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5 Fluids You Need to Check

Posted in Bigbox Service Tips

Published Fri Mar 01 2024

5 Fluids You Need to Check

Just like the human body, there are basic check ups you need to do to keep your car happy and healthy. These check ups don’t require you to be a mechanic or a car expert. It simply means you need to be able to regularly check and maintain five main fluids in your car’s engine. Maintaining these fluids is something that almost everyone can do on their own.

1. Engine Oil

Engine oil is not only arguably the most important oil in your car but also one of the easiest to maintain. Without enough of this oil to keep your engine well lubricated and working at preventing your engine from overheating, your car will inevitably fail on you and put you up for a substantial repair bill. 

Checking your engine oil is simple. 

First, remove the dipstick from the reservoir. (check you Manufacturer manual for recommended process) Wipe it clean with a clean cloth or rag, then reinsert it and take it back out again to get the reading. The oil on the dipstick should be somewhere between the clear markings on the dipstick. The colour and consistency of the oil is also important to take into account. Ensure it is a clear, golden colour and not a dark, thick gloop. If you need more information on this maintenance procedure, consult your vehicle's manufacturer manual.

2. ​Coolant

Coolant is typically a combination of water and a unique cooling fluid that is essential to help prevent your engine from overheating. Checking your coolant should only be done when the engine has well and truly cooled down, otherwise you may get burnt from the hot water inside the coolant chamber. 

To find out exactly which sort of coolant mixture your car requires, check your car’s manual. 

​3. Brake fluid

Having your brakes working at 100% is a non-negotiable. Since brakes rely on brake fluid, this is something you need to maintain. The good thing about brake fluid is that it’s within a sealed system of the car, meaning that the brake fluid doesn’t get used up. This means the fluid should not drop below the level and you shouldn’t need to regularly top it up. If your brake fluid levels are dropping, this may be a sign that there’s a leak somewhere in the reservoir that needs to be looked at by a professional mechanic. 

4. ​Transmission fluid

Similarly to engine oil, transmission fluid is a very important fluid that keeps things in the engine cool and lubricated. It is also measured in the same manner as engine oil but instead of taking the measurement with a cool engine, you should check the transmission fluid dipstick (unless it's sealed) while the engine is warm and running. Clean transmission fluid should also be red in colour rather than gold. 

​5. Windscreen wiper fluid

Having a clean windscreen is critical for safe driving. Whilst using water as wiper fluid may seem like non-brainer, it is much safer to use an affordable and simple windscreen washer fluid as these fluids prevent streak marks and glare from occurring after the fluid dries out. When it’s dark, foggy or the sun is making it difficult to see clearly, the last thing you need is streak marks and glare on your windscreen.  

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Five important fluids for drivers to check

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