Why are those fluids so important?
You hear it all the time: “Change your oil!” Motor oil is probably the most important fluid in your car, truck, or SUV. So, why is it so important? First, it is the lubricant that allows all the metal parts inside the engine to spin around with ease. Second, it protects these spinning parts, helps cool the engine, and stops contaminants so they can be removed in the oil filter. Last, but certainly not least, modern motor oil can provide a measurable fuel economy benefit.
AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION FLUID
Referred to as ATF by most auto professionals, it is a specially blended fluid used to cool your automatic transmission. ATF also prevents corrosion, regulates friction, mimics a hydraulic fluid to operate valves, and is used as a fluid coupler inside the torque converter. With the complexity of an automatic transmission, it’s easy to see why ATF is so important to your vehicle.
This fluid is usually a mixture of 50% water and 50% alcohol. Coolant circulates inside your engine through special channels then back though the radiator, where air flow cools the mixture before it takes another pass through the engine. Special compounds inside the coolant help it prevent corrosion and the formation of bubbles, which can damage the radiator or water pump.
This is the fluid that forces your vehicle to stop whenever you hit the brake pedal. This fluid has an extremely high heat tolerance, allowing it to withstand the heat generated by braking. Brake fluid is also easily contaminated and should be flushed out of your brake system on a regular basis.
Power Steering Fluid
This fluid is similar to ATF, although, it is not put to the same stresses. Because of this, most automotive professionals do not recommend replacing your cars power steering fluid at certain intervals. However, if you notice your vehicle becoming more difficult to steer, or it’s making a “whining” sound, a power steering fluid replacement will most likely cure the problem.