Besides Oil Changes, What Fluids Do You Need to Replace?

You know that you need to change your oil every 3,000-5,000 miles, depending on the year, make, and model of your car. However, you may not realize that there are several other fluids in the vehicle that need to be checked, filled, and changed regularly. To keep your car at top performance, make sure to have these fluids checked by your dealership.

Transmission Fluid

If you have an automatic transmission you need to keep an eye on your transmission fluid. This is what keeps your car running smoothly. You can check the transmission fluid yourself with the available dipstick. Unlike with engine oil, your car should be running when you check this fluid. In addition, because it's part of a closed system, it should never get low. If your transmission fluid is low, schedule an appointment with your dealership to get it checked immediately. You'll also need to get the transmission fluid changed every 50,000-100,000 miles, depending on your vehicle.


If you don't want your car to overheat, make sure you always have enough coolant. Also known as antifreeze, this liquid cools the inside of your radiator and keeps your car running at a comfortable temperature. You can check the coolant when your car is cool by opening the coolant cap and seeing if the liquid hits the coolant line. You can add more if you need but make sure you use the same type of coolant already in the car. Coolant should be replaced by your dealership every two to three years.

Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is used to help keep your brakes running smoothly. It is important to note that like the transmission fluid, this should never get low, since it's part of a closed system. If your brake fluid is low, get into the dealership immediately. Brake fluid should be changed every two years, on average. However, you can check the color of the fluid by looking at the fluid container. It should be a golden color, and if it's brown, go ahead and make an appointment to get it changed. If you wait too long, the fluid won't be able to lubricate the brakes as well as it should.

Power Steering Fluid

If you love the quick and smooth way you can steer your vehicle, you need to make sure that your power steering fluid is full and in good condition. This fluid level can drop, but it rarely drops much. You can generally check the level of the fluid by simply looking at the reservoir. If it is looking low, it's a good idea to take your car in for a check, to make sure there's not a leak. While this fluid rarely needs to be replaced, you may want to consider talking to your mechanic about replacement of the fluid somewhere between 50,000-100,000 miles.

Keeping your car working as long as possible means keeping up on the maintenance. One of the most important things you can do for your car is to ensure that all fluids are topped off, clean, and not leaking.