In order for a vehicle to operate and function properly, it requires a number of liquids to facilitate specific responsibilities. Keeping a vehicle’s fluids at the proper level sustains its drivability and overall condition. In this blog, we will discuss the five most important vehicle fluids, as well as, some other equally essential solutions that cars and trucks need to ensure easy and safe driving.
Continue reading to learn about the five essential fluids every car or truck needs to be operational and safe, and who to call when your car fluids fail you unexpectedly.
When it comes to driving, or maintaining a car in good condition, it is important to change out or refill specific vehicle fluids. There are several solutions a vehicle uses, however, there are five that are absolutely necessary in order for your car or truck to drive properly. These solutions include motor oil, brake fluid, coolant, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid. Other beneficial solutions include windshield wiper fluid, and in some cases, battery fluid. Each fluid has its own purpose and responsibility, and all of them together can keep a car or truck safe and operational for years.
If a car has an internal combustion engine (which almost all do) then it will most certainly require motor oil. Motor oil is the most important fluid for a car or truck engine. It is designed to lubricate all the moving parts in an engine’s crankcase. The lubrication prevents all of the high heat production from damaging other vehicular components like pistons and valves. Without motor oil, a car engine will quickly seize up and stop working altogether.
Vehicle coolant is usually a combination of a 50/50 solution. This means that fifty percent of the liquid solution is a specialized radiator coolant, and the other half is simply water. In colder climates, the ratio of coolant to water will lean more towards coolant, while in warmer climate, the opposite applies. This is because coolant is basically a heat-transfer liquid. Its main responsibility is to keep the car engine cool and prevent it from overheating. It accomplishes this by circulating coolant throughout the engine, absorbing excess heat, and running it (the heat) back to the radiator and eventually out into the air. This cycle is what keeps a car engine cool and driveable.
In terms of passenger safety, brake fluid could be considered the most important car fluid to maintain. All cars and trucks have a brake line system. It is best defined as a completely sealed network that uses hydraulic pressure to control a vehicle’s ability to stop. As a person presses down on a brake pedal, the brake fluid compresses, transferring hydraulic force to the shoes and pads that cause the friction needed to stop a vehicle in motion. It is common for brake fluid to leak, which can greatly reduce a vehicle’s ability to stop in time.
Power Steering and Transmission Fluid
Transmission fluid is not a solution that requires a car owner to check on their own. Professionals typically tend to these types of fluids when implementing regular scheduled maintenance requirements. Transmission fluid is rust-colored, almost a reddish hue. It is used to lubricate and cool the inner components of a vehicle’s transmission, similar to motor oil. Power steering fluid is also typically checked and administered by a professional automotive technician during routine factory care. Power steering fluid is pressurized by a small hydraulic pump that is powered by the engine. Its main responsibility is to make turning a car easier. It increases the functionality of the steering mechanism that directs the car tires while driving on the road.