While most of your winter season car care tips will talk about things like tires, batteries, and brake inspections, checking the fluids is one of the most essential services you can perform. Whether you are planning a big holiday trip, have a long daily commute or do a lot of local driving for errands, a simple under the hood inspection can help keep your vehicle running effectively and efficiently all winter long.
Even if you don’t know a lot about winter car services, checking the fluids is something anyone can do – they just need to learn how. Once you know what to look for and where to find it, you’ll be able to make adjustments as needed on a regular basis. LaCava Auto Parts and Services carries a wide range of fluids and tools necessary to get the job done. If you require Fall River car parts and accessories for home repairs or major renovations, you can count on our store to get all of the things you need.
The Engine Oil
One of the most important fluids in any vehicle, you should check your oil regularly year-round. However, this simple check is even more vital in the winter, when oil can begin to thicken and not work as well inside your engine. Start by locating the dipstick for your oil. If you can’t find it just by looking, check the owner’s manual. Newer vehicles won’t require checks as frequently as older cars and trucks, but should still be checked regularly.
Abide by the recommended schedule for oil and filter changes throughout the year, but make sure to always check the engine oil during temperature fluctuations, both hot and cold. If more oil is needed, add carefully and make sure not to over-fill it. If your vehicle appears to be going through more oil than normal, consider bringing it to a trusted mechanic or dealership for a check-up.
While most people think about checking the coolant in the summer to prevent a vehicle from overheating during hot temperatures, it is also an essential fluid in the winter. Check with the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the proper mix of water and antifreeze for best results. When looking for the coolant to check the level, find the clear overflow plastic container that is located near the radiator. If you notice that the liquid is below the minimum fill line indicated on the container, you should top it off to the maximum fill line. Be careful not to go over the max fill line for best results.
The Power Steering Fluid
Another essential fluid in the middle of snowy and icy roads is power steering fluid. You will notice a small tank located near the firewall of your engine. It should be close to the base of the windshield. Check the level of the power steering fluid to make sure that it is between the minimum and maximum levels for best performance. It’s a good idea to inspect this fluid level regularly, but also before a big trip or if it feels difficult to turn the steering wheel when driving.
The Brake Fluid
If you discover that you are adding brake fluid frequently, you could have a leak or another problem with your braking system. The brake fluid is typically found in a clear reservoir that is also marked with minimum and maximum lines, similar to the other fluids that we have mentioned. If the fluid is low, go ahead and fill it. However, it is always a good idea to have your brake system checked whenever you realize that the brake fluid level is low. It is usually an indication that there is more going on than it seems, even if you haven’t noticed any other issues with braking.
The Windshield Wiper Fluid
While this might sound like something you only need during rainy or dusty weather, your windshield wiper fluid can be a big help in the winter. If your windows are dirty, it can be difficult to see when driving. If there is a sun glare on a smudge or smear caused by snow, slush, and ice, it could impair your ability while driving as well. Check the fluid and top it off when necessary. Ask about freeze-resistant wiper fluid that is available at LaCava Auto Parts and Services when you come in to purchase your Fall River car parts and accessories.
Get Services Done When Needed
There are lots of different vehicles that all have different needs and requirements for safe driving. If you do not feel comfortable performing these winter car services or other seasonal work yourself, seek professional assistance. Hydraulic hose services, rotor turning services, and even help with battery testing and windshield wiper installation when you purchase new wiper blades are all available at LaCava Auto Parts and Services in Fall River. For all other work, such as oil and filter changes, coolant flush-and-fill, brake work, or power steering issues, seek a trusted local mechanic or visit the dealership if you have any questions.
For more information on our Fall River car parts and accessories or to learn about our hydraulic hose services and rotor turning services, give us a call at 508-676-1951. We can answer any questions that you might have, share store hours and directions, or assist you in placing an order for a hard-to-find part or tool.