December 2, 2015

Checking Fluids In Our Car

Our cars have different kinds of fluids. As an example, cars with automatic transmissions have specific types of fluids. They could act as coolant and power can be transmitted smoothly to the transmission from the engine. Manual transmission is simpler than the automatic one, but it also needs specific types of fluids. However, automatic transmission fluids slowly break down due to exposure to heat and mechanical movements. In manual transmission, metal particles will slowly accumulate. If we don’t properly change and clean out the fluids, the transmission life can be shorter. It is generally a bad idea to lubricate the transmission with fluid that contains some metal shavings.

Transmission fluid should be changed regularly and we need to check the Owner’s Manual for specific information. Recommendation for fluid changes may vary and it is important to strictly follow the recommendations in the manual. In general, fluid in manual transmissions should be changed every 35,000 miles. Automatic transmissions fluids could last longer and they can work well for up to 100,000 miles. It is important for us to always check the fluids levels. Dipsticks in automatic transmissions should allow us to check the fluid level. On the other hand, manual transmissions don’t have dipsticks.

It can be tricky to find out whether we need to change fluid in the automatic transmission. We should be aware that adding new fluid into an older car could dislodge some of the particulates and gunk. As a result, this will harm the transmission of our car. If we are not sure, we should smell the fluid and if it has gone bad, the fluid may have some kind of burnt smell. If this is the case, it should be a quite good indication that the fluid needs to be serviced. Transmission with burnt smell is a sign that some components inside the transmission is breaking down. We should ask mechanic to evaluate the condition more appropriately. If we notice a leakage, it is important to always check the level of transmission fluids. In general, transmission fluids and motor oils are different. If the fluid level is low that it is a real indication that we have got a leak. In this situation, the whole thing needs to be fixed.

Other type of fluids in our car is designed for the steering mechanism. The steering system of our car is consisted of tie rod ends and ball joints. When we hear noises when we turn the steering wheel, this should be an indication that some parts of the system has worn out. It is important for us to look into it more closely. Power steering fluid is essentially a hydraulic fluid that delivers power to the overall power steering system. However, it doesn’t last forever and some parts of the steering components will eventually wear out and break apart. When it happens, the pump in the power steering system will wears out faster, because it needs to work harder.


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