Everything You Need to Know About Car Fluids

Everything You Need to Know About Car Fluids


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What  Car Fluids Are For & How to Maintain Them

Have you ever heard someone describe their car as a "well-oiled machine"? Many commonly use this expression to imply that their vehicle is running smoothly and they've carefully maintained it with fresh fluids and perfectly functioning parts. Let’s discuss six essential car fluids, their functions, and how you can maintain them.

Engine Oil

Engine oil is one of the most well-known car fluids, as it lubricates moving engine parts and reduces friction. Old oil or low fluid levels could result in overheating or complete engine failure. To avoid these possibilities, you must replace your oil regularly.

Most vehicles have a dashboard light that appears when an oil change is necessary. Additionally, most repair shops provide a small sticker you can place on your windshield, reminding you of the date or mileage when an oil change is required. Other warning signs include a knocking sound from your engine or exhaust smoke. However, if you notice any of these signs, we don't recommend trying to change your oil on your own.

Many modern vehicles don't have dipsticks and instead use digital gauges. Understanding how your vehicle measures oil to avoid overfilling it is essential. Moreover, most vehicles have a built-in indicator for service intervals, and an experienced auto shop will know how to reset it properly, ensuring your car is safe and ready for the road.

Windshield Washer Fluid

Have you ever noticed smudges on your car's windshield, only to realize that your windshield washer fluid ran out? Not only is this an inconvenience, but dirt and debris can obstruct your view. Therefore, windshield washer fluid is one of the most essential car fluids to check and maintain. 

It's always better to let a professional at an experienced auto shop refill your windshield washer fluid rather than doing it yourself. This guarantees that it will be refilled correctly to the appropriate level. 


Extreme weather conditions can take a toll on your vehicle's engine. Coolant or antifreeze are essential car fluids that help you avoid unnecessary damage by regulating the temperature within your engine. If you notice that your coolant fluid level is near or below the "Low" marking on the reservoir, it's time to get a refill. Additional warning signs include a high-temperature needle gauge or a malfunctioning heater.

However, it's important to note that you should never attempt to change coolant on your own. This process requires specialized equipment and vacuum fill procedures to ensure all areas of the vehicle coolant system have flow and no air pockets are created. You should visit an experienced auto shop to get the professional support your car needs.

Power Steering Fluid

Power steering has become a standard feature in many modern vehicles and reduces the effort a driver has to make when turning the wheel. Power steering car fluids enable this process but require regular flushes to ensure the system works properly. 

Refilling power steering fluid is a complex process, which you should leave to the professionals. If you notice any unusual noises or have concerns about driving safely, you should tow the vehicle to an auto repair shop to avoid damaging components within the system. The pumps are highly sensitive, and not letting the fluid level drop is imperative. 

Transmission Fluid

In simple terms, your vehicle's transmission transfers power from the engine to the wheels. However, this system relies on transmission fluid to function by lubricating, cooling, and protecting the moving parts.

We encourage you to refer to your owner’s manual for an exact, personalized timeframe on how often you should replace your transmission fluid. However, if you’re having trouble shifting gears or notice delayed acceleration, these are indications that it's time to visit an auto shop.

Skilled mechanics will be able to determine whether you need a quick fluid refill or if there is a more significant issue at hand. We recommend contacting a service shop as soon as you notice these problems and asking them if you should drive your vehicle or if you need to get it towed in for service. This way, you can keep yourself, others on the road, and your car safe. 

Brake Fluid

Last but certainly not least, we want to touch on brake fluid. This automotive fluid facilitates a smooth brake by transferring force from the pedal to the brake pads, which makes braking easier for the driver. While the recommended interval for replacing brake fluid varies, doing so every two to three years is advisable.

Old or dirty brake fluid can cause several problems, including reduced brake responsiveness, noise when braking, and vibrations in the brake pedal. Driving with a faulty brake system is not only dangerous for you, but it also endangers those around you. Contact a professional mechanic shop to get your car fluids checked if you notice any of these signs.

Check Your Car Fluids at TRUE Automotive

Here at TRUE Automotive, we never want you to feel unsure behind the wheel. If something feels off or you hear your car make an unfamiliar noise, please see us and call ahead in times of uncertainty. We will help you determine if your vehicle is safe to drive into the shop or if you require a tow to minimize further damage.  

Getting your car fluids checked is completely free, and we will get your approval before beginning any service. Our experienced mechanics have the technical expertise to replace or refill any of the above fluids safely and precisely to your vehicle’s exact needs. We welcome walk-ins, or you can visit our website to reserve your appointment. Click the button below to get started, and we look forward to serving you soon!

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