Five Fluids to Check in Your Car

oilEven when you buy the latest model, poor maintenance practices will shorten the car’s lifespan. Every inch of the car should be regularly checked and properly maintained. You do not want to be looking for companies such as because your car can’t start or it stalled on the way when there is an important meeting to get to on time. One major part of car maintenance is keeping the fluids at the right levels and condition. These not only lubricate but ensure the car parts function well and are protected. The fuel is the most important fuel for obvious reasons but here are five more you should check regularly.

The Oil

Oil is the most important lubricant, which makes the engine parts move smoothly. Without the oil, the engine will grind to a stop and completely stall forcing you to get a new one. Always check the engine oil when the car has been switched off for more than 10 minutes. This will allow the fuel to cool and settle at the bottom. Get a dipstick which usually comes as an accessory with the car and check the oil.

If it falls below the minimum level indicated on the stick, refill. Also, check the color and texture. For the texture, you will have to feel with your fingers. It should be smooth and free of particles. The color should be amber or yellow and not dark or brown. Grits indicate that parts inside the engine may be corroding or wearing out.

Brake Fluid

The fluid connects the brakes and the peddle. Without the fluid, it will be hard to bring the car to a stop. Check whether the fluid level is optimal. If it falls below the minimum level, you should add more but ensure use of the type specified by the manufacturer.  Also, check whether it is translucent. If not, it is time to change.

The Coolant

As the name suggests, the coolant keeps the temperature in the engine right. A lot of heat is generated when the car is in motion but the coolant brings it down to the right level. Failure to do this, the parts can catch fire or get destroyed. The coolant should be checked every 50000 miles unless there is a leak. Always check when the vehicle is not in motion to avoid splashes.

The Windshield Fluid

Although some don’t think it’s that important, the fact is, you cannot drive with a dirty windscreen.  The fluid is easy to maintain because you just need to buy and fill its tank or make your own which is cheaper.

The steering Fluid

Wonder why the steering of an older car is harder to move than that of a new one? Its because newer cars have a hydraulic steering wheel. The fluid, which has a reservoir, should be checked regularly and replaced with the recommended brand when it falls below the minimum.

Each of these fluids is important and should be checked regularly. Even when you get the car serviced, it’s vital that you ask the mechanic to have a look at the oils as well.


Importance of Oil Change for Cars

EngineAn engine is a combination of moving parts, which are exposed to damages as a result of friction. To avoid this, they need to be properly lubricated using the appropriate oil. If it stays for long, it breaks down and can get mixed with dirt that comes from the engine and the debris from the roads forcing you to take your car to places such as Middle River Tow Truck. This reduces its efficiency and consequently affects the strength of the engine adversely. Therefore, the oil should regularly be changed after a specified period that is indicated on your car manual. The following are five reasons why this act is essential.


It maintains the lubrication of the engine

Ideally, every moving part functions at high speeds to ensure that the car is operating without problems. In the process, they collide with each other and can cause heating due to the friction. Because of the collisions, the chances are high that the parts will significantly wear down and damage the engine. Therefore, it is crucial to reduce these adverse effects by ensuring that the oil in your engine is frequently changed. It is worth noting that there are several types of engine oil, and you must always consult the owner’s manual to understand the grade and weight of engine oil that is specified for your car.

Removes debris, dust, and engine wear particles

Dirt, debris, and engine wear particles are dangerous to engines. The wear particles are created when the moving parts collide at high speeds. When they accumulate, there is a high likelihood that they will lead to corrosion, which in turn reduces the life of the engine significantly. If the situation is not corrected, the overused oil readily turns into a sludge, which can no longer run the engine. To avoid this problem, the oil engine must be changed regularly and filtered to remove the particles.


Improves the mileage of the gas

MileageTypically, you can improve the gas mileage up to 2 percent if you always change your engine oil. The fuel consumption highly depends on the efficiency of the engine. The less it is, the more your car will consume the fuel. When the moving parts are functioning smoothly without much friction, it means that the engine is operating without difficulties. Therefore, it will require less gas.


Increase the life of the vehicle

Every car needs to be maintained well to stay conditioned for an extended period. Among the maintenance activities is frequent oil changing. If the dust particles continue to build up, they overwork the engine which attempts to overcome their presence. Consequently, the car ends up enduring a shorter lifespan than it would have been with regular changing of oil.


Cools the components of the engine

After the increased friction caused by the moving parts, simple science tells you that a lot of heat will be generated. This causes overheating of the engine, which in turn leads to reduced efficiency and effectiveness in its functioning. Therefore, the best method to avoid the problem is through frequent replacement of the oil.

So, it is crucial to ensure that you change the oil in your engine after the period specified by the owner’s manual to boost its functioning.

Car Oil Changing Tips You Need to Observe

Fresh oil pouring into a car engine during a serviceChanging the oil of your car can be a dirty job, but it has to be done. Engine oil should be changed at least once in every six months. It is easy to do this task yourself if you want to avoid unnecessary costs. You should first assemble the requirements which include an auto funnel, the oil, a drain pan, a filter, wrench and a notebook with a pen for keeping date records. The following are tips to help you effectively change your engine oil.



