SAN RAFAEL – Vehicles require several fluids to maintain ongoing functionality of their engines and related components. While these fluids should be inspected and replenished (as well as occasionally flushed) during routine service visits, it’s also a good idea for drivers to keep track of fluid levels independently during the intervals in between. Here are a few important fluids to be aware of:
Coolant (also known as antifreeze) helps maintain the temperature of the water in the radiator and engine. This fluid is housed in a reservoir adjacent to the engine which, in addition to being semi-transparent, has a fill marker to denote the desired level. When adding coolant, it’s important to do so at the reservoir fill point and not the radiator cap, which is under extreme pressure and should never be removed when the engine is hot.
Washer fluid enables you to clean your windshield in case of a visibility emergency while driving. The washer fluid reservoir is located adjacent to the engine and can be filled directly with either water or a washer solvent. Like the coolant reservoir, its semi-transparency makes it fairly easy to check the fluid level.
Brake fluid is crucial to ensure brake functionality and on-the-road safety. Like coolant and washer fluid, it’s housed in a semi-transparent reservoir adjacent to the engine, with a fill marker to denote its level.
Engine oil level can be checked using a retractable dipstick. While this is best done when the engine is still warm, always make sure it’s turned off first. Pull out the dipstick to check the oil level, which will fall between two notches denoting full and low. If it’s near the “low” notch, add more oil at the designated fill point.