Car Fluids 101

When we think of car parts, it’s common to think of discrete pieces or assemblies made of metal and plastic. But some of the most important “parts” of your car come in bottles. Let’s talk about some common automotive fluids — what they do, why they matter, and why you should be visiting the dealerships of Lyon-Waugh Auto Group for regular changes as part of routine car maintenance.

Motor Oil
Motor oil keeps your engine lubricated and cooled down, but worn oil can actually create more friction than it prevents, resulting in lower fuel economy, poor performance, and even engine failure.

Radiator Fluid
Radiator fluid is one fluid doing double-duty so the engine doesn’t overheat in summer and your radiator doesn’t freeze and crack when the thermometer drops into the single digits.

Transmission Fluid
Transmission fluid does the same thing motor oil does for your engine. If it’s allowed to break down, your transmission won’t shift smoothly. 

Brake and Steering Fluid
Your brakes and power steering are both hydraulic systems that operate under high pressure. If the fluid’s running low, you may notice that braking or steering can take more effort or feel less responsive than usual. 

AC Coolant
Air conditioning refrigerant needs to be replenished from time to time. The coolant is a pollutant that needs to be handled with extreme care, so this is one job best left to the experts.

Washer Fluid
Washer fluid comes in handy when you need to get grime, dust, ice, and bugs off the windshield. Check your wiper fluid and top off periodically, making sure you use a formulation that’s suitable for cold weather (that way it’s less prone to freeze if you don’t check before winter comes).

Why visit a dealership and not a “quick lube” business? Going to a Jaguar dealership, a MINI dealership, or BMW dealership means dealing with technicians who specialize in those makes and models; it also means they’re trained to get it right the first time, and these services are often bundled as part of an express service package you can take care of on your lunch hour.
Categories: Parts, Service