Oil Changes Are Great, But These 3 Maintenance Items Are Cool too

By Justin Cupler | August 8th, 2018

Buying a car is a huge investment, so you want it to run as long as possible. As you know, proper maintenance is key in helping a car last as long as possible, but this goes beyond oil changes and tires. There are three key maintenance items that many vehicle owners forget. Continue reading to learn more about these maintenance items and why they are so important.

Automatic Transmission Fluid

Automatic transmission fluid joins oil as one of the most important fluids in your vehicle’s driveline. This fluid acts as a hydraulic oil to allow the automatic transmission to shift gears, plus it cleans the transmission’s moving parts, lubricates, and cools. So, keeping this fluid in top shape is imperative.

As the transmission fluid ages, it can get flooded with debris and break down due to heat. Changing the fluid under the manufacturer’s recommendations can help prevent this old fluid from causing permanent and expensive transmission damage.

Most manufacturers recommend a flush or a filter and fluid replacement once every 40,000 to 60,000 miles. Check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for specifics.

Brake Fluid

Automotive brake systems use a hydraulic brake fluid to transfer the pressure you apply to the brake pedal to the brake calipers. Because this fluid flows almost to the brake system’s friction points, it endures a lot of heat. Fortunately, this fluid handles heat, but it is also hygroscopic, which means it retains water. This water retention can lower the fluid’s boiling point, causing the fluid to boil in the brake system. This boiling can introduce with into the system and cause brake failure.

Besides the risk of boiling, water in the brake fluid also causes damage to the brake lines and seals. Exchanging the brake fluid is the only way to eliminate most of the water in the system and prevent issues.

Many manufacturers do not list a recommended service interval for the brake fluid, but most technicians will suggest swapping it out every 60,000 miles.

Engine Coolant

Your vehicle’s engine coolant is a mixture of water and antifreeze. It flows into the engine, absorbs heat, flows back into the radiator for cooling, and returns to the engine. This flow helps regulate the engine’s temperature, but it also puts this coolant under extreme stress. Over time, the coolant can break down and thicken into a gel-like consistency. This gel can clog the cooling system and cause overheating if you do not flush the system and install new coolant.

Every manufacturer has its own recommendations to coolant-exchange intervals, so check your vehicle’s owner’s manual for details. Most manufacturer recommend doing this service once every 60,000 to 80,000 miles.

Need one of these maintenance items taken care of on your vehicle? Come by Garber Chrysler Dodge Jeep RAM service department serving Saginaw, Michigan and see what specials we have for you. And no, you need not own a Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, or RAM vehicle to take advantage of our top-notch service offers. You can also schedule a service appointment online.

Posted in Maintenance