When to Check Your Vehicle’s Fluids

July 12, 2019 Published by Leave your thoughts

Your vehicle relies on a number of fluids to help it run effectively and efficiently. This goes beyond motor oil to include transmission fluids, brake fluids and coolant. Most of these fluids are easy to check at home, though you can certainly have them looked at and changed by an auto technician. But if you’re interested in checking them yourself, you’ll need to know how to do so, and how often.

Here’s a quick overview of how to make fluid checks a part of your auto tune-ups in Patchogue, NY.

Transmission fluid

How frequently you need to check and change your transmission fluid primarily depends on the kind of car you drive. Some cars have a dipstick under the hood (in addition to the oil dipstick) that allows you to easily check your transmission fluid at your leisure. However, it might not always be easily accessible.

Make sure you check your transmission fluid while the engine is running. Your focus should be less on the level of the fluid than the quality of the fluid. Signs that you may need to change it include a burnt smell, or a color that appears to be brownish rather than a bright red or pink. In general, though, your transmission fluid should last you quite a while.


Oil keeps your engine lubricated, and it’s extremely important to stay on top of your oil changes so your vehicle’s components do not wear down because of too much internal friction. The standard used to be every three months or 3,000 miles for oil changes, but upgrades in engines and oil types have changed that to the point where many vehicles take oils that will last for 7,000 miles or more. In addition, many newer vehicles also have oil life indicators built into their systems, so you can get automated alerts when your oil is getting close to the point where it needs to be changed.

Coolant and brake fluid

Coolant levels in your vehicle should be checked twice a year, once right before summer and once right before winter. This is because those are the seasons in which your coolant is most important. It prevents your vehicle from running too hot in the summer, and prevents the engine from freezing up during the winter. The coolant tank is visible under the hood, so adding in the proper coolant/water mixture is all you need to do to keep your vehicle good to go in terms of its coolant levels.

Brake fluid should be checked with every oil change, but once a year at the very least. The brake fluid reservoirs are also visible under the hood, and will have minimum/maximum markings on the side of the tank that show the proper level, just like a coolant tank. Your vehicle’s manual will show you where to find both your brake fluid and coolant tanks if you’re unsure where to find them yourself.

For more information about checking your vehicle’s fluids during an auto tune-up in Patchogue, NY, contact Gene’s 112 Auto Service Center Inc. today.

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