Auto Repair & Services
- Belts and Hoses
- Brake Repair
- Drive Lines
- Electrical Systems
- Engine Diagnostics
- Heating and A/C
- Oil Change Service
- Preventative Maintenance
- Steering & Suspension in Enterprise, AL
- Tune-Ups in Enterprise, AL
- Tire Installation in Enterprise, AL
- Tire Repair in Enterprise, AL
- Tire Rotation in Enterprise, AL
- Wheel Alignment in Enterprise, AL
- Wiper Blades in Enterprise, AL
Fluids in Enterprise, AL
Every vehicle depends on several types of fluids to run and operate properly. These fluids all need to be changed at regular intervals, though…and dirty or contaminated fluid can cause some real problems!
Transmission Fluid in Enterprise, AL
Automatic transmissions are a complex package of assemblies and sub-assemblies of sensors, valves, gears, pumps and other components. The transmission relies on the right kind of transmission fluid to cool and lubricate internal parts. Much like motor oil, heat will start to break transmission fluid down over time; it begins to pick up impurities and tiny metal shavings from normal wear, and varnish-like deposits start to accumulate on internal assemblies. The transmission filter traps some of these contaminants, but it’s still necessary to change the fluid at specified intervals to head off premature wear. These are all signs of worn-out transmission fluid:
- Brownish, burnt-looking color (it should be pink or magenta)
- Burnt-toast or burnt-caramel odor
- Transmission is starting to shift rough, hesitate while going into gear, hesitate while shifting or has trouble locking into the right gear for a given speed
Severe usage like hauling heavy loads or towing can generate a great deal of heat, compromising the life of the transmission fluid. It’s also important to remember that at one time, there were only a few types of transmission fluid on the market. Today, there are at least a dozen varieties for specific brands of vehicles, all with their own additives for specific friction and lubrication. Using the wrong brand of transmission fluid can quickly damage or destroy a transmission. Check your owner’s manual for recommended service intervals; most manufacturers recommend a fluid flush and refill every 40-60,000 miles.
Other important engine fluids include:
- Coolant: Coolant is actually a 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water, and contains anti-corrosion agents to help prevent the buildup of scale and corrosion in the radiator, water pump, heater core and thermostat. It needs to be changed and flushed at regular intervals, usually at about 30-40,000 miles. Effectiveness and condition of antifreeze can easily be checked with a hygrometer or a litmus paper-type test strip. Our radiator/cooling system flush also includes a pressure check to find leaks or weak points, and a complete inspection of the radiator hoses and hose clamps.
- Power Steering Fluid: The power steering pump is a fairly simple mechanism and the fluid isn’t subjected to the extremes that transmission fluid is. Still, power steering fluid can pick up bits of plastic or metal from wear, and these contaminants can cause damage to seals, gaskets and lines. Many manufacturers advise a power steering fluid flush and refill every three to five years. NOTE: many newer cars now are designed with electric power steering, which helps reduce parasitic drag on the engine.
- Brake Fluid: Brake fluid can stay in the brake system for a long time with no ill effects, but any time the brake system is opened up, it’s necessary to “bleed” the brakes and flush them of any air bubbles. This usually uses a quart or more of brake fluid, effectively replacing all the fluid in the system. Brake fluid is also hygroscopic, meaning it attracts and retains water. Water will cause the fluid’s boiling point to drop, causing brake fade and corrosion of brake parts. Some manufacturers now recommend a brake fluid flush and refill every two to three years. NOTE: when checking your brake fluid, don’t let it come in contact with any painted surfaces – it’s an effective paint remover!
Make sure that fluid flushes and changes at regular intervals are part of your preventive maintenance schedule, and make an appointment with Road Mart Tire for service!