A Car Owner’s Guide to the Six Essential Fluids in any Vehicle

A man or car mechanic unscrews the used fuel filter mounted and bolted to the car in the wheel arch below a container of blue windshield washer fluid

One of the most common nightmares for a car owner is their car breaking down. It is a known fact that cars need fluids to keep them running. Many of us have trouble finding the time to take our cars in for an oil change or other routine maintenance. Of course, any major problems should be taken to a qualified mechanic, but these six essential fluids are simple enough to fill or flush at home.

This post will outline the six essential fluid types for your car and explain why they are important. Follow this guide to keep your vehicle in good working order and keep you safe on the road.

Changing or Refilling Your Car’s Essential Fluids

There are many necessary fluids to keep a car in good working order. Some need to be changed regularly, others just need to be topped off when they are running low. The essential fluids for your car (besides gasoline, of course) include:

Windshield Wiper Fluid

Windshield wiper fluid is probably the easiest one to recognize for many of us. Windshield wiper fluid keeps our windows clean and clear. You don’t need to replace this, but keep it topped off to ensure a clear field of vision. 

Motor Oil

Motor oil lubricates your car’s engine and helps reduce wear, which prolongs the lifespan of your vehicle. Your oil should be changed roughly every 5,000 miles, depending on your car and the type of oil you use. More expensive lubricants are designed to last longer. 


Coolant, also called antifreeze, regulates your engine’s temperature by reducing friction from metal against metal when hot. It also protects against freezing in colder climates and should be checked 2 times a year: in the summer and the winter. Flush and replace your coolant every 2-3 years. 

Power Steering Fluid

Power Steering Fluid ensures you have a smooth, controlled range of motion. While you shouldn’t need to replace this, noticing a sharp decline in power steering fluid can indicate a much larger problem.

Transmission Fluid

Transmission Fluid keeps the gears in your transmission running smoothly. Running your car on low transmission fluid can be a costly mistake. It should be replenished every 50,000 to 100,000 miles.

Brake Fluid

Brake fluid keeps your brakes running smoothly by providing pressure to stop the wheels from turning. Brake fluid also releases energy during braking to help slow down or stop your vehicle. Check the level of your brake fluid every time you change your oil, topping off as necessary. You should change your brake fluid once every 2 years. 

These main chemicals, lubricants, and fluids are all important in maintaining your vehicle. Find these automotive products and all the tools you’ll need to repair, replace, and restore your vehicle at Mimbach Fleet Supply.


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