When you bring your car into the auto repair shop for a regular check-up, you’re probably aware they’re going to check the “fluids” in your car. Checking your fluids and making sure they are at the appropriate levels is important for the overall health of your car. But just what are these fluids? And what do they do for you car? In this article we’ll take a brief look at the many different fluids in your car.

Fluid #1: Engine Oil

Your engine oil is the fluid that – yup, you guessed it – helps keep you engine running at its peak performance level. The oil is needed to lubricate all the moving parts within your engine, decreasing the amount of friction, wear, and heat that can be created. Most car owners are aware that your oil needs to be changed on a regular basis. Consult your vehical’s manufacturer guide to ascertain how often your oil should be changed for your individual vehicle.

Fluid #2: Transmission Fluid

Your transmission is an extremely important part of your vehicle, and it needs its specially designed fluid in order to lubricate and cool the system, as well as to provide power to your clutch. It’s common to have your transmission fluid changed around every 30,000 miles.

Fluid #3: Brake Fluid

Your brakes are needed to make sure that you car is safe to drive – and stop. Low brake fluid levels are usually a sign that your brake pads are starting to wear thin. Like the above fluids, brake fluid helps reduce the amount of friction created while the brake system is operating.

Fluid #4: Power Steering Fluid

Power steering fluid transmits the power in your power-steering system. It helps maintain the health of your overall power-steering system, protecting your more expensive parts. You should change your power steering fluid every generally every 50,000 miles or 3 years.

Fluid #5: Coolant

Your coolant is the fluid that absorbs the heat from your engine. By sending that heat out through your radiator, it prevents your engine from overheating, which can cause serious damage. Depending on your formula, coolant should be replaced every 30-50,000 miles or every 2-3 years.

Fluid #6: Windshield Wiper Fluid

This may seem like an unimportant fluid, but your windshield wiper fluid is important to the overall safety of your vehicle. Windshield wiper fluid is essential to helping your remove mud, dirt, and other debris from your windshield that may inhibit your vision while driving. Have your fluid checked every time you go in for an oil change (more often during periods of frequent use), and keep your reservoir topped off.