What Fluids to Check and How
Before going on a trip or while filling up with gas, it is good practice to check your fluids on your vehicle, whether it be new or used. Correct fluid levels will help ensure a long lasting engine and transmission and will also help save on repair bills down the road. Engine Oil
- To check your engines oil, make sure your vehicle is parked on flat ground. Some manufacturers suggest the engine to be warm while others cold, refer to your owners manual to be certain. Pop the hood with the hood release, which is normally located under the steering wheel closest to the drivers door. Open the hood and located the engine oil dipstick. Pull the dipstick out and wipe the end clean with a clean rag. Insert the dipstick all the way back in and pull it back out. Now look at the end of the dipstick to determine if the engine is low or full on oil. Some dipsticks will have a MIN and MAX on them while others may have a crosshatch where the appropriate level of oil should be. Refer to your owners manual if you are uncertain. Transmission Fluid (Automatic Trans Only)
- To check the transmission fluid level, the engine will have to be up to operating temperature. With the car in park, pop the hood and locate the Transmission dipstick. Pull the dipstick out and wipe it clean with a clean rag. Insert the dipstick all the way back in and pull it back out. As the same with the engine oil, read where the line of fluid stops on the end of the dipstick to determine if it is low or full. Refer to your owners manual if you are uncertain.Brake Fluid
- To check the brake fluid, pop the hood on the vehicle and locate the Brake Master Cylinder. It will be located on the drivers side of the car on the bulkhead. Think of where your break pedal is while your sitting in the car, and it will be close to that location under the hood. There will be a translucent reservoir with the word MAX or FULL with a line next to it. The fluid should be filled to this line. If you are uncertain of where the fluid is, refer to your owners manual.