vehicles have a way for you to check the transmission fluid on your own while others do not. Many older cars have dipsticks that allow you to check levels but some newer cars don’t and it can be difficult to add transmission fluid on your own without the right tools. That’s why we recommend you just bring your car to us and we’ll check your transmission fluid for you.
The final step is checking the windshield wiper fluid. This fluid may not be essential to keeping your car engine running but you’ll be glad that you have windshield wiper fluid to spare if something nasty happens to your windshield or it gets covered in dust and dirt. It’s pretty simple to check your windshield wiper fluid levels and replenish as necessary.
Checking and replenishing the fluid levels in your car can keep it running smooth for miles and miles. Learning how to check fluid levels and getting in the habit of doing it can save you a lot of time and money in the long run. Of course if you do notice issues with fluid levels then just bring your car down to NAPA AutoCare and we’ll be able to diagnose and fix any issues we find.