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Owning a passenger car involves taking care of it in the right way. We are talking about, among other things, the replacement of operating fluids. When is it necessary, how to do it and how often to do it?

What operating fluids can be found in the car and what is their role?

What operating fluids are found in a car depends, among other things, on the type of power unit. In this article, however, I will consider the most common gasoline cars and those with diesel engines, since electrics are still the future rather than the present. 

At the very beginning, of course, you need to change the oil. This fluid will be encountered in the drive unit and in the transmission. Both these components of the car use different oils, with different parameters. The task, however, is the same. The purpose of the oil is to reduce friction in moving parts, thereby reducing the risk of overheating and seizing of the engine or transmission. In addition, the oil also has anti-corrosion properties. 

Coolant is also extremely important. Driving without it could end after a while, as it is the only way to efficiently cool the engine so that it has the right operating temperature. In addition to this, we will also meet brake fluid, which ensures the proper operation of the braking system, and power steering fluid, which, as the name suggests, ensures the proper operation of the power steering system. The last fluid is windshield washer fluid, which is used to clean the windshield while driving. 

How often should operating fluids be changed?

How often operating fluids should be changed depends on their type. In the case of engine oil, it is accepted that the limit is one year from the previous change or 15,000 kilometers. Manufacturers are increasingly extending this period twice, but mechanics do not recommend servicing in this way, as it increases wear on the drive unit. 

In the case of transmission oil, replacements are less frequent. On average, they take place every 40-60 thousand kilometers, but we will also encounter transmissions in which replacement is not necessary and the oil only needs to be topped up.

Another fluid that needs to be replaced is brake fluid – it is necessary to replace it every 2 years. This is because it is hygroscopic and absorbs moisture, which creates the risk of reducing the boiling point. Similarly, coolant should be replaced frequently. Here a lot depends on the manufacturer’s recommendations, but the most universal period is 3 years. Power steering fluid requires the least amount of work. In many cars, it only needs to be topped up, and if replacement is necessary, then every few years.

main photo: pixabay.com/partzonemail

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Cruz McCall

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