Regular vehicle maintenance includes more than just changing your engine oil. As this video shows (the video shows Tim talking about a Lexus, but the principles apply to almost every vehicle driven), there are other vital fluids that require changing at regular intervals:
Your car’s anti-freeze (or coolant) does the dual job of:
1. Making sure your car will start and ;
2. Keep running in any weather.
It’s a pre-mixed solution in your radiator, preventing the fluid from freezing in cold temperatures, and protection from boiling by raising the boiling point of the anti-freeze solution, so it can move heat out of your engine effectively, without fluid loss.
As it’s doing all of that hard work, however, coolant/antifreeze can suffer a number of problems. The first is rust, which will grow in the cooling system over time. Changing coolant regularly helps prevent rust from spreading. The other problem is with the pH balance. Over time, coolant/antifreeze can become too acidic or too alkaline. Acidity can eat at hoses, gaskets, heater cores and the radiator itself. Alkalinity can lead to mineral deposits that clog your cooling system-problems that are avoided with regular coolant changes.
Depending upon your vehicle, anti-freeze has recommended change intervals anywhere from 30,000 – 100,000 miles.
Transmission Fluid Change
Automatic transmission fluid (otherwise called ATF) is the fluid used in vehicles with automatic transmissions. It is generally colored red to distinguish it from motor oil and other fluids in the vehicle. Automatic transmission fluid is not an oil, but a fluid optimized for the special requirements of a transmission-valve operation, brake band friction, torque converter, as well as gear lubrication. Heat, friction, moving parts and age all play a part in the declining performance of automatic transmission fluid. Depending upon your vehicle, ATF should be changed anywhere from 30,000 – 60,000 miles.
Brake fluid is an amazing fluid. It allows you transfer the force of pushing on a pedal into the pressure required to stop your vehicle when you need it to stop. Brake fluid is a hydraulic fluid, meaning it’s used to move other parts.
The problem is that brake fluid is hygroscopic — meaning that just like the solid brick of brown sugar in your pantry, brake fluid loves pulling moisture out of the air and holding onto it. The more water in your brake lines, the worse the fluid does at stopping your vehicle.
So even though it seems like just yesterday that you had your brake fluid flushed, it needs to be changed every two years!
Are you not sure when the last time your coolant, transmission fluid, brake fluid or power steering fluid was changed or flushed? Our technicians can check on the condition of these and the other fluids in your vehicle to make sure problems like rust, acidity and water aren’t silently building into bigger issues.
We will inspect and care for your car or truck, so the harsh extremes of Utah summers and winters do not impact your safety while driving. GT Automotive has ASE certified technicians for car repairs for all make and model vehicles. We can inspect your car during our Express Oil change, and help keep your vehicle operating safely in all seasons. Call us today, 801-302-0912, about auto repairs and service in Salt Lake City.