Car Talk: Essential Fluids your Car Needs and Why

Car Talk: Essential Fluids your Car Needs and Why
| By: Christian Brothers Automotive

In this car talk, Joe Hyde, Director of Automotive Technology at Christian Brothers Automotive, explains the top four essential fluids your vehicle needs, how often you should service them, and what problems you can experience if you don’t.

essential fluids car talk YouTube video link

Essential Car Fluids Video Transcript:

“Welcome back. I'm Joe Hyde, Director of Automotive Technology for Christian Brothers Automotive. Let's talk cars. Today we're going to discuss with you four essential fluids that your vehicle needs in order to operate correctly. Now there are more than four fluids for your vehicle, but these four are at the top of the list. So let's go take a look under the hood.

Engine Oil

The first fluid that we're going to talk about is the lifeblood of your engine – and that’s the engine oil.

  • So what does engine oil do? Engine oil is designed to reduce friction, prevent where and aid in the cooling process.
  • Why do I need to have my engine oil serviced? Well, over time, engine oil breaks down. And as it breaks down, it loses the ability to be able to protect your engine.
  • How often do you change it? Honestly, this varies on your driving habits, what climate you live in, but typically speaking, it's usually every five to 7,000 miles.
  • So what happens if you don't change your engine oil is the engine can be damaged from that lack of lubrication. That's going to affect the reliability of your vehicle, your fuel mileage, and your overall dependability. And I don't know about you, but I need to depend on my vehicle.

Transmission Fluid

So next up is your transmission fluid. Your transmission fluid is very similar to your oil – in it prevents and aids in the cooling process, but more important, keeps your car moving down the road.

  • So why do I need to have my transmission fluid serviced? Well, similar to other essential fluids, it breaks down over time. With transmission fluid, the effects are a little bit different and take a little bit longer over time.
  • So how often should you change your transmission fluid? There are a lot of variables and on average is between 60,000 to 90,000 miles.
  • So what happens if you don't change your transmission fluid? It breaks down and you risk your transmission not operating properly.

Brake Fluid

Next on the essential list is brake fluid. Brake fluid is a little bit different because it's considered a hydraulic fluid. It's designed to multiply force. That's it. It takes your braking system and creates force so that your braking system can apply the brake pads to the rotors so that you can stop.

  • So why would brake fluid need to be serviced? Brake fluid over time is designed to absorb moisture. Along with moisture, it also filters some of the contaminants that are in your braking system.
  • It doesn't need to be serviced very often, but you should have it checked in service at least once every two to three years.
  • So what happens if I decided not to have my brake fluid serviced? Over time, this fluid also breaks down and that's going to affect your braking system. You really risk your safety and the safety of others by not having your system serviced properly, at least every two to three years.


So the last fluid that we're going to take a look at of our four central fluids is the coolant.

  • So what is coolant? The primary purpose of coolant is to prevent engine damage from freezing or boiling temperatures.
  • So why does coolant need to be serviced? Well, just like some of the other fluids, it breaks down over time, because it picks up all the nasty stuff and does away with it.
  • So how often does your coolant need to be serviced? A good rule of thumb in the industry is every hundred thousand miles or once every three years.
  • So what happens if I don't service my coolant system? Your vehicle can overheat and that can lead to increase repair costs and it could also decrease the dependability of your vehicle. And we all depend on our vehicles these days.

We hope you choose Christian Brothers automotive for all your service needs. But if you choose to do it yourself or select another service location, please make sure that they're properly trained to service your vehicle with a nice difference. I'm Joe Hyde, and this has been another car talk moment.”

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