Keeping Your Car's Fluid Levels In-Check
Motor Oil – Light brown to black
Even more important than fuel, motor oil keeps your engine from seizing, so checking its levels regularly will let you know if you’re running low or if there are possible leaks. To check your motor oil levels, drive around for a few minutes and then let the engine cool down. Lift the hood and look for the dipstick near the front of the engine. If the oil is below the lower hash mark rather than between both markings, it’s time to fill up.
Coolant – Yellow, Green, or Pink
Your coolant is a 1:1 ratio of water and coolant concentrate that circulates around the engine to transfer heat to the radiator. This mixture gets hot, so check levels when the engine is cool and don’t touch the radiator cap in the center of the engine directly with your skin. If the coolant is not visibly near the top, add some more. Remember to use a 50/50 mixture.
Brake Fluid – Clear/Yellow to Brown
When you put your foot on the brake, brake fluid compresses and moves to the brake pads. The force creates friction and safely stops the car. To check brake fluid, look once again to the engine compartment for the brake fluid reservoir. Remove the lid and make sure that the brake fluid is at the full line.
Transmission Fluid – Reddish, Orange
Transmission fluid cools the transmission system. Behind the motor oil dipstick is another, slightly shorter, dipstick. Unlike motor oil, you should check transmission fluid while the engine is still running. Clean the dipstick with a rag and then check the levels the same way you would with motor oil, using the high and low markings to gauge levels. The fluid should not be black in color.
Power steering fluid, windshield fluid, and battery fluid do not need to be checked as frequently but don’t forget about them altogether. These caps are often labeled under the hood, and markings will indicate levels. Use your user manual for further guidance.
Keller-Heartt is proud to offer a full line of automotive fluids and products that will help keep your vehicle in perfect working order. Changing fluids can be a messy job and if you happen to have a spill on your hands, our large selection of absorbents and oil eaters will eliminate your toughest messes.