If you want your car to keep running in tip-top shape you’re going to need to do more than just run through the occasional carwash. Checking your car fluids at home is the perfect way to give your car some “TLC” while saving money. And our Toyota of Orlando staff is here to help you do just that!
There are five main fluids that Toyota of Orlando recommends you keep up with to ensure your car is running at its full potential:
- Brake Fluid
- Engine Oil
- Transmission Fluid
- Power Steering Fluid
- Radiator Fluid
How and how often should you perform this car maintenance?
Number One: Brake Fluid
Check whenever you change engine oil.
Braking is an indispensable part of driving. You always need to make sure your brakes are functioning properly, and a big part of this is checking your brake fluid. This pressurized fluid is responsible for giving power to your brakes so you are able to stop. In order to check the level and quality of your brake fluid you will need to locate its reservoir, which is usually towards the back of your engine compartment. Once you unscrew the cap (or use a screwdriver to pry off the clamp if your car has one) check the level of the fluid inside. We recommend that the fluid level falls within about ½ an inch of the cap. If your brake fluid is too low, consult your car manual for the correct type of replacement fluid and fill it up. Also, it is wise to check the color of the brake fluid. If itis a darker color you need to see a mechanic to have it replaced.
Number Two: Engine Oil
Check once a month.
Oil is one of the most important fluids to pay attention to when it comes to your vehicle running smoothly. This car fluid lubricates all of the complex moving parts of the engine. Checking the oil is one of the simplest things to check. You should start by starting the inspection with a car that has been driven recently but is cooled down. You should find the reservoir closer to the front of the engine. Once you find this, remove the dipstick inserted in it and wipe it down with a cloth. Place the stick back and remove it slowly. Now you will be able to see the level your oil is at. In the scenario that your oil is low, check your car manual for what type of oil you need and just pour it in.
Number Three: Transmission Fluid:
Your transmission fluid is responsible for the lubrication of your transmission. It is very important this is well maintained in order to keep other pricey car problems from coming up in the future. To check the level locate the dipstick (make sure you do not have the oil dipstick) in the engine. Once you remove the dipstick wipe it off with a cloth and place it back in the reservoir. Slowly pull it back out and make sure the transmission fluid reaches the proper level. Once the level is checked, you need to check the color of the fluid. To do so, place a little on your hands. It should have a clear or pink color. If the fluid has specks in it or gives off a burnt odor, it is time to replace it.
Number Four: Power Steering Fluid
Check once a month.
The power steering fluid of your car does exactly what it sounds like: lubricates your power steering. To tend to this particular fluid, start by locating the reservoir under the hood, usually closer to the passenger side. It is very important for you to clean the area with a towel before opening it. Dirt in this fluid can be dangerous for your car. Then use the dipstick just as you would if you were checking your oil. After that is taken care of check for any leaks around this reservoir.
Number Five: Radiator Fluid
Check twice a year, once before summer and another time before winter.
Living in Florida where it is exceptionally hot, radiator fluid is especially important. This car fluid stops your car from overheating. You want to begin by checking this when your car is not cold. You do not want to remove the cap of the radiator fluid when the engine is still hot or running either. The reservoir can be found in the middle or the front of the engine compartment. Once it is opened if you have a difficult time seeing the coolant you should top it off.
Toyota of Orlando can help you
So if you love your car and want to give it the treatment it deserves make sure to always check your car fluids at the proper times. If you find it is time for a replacement take a quick drive off of I-4 and come visit us at our Orlando Toyota Dealership. You go online or call and make an appointment at 407-298-4500.