DIY Auto Maintenance: Fluid Checks

DIY Auto Maintenance: Fluid ChecksFirst of all unless your a confident and competent DIY mechanic, most automotive services should be left to a professional auto technician in order to keep your car safe and reliable. However, there are some minor maintenance procedures you can do at home to ensure that your vehicle is good to go, such as checking the various fluids used by your car. From time to time these specialized fluids need to be drained and refilled to keep them clean and ensure they aren't losing the properties they need to do their job, such as viscosity. It's also important to check fluids to ensure they are at the proper level. Discovering your car is low on a liquid could indicate a leak! Let's look at five common fluids you can check under the hood of your car.

Engine Oil

Oil typically needs to be changed every 3,000 to 5,000 miles, but it's a good idea to check on it in the meantime to ensure it is clean and at the right level. To check the oil shut the engine off and wait a few minutes for it to cool. Under the hood you'll need to locate the oil dipstick. Pull it out, use a cloth to clean it off, and reinsert it. Remove it once more to read the level of the oil, as indicated by markings on the dipstick.

Transmission Fluid

To check your vehicle's transmission fluid keep the engine running and find the underhood dipstick (many newer cars no long have a dipstick and a technician will need to check the fluid). Conduct the same practice as the oil dipstick to read the level.

Brake Fluid

The brake master cylinder reservoir is generally located on the firewall and is made of a clear plastic that features indicators of where the fluid level should be. If it is low you will want to visit a mechanic ASAP for further diagnostics, as this could indicate a brake fluid leak.

Power Steering Fluid

To check the steering fluid you will want to find the reservoir under the hood with a cap that likely says steering or power steering. It will either feature a dipstick or the cap will have a built in one. Check your owners manual for proper instructions on checking this fluid in your car.


Before you check the coolant, you will, almost ironically, want to make sure that the engine is cool. Most coolant reservoirs are translucent and have Min and Max markings to let you know the fluid level.

If you find that any of your vehicle's fluids are low you will want to head to a reputable auto maintenance shop for diagnostics and service. For expert auto maintenance in Denton you can bring your car or truck to Strande's Garage. Our team is highly competent at auto maintenance and repair for all makes and models. To schedule professional car maintenance in Denton give us a call at (940) 566-2156 and we will be happy to assist you.