Different fluids are needed in your vehicle for it to function properly. Asides the fuel which burns so the vehicle can move, other fluids are meant to lubricate or cool certain compartments of the car so they don't fail prematurely. This is also why it's important to always check and maintain your car fluid levels at all times.
By the way, if you're wondering what a fluid is, gases and liquids are all grouped together as fluids. So from the coolant, to the oils and your petrol, ensure they are at their right level and pay attention to any signs for when something goes wrong. To make the process less stressful, here are tips Naijauto have composed to help you.
Every car that isn't an electric vehicle has a fuel tank. This is where your diesel, petrol or gas is stored. From there it's passed into the cylinders to ensure your engine works perfectly. It's colourless or very light brown. You can check it's level by looking at the indicator on your dashboard or you can insert a hose into the tank. Once it gets close to empty, you need to refill. But please if you smell fuel all around your vehicle, it's advisable that you don't drive that car that day till it gets checked by a mechanic. Experts say some of the causes of vehicle explosions is as a result of fuel leaks that were initially neglected by the car owners.
2. Engine oil
Engine oil lubricates parts of the engine. It's usually light black or brownish green in colour. Theresa lid that can also be used in checking the level of the oil. You can check this every morning by removing the lid, observe the level and see if it needs a top up. This engine oil smells a bit like petrol. So it's fine if you notice that.
You do not have to wait for your car fluids to go so low when you can always easily top it up
Keep in mind that the indicator on the dashboard also shows you when the engine oil level is low or something is wrong. That's why when you approach your car in the morning, look underneath. If you notice any leak, you can smell the fluid. If it matches the colour and smell explained above, then it's likely an engine oil leakage. The bad part about leakage is that moisture and tiny debris can infiltrate the engine and harm the engine. Therefore, once you notice a change in oil pressure or leakage, check for leaks, cracks or uncovered lid. If it your observation looks bad enough, visit your mechanic immediately.
>>> Read more: 10 simple ways to save fuel without driving less
3. Power steering oil
According to the way the power steering system is built, it's meant to be totally covered with only an opening for topping up oil - with a lid to cover afterwards. The oil is usually red in colour. Just in case you come across red fluid on the floor near your car in the morning, it's not blood. You need not worry much. It's likely the power steering fluid.
Check for leaks and take for repair. However, it's good that you just check the level once in while. When it's below required level, add some more. This is because driving without power steering fluid will affect the power steering pump and cause your steering to be stiff, making it hard to control.
Oh no! its not blood! its just power steering oil
4. Transmission fluid
Automatic and manual transmission cars have this fluid. In manual cars, it's brown in color while the fluid is reddish brown and lighter in automatic transmission vehicles. You can use a dipstick to check the level of this fluid and know if it needs top up. If it does, it's always best to visit a mechanic instead than doing it yourself - except you're sure of what to do.
This is because there might be other problems that might affect the gearbox. The professional mechanic would check it out and fix. Also to add, when you smell burnt groundnuts while driving, it's may not be the vendor by your window - it's likely your transmission fluid.
>>> If you often overlook transmission fluid, see this: Driving without transmission fluid – What will happen?
The coolant of your car usually would smell nice. Though it's very important to your car engine, please don't use recklessly as they are actually toxic. It's pale yellow or pale green in colour. Since it's a coolant, you would less likely find a spill around the car. When inspecting the car and you notice some flowery smell, it may not be your perfume. It's the coolant.
Pop your bonnet, look around the radiator and see if you find any unusual wet area. This is because the coolant evaporates and may just drip a little. If it's difficult to locate this wetness, turn on the vehicle and let the engine run for 10 - 15 minutes. If you turn off the engine and notice droplets around the radiator or fan, then there's probably a coolant leak. Get the vehicle checked by your mechanic. But please be careful with the fan, it could spin at odd times.
Video: A Guide to Your Car's Fluids
With all these tips on how to check and maintain your car's fluid levels you can tell the importance of inspecting your car daily. You can also check the solvent for your windshield and ensure they aren't leaking too or flowing into a wrong compartment. All these go a long way in ensuring that your vehicle stays in good shape through out its expected life span.
>>> Read more about car maintenance here on Naijauto.com!