Today’s post focuses on using the proper fluids for your vehicle. Significant advancements in automotive technology have lead to the development of high-tech fluids to keep modern cars operating at peak performance. This is due to both engineering advances and new high-tech materials used to build automotive systems.
A simple example of this is the cooling system. For decades it was primarily made out of iron, steel and rubber hoses. There was one kind of coolant that protected these components from corrosion.
Now cooling system components are made with various metal alloys and plastics. These materials require different additives to protect them from corrosion. Since the materials used vary among vehicle manufacturers, we now have a number of different kinds of coolant.
It’s essential for car owners to use the right coolant. If you pour in the wrong kind, it won’t protect the cooling system and may even void the warranty. Check your owner’s manual. Of course, your automotive advisor will know the proper coolant for your vehicle.
Brake fluid is confusing for some drivers. Back when we opened years ago, most vehicles used Dot 3 brake fluid. Now we have Dot 4 and Dot 5. Some people mistakenly think the higher numbers are an upgrade. You know, if 3 is good then 4 must be better. That’s not how it works. They are different formulations to meet the demands of differences in brake systems. Only one of them is designed for your .
Ditto for transmission fluid. For decades there were two basic types of tranny fluid used at : friction modified or not. With the tremendous engineering advances in automatic transmissions, there have been several new types of fluids developed to protect and lubricate them.
Nowhere are the advances in automotive fluids more evident to motorists and professionals than in motor oil. Many new weights and formulations have been created to meet the demands of today’s high-tech engine design. Modern engines have more parts and much tighter tolerances. Every year, engines make more power and (thankfully!) get better fuel efficiency. And along with all the complexity and sophistication, they still have to be durable.
That’s where the new grades of engine oil come in. They have to be formulated to lubricate, protect and clean all of those engine parts, big and little. The oil has to be thin enough to get into little passages, yet resistant to vaporization.
At in , we believe that in some ways modern automotive fluids are just as impressive as the new engines. Because weights of oil and types of coolant and transmission fluid are so carefully matched to the vehicle, make sure you always use the proper fluid if you are topping off at home.
Check your owner’s manual or ask your service technician. The wrong fluid can cause damage to your engine. If you drive a car or truck around with 75,000 miles or more, consider high mileage formulations. These fluids contain extra detergent to clean dirtier older engines as well as additives to condition seals and gaskets. That’ll help prevent leaks. Always be sure that the high mileage fluid is the same weight or type of fluid recommended for your .