Your car’s powertrain consists of many complex components that work together to make it run, along with other systems such as braking and steering that help keep you in control. However, the systems won’t work without the essential fluids that keep them running smoothly, efficiently, and most importantly, safely.
When you have your vehicle serviced at Huffines Hyundai Plano, our highly experience technicians will check your car’s fluids and top them off or replace them as needed. Between service intervals, you should regularly check these fluids to make sure they’re at the right levels and identify potential problems before they become more serious. Here are six car fluids that you should check routinely and why.
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Oil is your engine’s lifeblood. The engine components make thousands of movements every minute, moving in unison to provide the performance your car is designed for. The oil lubricates all the moving parts to reduce friction, while helping to dissipate the enormous amount of heat that builds up while the engine is operating. This helps keep everything running smoothly.
If the engine oil falls below the required level, the moving parts won’t be sufficiently lubricated and will start grinding together. That friction generates excess heat, which can cause the engine to overheat. The extra wear on the engine’s components can lead to a very expensive repair bill. By making an engine oil check part of your weekly auto maintenance routine, you can ensure that your car has enough oil and that it’s in good condition.
When you check the oil, ensure that your vehicle is parked on level ground and that the engine has had enough time to cool down. The oil dipstick is usually near the front of the engine. In many modern cars, such as Hyundai, the dipstick has a yellow pull ring, making it easy to identify.
To check the oil, pull out the dipstick, wipe it clean with a paper towel or rag, then push it all the way back in. Pull the dipstick out again and check the oil level against the minimum and maximum markers. If the level is close to the minimum mark, you’ll need to top it off, making sure you use the correct grade of oil.
If the oil runs low, it could be a sign that the engine is burning oil or that there’s an oil leak, both of which can cause expensive engine damage. In either case, bring your car to our Huffines Hyundai Plano service center to have it checked out by our factory-trained technicians.
Engine coolant is often known as antifreeze, but it’s not just to stop your engine from freezing. In hot weather, it keeps the engine from overheating and helps to stop corrosion and the build-up of deposits. It’s important to keep the coolant topped off with the correct mixture of water and antifreeze. Never check your coolant when the engine is hot, as pressure builds up in the system and opening the cap can result in you being sprayed with boiling fluid.
The coolant level is simple to check by looking under the hood for the translucent reservoir tank near to the radiator. The level should be between the minimum and maximum lines on the tank. If necessary, top off the fluid with the right mixture of coolant. If it regularly runs low, it could indicate a leaking radiator or hose, which you should quickly have checked by a professional technician.
If your vehicle has an automatic transmission, check the transmission fluid regularly, especially in older cars. The fluid lubricates the gears, clutches, and valves, and helps keep the components cool to ensure smooth-shifting gear changes. If the fluid runs low, you could experience a noisy transmission, clunky shifting, and uncontrolled surges. For checking the transmission fluid yourself, consult the owner’s manual for your particular car. Alternatively, for peace of mind, bring it to the service center at Huffines Hyundai Plano and have our technicians check the fluid for you.
Brake fluid is crucial for the safe operation of your car. It doesn’t matter how good the brake rotors, pads, and calipers are. Without fluid, the hydraulic brake system won’t work. Basically, when you press the brake pedal, hydraulic fluid is forced through the brake lines, which causes the calipers to push the pads against the rotors to slow and stop the car.
Check the brake fluid routinely by inspecting the clearly marked reservoir under the hood. If the fluid level gets low, or if the brake pedal feels spongy or goes too far down, there could be a leak in the system. Any fault with the braking system needs to be checked by a qualified technician.
Power Steering Fluid
You don’t really notice how power steering makes maneuvering your car so easy until you don’t have it. Then you’d need a weightlifter’s muscles just to parallel park. That’s why it’s important to make sure the power steering fluid is topped off. Similar to the brake fluid, there’s a reservoir under the hood for the steering fluid. Check the level against the minimum and maximum markers and top it off if necessary. As with the other fluids, if it often runs low, this indicates a problem that needs to be inspected.
While windshield washer fluid doesn’t affect the running of your car, the lack of it can endanger your safety. When you pull the washer stalk and all that happens is your wipers scrape dry dirt across your windshield, your vision can be severely impacted. Just add washer fluid to water and fill the reservoir to the top to ensure your windshield stays clear.
At Huffines Hyundai Plano, we know that not everyone is confident in carrying out maintenance task themselves. You can schedule a service with us, whether it’s for a full service or routine checks. Our technicians will ensure that the vehicles of drivers from Plano, Garland, Carrollton, and beyond get the optimum care to keep them running at their best.