Fluids in the car – what and when to refill?

Fluids in the car – what and when to refill?

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Keeping your car running well consists primarily of taking care to change fluids and oils on time, as well as the most vulnerable parts. See what fluids need to be replenished and replaced in your car and how often.


Manufacturers recommend changing the fluid every six years, but mechanics recommend changing it every three to five years. Companies that offer radiator fluid, determine their properties just so much, so it is worth reducing to such a period between replacements. The manufacturers of cars recommend replacing the fluid every six years or every 200 thousand kilometers, but in reality the tank should be filled with new fluid anyway, when replacing the timing belt, specifically the water pump. The level of fluid in the tank should be checked once a month.

Power steering fluid

Mechanics recommend replacing it every five years or every 100,000 miles driven. Fluid in the power steering system accumulates contaminants, which are formed, among other things, from abrasive metal parts. It is inexpensive and fairly simple to replace, and it can extend the life of the steering gear and power steering pump.

Brake fluid

Both manufacturers and auto mechanics agree that brake fluid should be changed every two years. This fluid absorbs water from the environment, which lowers its temperature. Too much water in the fluid affects the corrosion of brake system components. That is why it is recommended to replace it just every two years. The fluid should be replaced if the old one changes color from brown-yellow to gray. During the periodic inspection of the car it is worth checking what is the water content in the brake fluid.

Engine oil

Manufacturers recommend that it should be changed every 20-30 thousand kilometers, while mechanics slightly more often, i.e. every 10-20. Infrequent oil change harms many engine components. In most typically used cars are driven annually just 10-20 thousand kilometers. If you use your car occasionally, you do not have to follow the recommendations for annual engine oil change. In case of cars with gas installation it is recommended to shorten the intervals between oil changes by about 25%.

It is important to use the oil recommended by the manufacturer of a given engine. Engine oil level should be checked monthly and before each long trip. Even new cars, however, have a tendency to “take oil” and need to be topped up from time to time. It is important to add oil that is already in the engine.

Oil in the gearbox

Here manufacturers do not recommend changing, but mechanics are of a different opinion – to change it every 60-100 thousand kilometers. Filling the box with new fluid is very important, especially in the case of automatic, continuously variable and dual-clutch transmissions. The old oil will get rid of impurities, which may clog electrovalves in the transmission.

Oil in 4×4 drive

Manufacturers recommend changing this oil depending on the make and model, while mechanics – every 60 thousand kilometers. Some manufacturers recommend changing it every 40 thousand kilometers, while others tell you not to do it at all. Oil should be changed in the inter-axle clutch and, if present, in the transfer case and rear differential.

Taking care to change the most important fluids on time is very important. However, manufacturers’ suggestions are often overly optimistic, as an engine will not always endure such a long time without changing specific fluids and oils. This can affect its subsequent durability.

Main Photo: cottonbro/pexels.com

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