6 Types of Oils & Fluids Required For Car’s Smooth Working
A car’s performance is dependent on a lot of factors like driving method, engine performance, how you perform the car maintenance and so on. But, a lot of people fail to understand why is there a need to also check the vehicle’s various oils and fluids and why is there a need to get them checked and changed on time. Different kinds of fluids are essential for the working of the vehicle and facilitate performance, functionality, and efficiency if proper levels are maintained. Especially if you are a used car owner, these tips are even more relevant to you. These are the fluids and oils that affect your car performance:
Engine oil has a significant role to play in ensuring your vehicle runs smoothly and without trouble. Engine oil keeps engine clean, lubricated and protects it from wear tear which helps save it for costly repairs. Changing engine oil will assist the vehicle to run smoothly for years.
- Use of Engine Oil: Engine oil serves an extensive list of purposes. It is responsible for lubrication of moving parts, keeping engine component surface clean of loose particles, and protection of engine from wear tear.
- Time of Change: Usually 5,000-10,000 km is the desirable time duration for getting the oil changed. Although, the difference in driving habits and use of synthetic oil can have an effect on how frequently the engine oil needs to be replaced. A good understanding of the time duration can be found in the owner’s manual as well based on the type, model and make of the car.
To keep your vehicle from overheating or freezing, Coolant is used. It is an auto fluid which works on the car’s radiator. Coolant consists of a mixture of 50% water and 50% antifreeze. Coolant has additives to control temperature as well as contains anticorrosive properties. The anticorrosive properties of Coolant help it protect Aluminum parts of the engine, such as radiator tubes as well as cylinder heads. It has a sweet smell and comes in colors like red, green, blue, yellow, etc. Since overheating and freezing are serious problems, the usage of Coolant is important.
- Use of Coolant: A critical part of the cooling system of the car’s engine, Coolant helps prevent the engine from freezing or overheating. It also helps prevent corrosion of the aluminum parts.
- Time of Change: Coolant should ideally be changed every two years or around 35,000 kilometers. The car’s owner manual can help find the optimized period for a particular car. Although if a sweet smell starts coming through vents, a visible leak is present under the hood, and engine temperature remains high consistently, then it is important to get coolant checked or changed.
One of the most valuable oil for the working of the car and its safety, Brake oil is a hygroscopic and hydraulic oil. Its function is to transfer the pressure when the brake pedal is pressed, to calipers that cause the vehicle to slow down. Brake oil has a boiling point, and too much heat can cause air bubbles in oil leading to the unresponsive brake pedal. With continued usage, it can also absorb moisture which causes corrosion in the braking system that can be a costly affair.
- Use of Brake oil: Brake oil transfers the pressure created by pressing the brake pedal to the brake caliper. This results in braking system rotors to compress on the wheels, thus, slowing down the vehicle.
- Time of Change: Car companies suggest replacing the brake fluid every two years or around 30,000-50,000 km. It also depends on the vehicle type, and hence might be different for different cars based on the car specific requirements.
Transmission fluid works as a lubricant for the moving parts within the transmission. It also acts as a coolant and power transmitter from the engine to the transmission. As there are various kinds of transmissions, they are different varieties of fluids to work with them. It is important to know which one your car supports based on the car model and make.
- Use of Transmission Fluid: Transmission fluid is responsible primarily for the smooth working of the transmission, although, it helps in preventing corrosion, cleaning the transmission and maintaining gasket conditioning.
- Time of Change: Usually the transmission oil is changed after every 40,000-50,000km to ensure a smooth drive. However, if it feels as if the vehicle’s transmission is slipping, strange noises are heard like transmission grinding, or if there is a problem with shifting gears, then there may be a need to change the transmission fluid.
Power Steering Fluid
Power steering fluid is known to have a variety of functions and is a highly pressurized hydraulic fluid. The car’s power steering capabilities are dependent upon power steering fluid whose primary job is that it transmits power to the car’s steering rack which is located around the front wheels. When the steering wheel is turned while making a cut, the power steering fluid is directed to the respective side.
- Use of Power Steering Fluid: Power steering fluid transmits power to steering rack, lubricates power steering pump as well gear unit, minimizes temperature in the steering system and reduces friction in the power steering system.
- Time of Change: There are no fixed criteria to get it changed, however, if there is creaking on the steering wheel, noises as car is turned, or there is trouble in turning the steering, then it is possibly because a change of power steering fluid is required.
This might seem like it doesn’t matter, but its presence is needed. Washer fluid is used with windshield wipers to wash the car’s windshield. It can be quickly refilled since it is easily accessible, but keep in mind that it can withstand the temperature of the climate you’re living in.
- Use of Washer Fluid: Washer Fluid’s usage is to primarily get rid of the dirt, salt, grime, etc. on the vehicle’s windshield, so there is no problem in watching the road ahead. The importance of wipers and windshield can never be negated, and hence, it is important to ensure this fluid is always available within the car.
- Time of Change: Washer fluid is not time dependent, rather it is dependent on the usage. Hence, there can be no specific maintenance interval for your washer fluid because it directly depends on how much you use your washer fluid.
With all the information about what kinds of fluids and oils are required for smooth functioning of the car, there’ll be a less of hassle and there won’t be any need to visit service center every time since some of these oils and fluids can be replaced by anybody on their own without any experience.