Purchase the Correct Oil and Filter

It is important to check the car manual before you buy the oil that is specifically meant for the engine of your vehicle. The viscosity of oil differs, and the wrong one can adversely affect the functioning of your engine. For example, it is easy to damage the engine and reduce its performance. Additionally, different models of cars have varying filter recommendations which can be found in the manual.


Engine Temperature

Always make sure that before you change your oil, the engine is warm. If it is cold, ensure you start it to run for about 5-10 minutes. Besides, if the engine is overly hot, do not change the oil because you can get burned in the process. Give it about 30 minutes to cool.



Avoid working under a car which is only supported by a jack. This jeopardizes your safety because the strength of the jack is not very reliable. Therefore, it is important always to ensure that you use jack stands. Also, make sure that you wear gloves before starting the process. This is because you dealing with chemicals which may react with your skin.


How to know when you need to change your oil

Dark Oil

oil filterIt is important to check the oil on your engine every month using the dipstick. If you notice that the color has completely changed to black, this could be a sign that you need to change it as soon as possible. However, the dark color is not entirely in itself a reliable way to do it. This is because whenever the oil enters the engine, it tends to change color. A more reliable way is to check whether the darkness is unusual or it has become abnormally thick.

Strange Smells

If you notice that your engine is producing strange smell of oil, that is an indication that there is a problem. There three possible reasons for a strange smell: Firstly, it could be an oil leak or secondly; it is overheating or thirdly; the oil needs to be changed. The second and third explanations are already enough to make you change the oil to avoid damaging the engine.


Check the Smoke from your Exhaust Pipe

During the cold weather, it is quite easy to see the type of product leaving through the exhaust. If what you see is translucent vapor, then your oil is still in good condition. However, if you see smoke, it is a sign that you need to change it as soon as possible.

How Often Does My Car Need a Tune-up?

Every driver or car owner understands that their vehicle needs regular oil changes, but many aren’t sure when they need to take their vehicles for a tune-up. What’s a tune-up? Well, you’ve probably heard your auto mechanic talk about doing an oil change and replacing your car’s engine air filter and other additional items, haven’t you? If yes, then you have an idea what tune-up means. The aim of having a tune-up is not to fix problems in your car but instead serves as preventative maintenance for your vehicle’s engine.

A tune-up usually involves changing oil, replacing distributor caps, engine air filter, spark plugs, fuel filters, belts, tires, PCV valve, and spark plug wires. Before performing a tune-up, your mechanic will want to know why you think your vehicle needs it. On today’s vehicles, tune-ups are performed based on mileage. That means you out to refer to your manufacturer’s guide which indicates the mileage intervals within which to replace the respective parts. As mentioned, tune-ups are performed to prevent parts from failing before replacement. Waiting till your car parts fail can result in serious issues. Here are signs that your vehicle needs a tune-up.

A Clogged Engine Air Filter

Many drivers don’t realize that a clogged engine air filter affects acceleration and performance of a car. Over time, your car’s engine air filter gets dirty which is why you must change it after the recommended mileage. If you live in areas with a lot of soot in the air, you may need to replace your air filter sooner. Consider replacing your fuel filter and cabin air filter after every 15,000 miles.

Hard Starting

Hard starting is one of the most common problems car owners encounter. Perhaps you’ve already experienced it as well. One of the causes is usually bad spark plugs. Consider replacing your spark plugs after every 60,000 miles. The same applies to your PCV valve, timing belt, and spark plug wires. Any starting failure could be as a result of a problematic electronic component in your ignition system. When you experience any sign of hard starting, it’s time to take your car for servicing.

Sputtering or Stalling

You’ll notice this when you’re either driving uphill or accelerating. If this happens, that’s a sure indicator that your vehicle needs some tune-up. Sputtering or stalling is a sign that there’s buildup of grime and dirt in your emission system.

Illuminated Check Engine Light

You know that something is not right in your vehicle’s emissions control system when you see a signal in your check engine light. Of course, this will depend on the exact problem. However, it’s important to note that the problem can affect the performance of your engine which is why you shouldn’t ignore it. You better see your mechanic immediately to diagnose and fix a minor problem than wait until it’s bigger and costly.

Running Rough and Poor Fuel Mileage

If your engine is running rough, especially when accelerating or idling, there’s a problem with your fuel system or the ignition system You may experience the same problem when driving at any speed. You could as well be getting fewer miles out of a certain quantity of gallons of gas. When this happens, it’s a sign that your vehicle needs to be tuned. A sudden decrease in your vehicle’s fuel mileage is a sign that you need to see your mechanic.

Your vehicle owner’s manual should always be your starting point. It’s what you need to prevent most of the problems your vehicle is likely to face. Refer to the manual to see how often your vehicle’s systems and parts need maintenance.