How to Check the Fluids in Your Car

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The fluid levels in your car should be checked regularly to avoid accidents and break downs. Check the fluids in your car with the advice of an automotive expert in this free video.

Part of the Video Series: Auto Advice
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Video Transcript

Hi there. Jody DeVere with AskPatty.com, automotive advice for women. I'm here today at one of my certified female-friendly locations with Javier, of Pawnee Hills Hyundai, to learn about how to check and find the reservoirs for your fluids. The first two fluids we're going to check require having your engine running while you're checking them. That's the power steering fluid, and the transmission fluid. Here we have the power steering reservoir. Most power steering reservoirs have a clear case or they contain a small dipstick inside that shows the level fluid there where you can measure it. Okay, so here located in this vehicle is our transmission dipstick. What he's going to do is pull it out, wipe it off, put it back in, and pull it out so that we get a correct level reading. And there you see the measurement right there. Actually it looks like this one is a little bit low, so may need to put some transmission fluid in that car. Now, when you look at transmission fluid, you're looking for sort of a nice, red, smooth... and actually, this transmission fluid looks a little black; it may need to be changed. So, it's a good idea to not only check the level, but also the color of your transmission fluid. So now, we're going to locate your dipstick for your engine oil, and check your oil. In this vehicle, the dipstick is right here, and Javier is going to pull it out, and again, you want to pull it out, wipe it off, and then put it back in. It's a good idea, for this fluid, to turn the engine off and let it cool off just a little bit and let the oil run down into the oil pan so you get a correct fill. You're also going to want to check the color of the oil on the stick. This oil looks nice and golden brown. That's the correct color. If it's very black, it's probably time for an oil change, and it's a good idea to actually check your oil between oil changes. Again, engine oil really preserves the life of your engine and those mechanical parts... very important thing to check regularly. So, the next thing we're going to check is our coolant reservoir, which is right here. The nice thing about this coolant reservoir is it does show you the lines of filled and unfilled, and then you're just going to pop this off and fill it with half of your distilled and antifreeze. Very important that you use distilled water in your mixture. Some auto parts stores actually sell the correct mixture, by the way. Check with your owner's manual to make sure that you're putting in the proper mixture of coolant into your engine. So, the next fluid we're going to check is really important. You know why? Because when you're going down the freeway and you get bug splats, and you use your washer fluid in your car and nothing comes out, really can make a mess. So, you want to check your wiper fluid at least at every oil change, and you can see here the clear container will tell this one needs a little bit more fluid. Again, make sure that you use the wiper fluid based on the manufacturer's recommendation in your owner's manual. So, there you have it: fluids 101. It's a good idea to go out to your vehicle, pop open the hood, locate the reservoirs for your fluids, and learn how to check them. And that'll make you smart, and car savvy.

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