7 Important Vehicle Fluids That Need to Be Maintained
Fluids play an important role in various functions of your Toyota car, truck, or SUV. Some are more critical than others — but none can be ignored. The following are the seven important vehicle fluids you should maintain by having your Toyota serviced at Family Toyota of Burleson.
Your car’s most important fluid is its engine oil. It reduces friction inside the motor, which would otherwise cause it to overheat. It also acts as a coolant and helps keep the engine clean by carrying small particles to the engine oil filter.
There’s no hard rule as to when you should change the engine oil, as it depends on your driving habits and the type of oil you use (such as conventional vs. synthetic). Check your Toyota vehicle’s owner’s manual for recommended maintenance intervals. Or, better yet, have the expert technicians at Family Toyota of Burleson tell you when it needs flushed.
Although engine oil is the most important fluid when it comes to making your car run, brake fluid is the most important fluid with regard to safety. The brakes use a fully sealed hydraulic system to activate the brake pads and slow down your Toyota. If fluid leaks or too much air gets into the system, you can lose a lot of stopping power, thus compromising your safety.
Brake fluid also absorbs water over time, leading to a lower boiling point, which is dangerous because brake calipers operate at very hot temperatures. Consequently, you should generally get your car’s brake fluid flushed every 25,000 miles.
In a car with a manual or automatic transmission, oil is responsible for ensuring the gears, synchronizers, and clutch packs do not grind against each other to generate excessive friction. Just like engine oil, transmission oil needs to be replaced over time, typically every 25,000-40,000 miles depending on your driving habits. This means it depends on how frequently and how aggressively you shift gears.
Power steering fluid
Without power steering, most cars would be extremely difficult to steer at low speeds. Power steering relies on a hydraulic system to generate the assistive steering force that ensures you don’t need a lot of strength to turn the wheel. However, after going through thousands of heat cycles, power steering fluid will deteriorate and lose its effectiveness.
Like with the braking system, leaks can occur. Fortunately, without leaks, you can expect the power steering fluid to last around 60,000-80,000 miles. If you notice fluid dripping from underneath your Toyota, though, bring your car for service sooner.
Engine coolant circulates around and through some of the hottest parts of the engine, picking up the heat and dissipating it throughout the radiator. It’s often called antifreeze because engine coolant is nothing more than a water-based liquid mixed with antifreeze, a substance that lowers the freezing point. Check your Toyota owner’s manual for maintenance recommendations, as they can vary greatly.
All automobiles use differentials to enable the wheels to spin at different rates. Whether your vehicle has rear-wheel drive, front-wheel drive, all-wheel drive, or four-wheel drive, it uses a differential that features gears.
Where there are gears, there is a need for oil. And where there is oil, there is a need for maintenance, as oil gets dirty and breaks down over time. Fortunately, it takes quite a long time for differential fluid to get there, and you generally only need to replace it every 80,000-120,000 miles.
Windshield washer fluid
The easiest-to-replace fluid that has no impact on the performance of your car is arguably one of the most essential when you take visibility into consideration. A dirty windshield that obscures visibility can lead to unsafe driving, so it’s definitely important to get a washer refill when it runs out. When you have your car serviced at Family Toyota of Burleson, checking your windshield washer fluid is just one of the many things we do.
Call the Family Toyota of Burleson service center at (817) 768-2837 today to schedule your next service appointment and get all of your important vehicle fluids topped up!