How to Check Your Fluids

How to Check Your Fluids

Did you know that there are typically seven fluids found in your car which need to be checked regularly in order to stay safe on the road?

We are going to go through a two part series to talk about all the different fluids in your vehicle and share important information on how to check them while on the road.

In this article we’ll discuss the most familiar fluid people think of which is gasoline, followed by motor oil, and wrap with brake fluid.

Within the first week of driving you will no doubt learn how to check the level of gasoline and add it to your vehicle, if not, by your second week you won’t be doing much driving at all. This may give you more time to familiarize yourself with your automobile’s owner’s manual. In your owner’s manual you can find important information such as what the recommended fuel is for your vehicle as well as where to check and add fluids to your vehicle. If you’ve lost your owner’s manual, most manufacturers have copies available for download on their website. A quick web search can help you find exactly what you need.

Once you’ve mastered adding the recommended gasoline to your vehicle, you’ll want to get under the hood and learn how to check other fluids.

Checking oil is a valuable skill to have and is one of the most frequently checked fluids.

To check your oil, first locate the dipstick and remove it from its cylinder. Next with a clean, lint free rag, wipe the excess oil off the dipstick. Next reinsert it into the cylinder and remove it again. On the stick you will see markings that identify the level of oil. There should be a range in between “Add” and “Full” that lets you know you have a proper level of oil. If it is in the “Add” area you should add oil. Also, if the oil is no longer a clear amber color, but black, it’s time for you to get an oil change. If the oil level is above the “Full” mark, too much oil has been added and you’ll need to visit the shop to have this remedied.

Keep in mind, older cars can begin to leak small amounts and even burn oil, so you might not notice losing oil in between oil changes.

Next you’ll want to check your brake fluid level. Using your owner’s manual locate the brake fluid reservoir. The reservoir is typically a translucent plastic that lets you see the fluid level inside. There will be markings on the side that indicate if the reservoir is full or needs fluid added. Also brake fluid is clear with a slight yellow tint, if it looks dark in color, it’s time for you to have your lines flushed and new brake fluid added.

To ensure the life of your vehicle and your safety, you should routinely check your oil and brake fluid, or we’d be happy to check and change them for you at your local NAPA AutoCare Center.