One of the best ways to take care of your vehicle is to regularly top off the fluids. This is an easy task that you can do at home. We’ve put together a guide for topping off vehicle fluids, as well as information about which components need checking. From oil to antifreeze, it’s easy to take care of your car.
According to Consumer Reports, engine oil is one of the most important fluids to top off. To do so, simply remove and wipe clean the dipstick. This will help you get an accurate read. After reinserting it, take it out again and look to see that the oil levels are at a normal range. Be careful not to overfill, and try to use the same exact oil. Oil can burn off in the engine over time, so it’s likely that you may have to top it off.
You should also check coolant every three months at the very least. Coolant is just what it sounds like—it cools the engine and moves heat away from moving parts. It’s usually a mix of antifreeze and water, and it is often in a clear reservoir under the hood. There may be two fill lines—hot and cold—so be sure to fill to the right one.
Washer fluid is also essential, especially because you may need it for visibility. This is easy to top off, but it should be noted that many companies also make de-icer for colder climates.
Finally, check transmission fluid with the engine running and warm. This can be dangerous to check, because of moving parts, so be especially careful. Read the dipstick to see which type of fluid to use (there are a range to choose from), or check the owner’s manual. Transmission fluid is essentially a hydraulic oil that needs checked at least twice a year.