It is vital to your car that you continuously monitor your fluid levels. Most fluids in a car regulate some sort of device or system. If a fluid runs low, it can lead to a part, or multiple parts, failing. Fortunately, most manufacturers make it easy for drivers to monitor their fluid levels through level markings and recommendations in the owner’s manuals. Listed below are a few of the main fluids that you should always monitor, and the effects that not having them can cause.
The gasoline level in your tank is very important in making sure that you get from point A to point B. If you have ever had the misfortune of having your car run out of gas, you will have realized that the car seemed to lose power before it completely died. This lack of fuel can be fatal to your car’s fuel pump, as the fuel pump will have nothing to pump except for air. Additionally, the fuel pump lubricates itself using gasoline so it will end up lacking adequate lubrication. Fortunately, fuel pump failure will not occur the first time that you run out of gasoline, unless your car has a poorly designed fuel pump.
Engine oil is one of the most important fluids in a vehicle. An engine running without oil can quickly lead to a variety of catastrophic issues for the engine. Oil is responsible for both lubricating and cooling an engine. As an engine runs, metal parts create friction with one another; oil is the fluid that prevents excess friction between these parts. An engine that is either running low on oil, or without oil, will not be able to lubricate itself properly. As a result, excess friction will be generated by the engine’s components. More friction will result in additional heat in the engine, which was already not being removed by the oil, and the engine may blow.
Coolant is solely responsible for cooling an engine down and helping it run within a specific temperature range. An engine that is running low on coolant will begin to experience many overheating issues. Overheating can cause many of an engine’s parts to warp under the high temperatures, so it is very important to keep your engine cool. If you ever find yourself with low coolant levels while driving, you can temporarily substitute coolant with water. However, you will need to wait for your engine and radiator to cool off before you attempt to fill up the radiator.
According to AAMCO many people do not know that they need to change their transmission fluid regularly. Much like oil in an engine, transmission fluid is responsible for lubricating parts within the transmission. In vehicles with automatic transmissions, when the transmission fluid is running low, the transmission will not function properly or at all. In some cases, the automatic transmission can blow up. Manual transmission vehicles will experience cooling issues but not as detrimental as those of automatic transmission vehicles.
Making sure that your vehicle’s fluid levels are optimal will provide longevity to your car. Maintaining your vehicle’s fluid levels, although somewhat time-consuming up front, will save you a lot of money in the future.