Fluid changes and your car
When it comes to general car maintenance it’s safe to say that the vast majority of car owners change their oil regularly. Many owners also know that they should have their radiator flushed at some point. But when, exactly, should this be done? And what about the other fluids in your car? Is there a set limit to their life expectancy? Today we will take a look at all of the common fluids in today’s vehicles and go over best practices to replace them.
-Engine Oil and Your Driving Habits-
Oil is the lifeblood of your engine. You can never really change your oil too often. However, you never want to skip a change or neglect to have it done when due. The old standard was to change it every 3,000 miles. Yet within the last 10 to 15 years oil manufacturing has improved. This, along with tighter tolerances within newer engines, has led auto manufacturers to recommend longer durations between oil changes. Add in the smart technology of your vehicle’s PCM and ECM, and your car will let you know if you need an oil change sooner due to harsher driving conditions.
-Are You Cool?-
IAT coolant (commonly called ‘antifreeze’) was green in color and lasted about 2 years before needing to be changed. Newer coolant, referred to as OAT, comes in a variety of colors. It also generally lasts for 5 years before needing to be changed. When having your coolant changed, see about having your cooling system properly flushed. This requires a special machine that uses cleaners to remove deposits from the engine, radiator, water pump and heater core.
-The Big Three That Gets Forgotten-
Most drivers think that if their brakes are feeling ‘soft’ that it’s time for new pads. But did you know that your brake fluid breaks down over time? This can lead to that spongy feeling you may experience. It’s a simple thing to have done and will help restore the firmness to your pedal. This, in turn, helps you apply force harder to your brakes pads for a quicker stop.
Axle differentials are where your gears are located. This area experiences some of the most severe workloads of your vehicle. The differential is in constant motion from start to stop. Fresh gear oil helps prevent premature gear wear and chipping of the gear teeth. Having this changed every 50,000 miles will help to keep your gears in top condition.
Modern transmissions today are sealed units that have long-life transmission fluid. Yet older units (and transfer cases in 4WD vehicles) can greatly benefit from having new transmission fluid cycled thru them. This applies to both manual and automatic transmissions. Generally, every 100,000 miles it’s smart to have your transmission inspected. If a fluid change is recommended you know that you’re ensuring the longevity of your transmission.
Make sure to follow the manufacturers’ recommendations for maintenance of your vehicle. If you have any questions at all speak to the qualified experts here at Zimmer CDJR for advice on getting your fluids checked!