As you might expect, there are a lot of different fluids that work as part of car to help protect certain components. The list of fluids within a car is often more than a lot of people think, as a lot of drivers will be familiar with checking say the engines oil dip-stick, and screen wash reservoir, yet may not be familiar with say checking the power-steering levels.
This is why its important that you have fluid levels checked over by a qualified mechanic, as something as simple as topping up the power-steering reservoir could help protect against a seized power steering pump from occurring.
Now, as you would expect, each car design might well be different, so for exact list of the fluids that need checking on your car at what intervals, you will need to call us, and book your car in for an inspection.
The reason for that, is the oils used on say a city car that might not even have power steering will be quite different from say a large powerful saloon car with a V6 under the bonnet, the oils used will be different, and therefore our mechanics will need to check different car parts.
So, if you’re unsure as to whether your cars oil needs replacing, or any other fluids, we would recommend that you bring to us to check for you. The reason for that is some areas of some engines are not that accessible, for example, the power steering reservoir which we mentioned earlier might sometimes be under the battery box, and air intake. So, not every driver will know how to check this, yet we can help.
However, to give you some idea, of just some of the fluids that might be within your car, we thought we would write this article, to point out just some of the lubricants and fluids that our mechanics sometimes check when a customer requests.
Sounds an obvious one to check right, yet you would be surprised as to how many cars we see with the engine oil right on the minimum mark, or even below. Leaving the engine oil run low is not a good idea, it can sometimes mean the engine becomes so damaged, it’s a write-off. The reason for this is an engine incurs huge stresses on each drive, causing friction, which causes heat, if the engine is not correctly lubricated, it runs a very high chance of seizing and major damage being incurred.
Low oil, or oil that hasn’t been changed at regular intervals as specified by the manufacturer can mean that a lot of microscopic deposits build up in the oil its self, making it less effective at protecting the engine.
So, sure all fluid levels on your car should be kept within the levels specified by the cars manufacturer, but one that definitely needs an eye kept on, is the engine oil levels.
Engine oil running too low, or even sometimes too high, can cause engine damage. If the engine oil is too low, this can cause more friction to occur, generating heat, which can mean that sometimes the engine even seizes, which means that sometimes, depending on how much damage is caused, the engine can even be a write-off on some cars, purely due to the fact engine oil was run too low.
It’s also crucial that engine coolant levels are kept to the right level, and changed as per the cars manufacturer specification.
Sometimes, on some cars its quick and simple to check the coolant levels, as the reservoir is transparent and as soon as you lift the bonnet, you can see the coolant level against the markers.
However, on some vehicles sometimes the engine coolant level is less visible, or the tank has become discoloured making it hard to see the true level of the coolant fluids inside. What’s for sure, is you don’t want this fluid to run too low, as again, if it does, it could cause major engine damage.
Power steering oil
Now, this might be a fluid that some drivers don’t check all that regularly, however you most definitely should.
On some engines, the power steering oil reservoir is not in an easily accessible location, sometimes it’s even underneath the battery box, or air filter, meaning that sometimes multiple bolts needs to be removed, before the dip-stick can even be used.
Yet, it’s definitely a fluid that either you or your mechanic should check, the reason being is that like for most parts fitted to your car, if the correct fluid is not flowing through, or not lubricating the part, well, it might seize.
Now, on some cars the power steering pump is no exception, in that if the power steering fluid runs too low, this could seize the pump.
Now this might sound rather basic one, yet say you’re driving down the road, a muddy puddle gets sprayed over your cars window, and the wipers just seem to be smearing this mud into the window more, this is potentially a dangerous situation.
Therefore, you need to make sure that your cars windscreen washers are working, and that the reservoir is topped up, plus we would recommend using a good quality windscreen wash as well.
Now, we would say, that a lot of drivers forget about this fluid, as its one that’s much less known about.
That is the “gearbox oil”, now when this is running low, on some cars you might not even notice this, yet it’s absolutely essential to protecting the gearbox.
Without the right level of gearbox oil, then it’s possible for the parts within the gearbox to wear very quickly.
Make sure you know what’s included in your cars service
It’s all well and good taking a car to get serviced, yet, different garages will include different checks and work. Its important to follow the car manufacturers specification as to when parts should be changed, and when services should occur.
For example, a full service, often includes major filter change, such as replacing the air filter, oil filter, and an engine oil change, yet you should still check that what your getting for the fee is what the car manufacturer recommends should be serviced at that interval. For example, a car manufacturer may specify the timing belt is changed after so many thousand miles, so make sure you get a quote for this.
Equally, if your purchasing a full service from your garage, make sure that when you discuss with them what’s included, that your getting the oils, and parts that the manufacturer recommends. For example, if a car brand such as Renault, Citroen or Peugeot recommend a type of engine oil, then you should ask is this the oil that your chosen garage intends to use as part of the service.
We would therefore recommend that you get a breakdown of what’s included in the service price, so you know which fluids are being topped-up or replaced. And also you should change parts and fluids when required and as per the car manufacturers specification, your cars maintenance book may tell you more about this.
Can our garage help?
If you need your brake fluids checked, engine oil checked over, or you simply have a problem with the power steering which you suspect could be down to fluid levels, why not give us a ring?
Our independent and family run garage has highly experienced car mechanics working for us in Cardiff, South Wales. We can offer you very competitive rates to service your car. We service all major car brands, including Renault, Citroen, Peugeot.