What Are the 6 Essential Car Fluids?

Checking oil level on dipstick
Cars are exceptional machines that will serve you right on your Bradenton commutes as long as you keep up with their maintenance. Part of that maintenance is regularly having your essential car fluids inspected and replaced as needed. Learn when to check your car fluids and how to check the essential fluids in your car in the following service guide from Sarasota Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram®. To get things started, here are the six most important car fluids that you should keep an eye on:


  • Engine oil
  • Brake fluid
  • Engine coolant
  • Transmission fluid
  • Power steering fluid
  • Windshield wiper fluid

When To Check Car Fluids & How To Check Essential Fluids in Your Car

The exact fluids to keep an eye on and replaced can depend on the specific model you drive in Siesta Key. So as always, we recommend you refer to your owner’s manual for more information on when to check your car’s fluids. You may even find steps on how to check the necessary fluids for your vehicle. But if you want a general guide on how to check essential fluids in your car and when to check them, then keep on reading.

Engine Oil

Engine oil is arguably one of the most important maintenance items for your vehicle. It lubricates the moving parts in your car and ensures your engine doesn’t let you down when you’re out and about. In most vehicles, engine oil should be replaced around every 7,500 to 10,000 miles depending on your driving habits.

Oil also breaks down over time, even when you’re not driving so expect to change your oil about once every six months. To check the oil in your vehicle, you’ll often find a dipstick underneath the hood that can let you inspect your oil level and consistency.

Brake Fluid

Next up is the brake fluid. Brake fluid is responsible for many moving parts in your braking system and it can collect debris and break down over time. So you should expect to replace your brake fluid around every 30,000 miles or two years. Most cars have a clear brake fluid reservoir underneath the hood that can indicate the brake fluid level. In fact, you can do so without even having to remove the cap on the reservoir.

Engine Coolant

Your engine produces a great amount of heat as you’re driving around Venice. The cooling system in your engine typically utilizes engine coolant to help keep things at optimal operating temperature and ensure that your engine doesn’t overheat. The general rule of thumb as far as engine coolant replacements are around every 50,000 miles. You’ll want to check your coolant at regular intervals as it makes sure your engine temperatures stay at the optimal level.

You can check your engine coolant by locating the coolant reservoir that’s typically underneath the hood. Do not check your coolant if your engine is hot and has just been running because you could end up hurting yourself. Sometimes, the coolant reservoir is labeled, so you can easily identify if you’re low on coolant without removing the reservoir cap.

Transmission Fluid

Your transmission ensures that your vehicle can smoothly and confidently shift through gears as the engine provides power to the wheels. Transmission fluid is vital for ensuring your transmission stays cooled and properly lubricated so you don’t run into any issues. Dirty or broken down transmission fluid can often cause shift delays and even grinding noises.

To avoid these issues, it’s often recommended to have your transmission fluid replaced every 30,000 to 60,000 miles, depending on your exact model. You can often inspect your transmission fluid with a dipstick underneath the hood, much like checking your engine oil. Note that some transmissions are sealed and can only be checked by a service technician with the proper tools.

Power Steering Fluid

Your power steering system is often an overlooked component of your vehicle. It provides steering assistance so that you’re not struggling to manually steer your vehicle. As with many other components, your power steering system typically utilizes fluid to assist with smooth operation. There technically isn’t a recommended service interval for power steering fluid but if your power steering system regularly needs to be serviced or replaced, it may be a good idea to inspect your power steering fluid.

Windshield Wiper Fluid

You might not need windshield wiper fluid for your vehicle to run properly. However, if you’re looking to enjoy the safest travels possible, you’ll want to ensure you have windshield wiper fluid as it can help with clearing your windshield for better visibility. Windshield wiper fluid is often replaced as needed, so when you try to spray washer fluid on your windshield and nothing comes out, it likely means you need to add more to your washer fluid reservoir. The windshield washer fluid reservoir can often be checked when you open the hood. There’s usually a reservoir with a windshield washer symbol and you can inspect the fluid by peeking into the reservoir.

Maintain Your Essential Car Fluids at Sarasota Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram®!

Whether your car brake fluid or power steering fluid needs to be replaced, bring your vehicle in for service. We’ll even check all the necessary fluids to ensure your vehicle is running in excellent condition. Reach out with any questions, or we’ll see you soon in Sarasota! Check out our specials in the meantime.


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