You rely on your vehicle to get you where you need to go every day, from the office to running errands. Maintaining its condition is essential to keep your life on track and protect your investment. One easy way you can take care of car maintenance is checking the fluids.

5 Car Fluids to Maintain 

1. Coolant

Coolant or antifreeze prevents the engine from overheating. When your car has cooled after driving, open the coolant cap. The liquid should be at or below the line. Top it off with the same type of coolant if it’s low. Check the product beforehand to see if it’s premixed; some require you to mix one part coolant with one part water. Every two or three years, have it changed by a car maintenance professional.

2. Engine Oil

car maintenanceThe engine oil lubricates the moving components. Car maintenance professionals suggest changing the oil about every 5,000 miles. Before checking it, turn the car off and wait for it to cool. Pull the dipstick on the reservoir, and wipe it with a clean rag. Then dip it in and draw it out again. The level should be somewhere between “full” and “low” on the dipstick. If it appears dirty or low, it’s time to get it changed. 

3. Transmission Fluid

The transmission fluid lubricates and contributes to the hydraulic function of automatic transmissions. Many cars have a transmission dipstick. Leave the car running while you check it—the process is the same as checking the engine oil dipstick. If your fluid is low, have a mechanic check it immediately. You’ll also need it changed every 50,000 to 100,000 miles. Check the owner’s manual for the recommendation for your vehicle. 

4. Brake Fluid

Most brake systems are hydraulic and rely on a plunger that pressurizes the liquid in the lines when you put your foot on the pedal. This causes the brake pads to clamp on the rotors. If your brakes aren’t working as quickly as they should, check the fluid and top it off if needed. It typically needs to be changed every two years. 

5. Power Steering Fluid

The power steering fluid ensures you can steer your vehicle quickly and smoothly. To check it, turn the steering wheel from lock to unlock several times with the engine running, then turn off the car. Check the reservoir, which should have a dipstick. If it’s low, take it to your mechanic to check for a leak.


If it’s time to replace these car fluids, turn to Fantastik Auto Repair in Honolulu, HI. These ASE®-certified car maintenance experts have served the Oahu community for over 40 years, providing a range of services, including fluid top-offs and changes, vehicle safety checks, and engine repairs. Call (808) 842-3777 to make an appointment, or visit the website to learn more about how they can help you with car maintenance.