An Owner’s Task: Do You Check Your Fluids?

When you own a Honda or any other make, you take on the responsibility for keeping it in good working order. Sure, you can get it serviced at the Honda dealership, but there can often be several months between maintenance visits. It’s during these stretches that you, as the car owner, need to stay vigilant. One way to do that is to check your fluids regularly.

How Often Should You Check Your Fluids?

You don’t need to be under the hood every day. Even every week is overly cautious. You should endeavor to check your fluids at least once a month. If you’re filling up your gas tank, it’s a great opportunity to pop the hood and check your fluids at the same time.

What Are You Checking For?

Engine Oil

Pull the engine oil dipstick and check for the proper engine oil level. On the dipstick, it should register as somewhere between the ‘add’ and ‘fill’ marks. If it isn’t, top it up with the correct grade of oil for your car. Note the engine oil condition too. If it’s almost black, it’s time to schedule an oil change. If it’s golden brown, it’s probably still alright.

Transmission Fluid

Some vehicles, especially those with a manual transmission, don’t have a dipstick for transmission fluid. If yours does, check that the fluid is at the proper level. If it’s low, add fluid from the parts department at Jay Wolfe Honda. If the fluid looks brown or smells burnt, it’s time to have it changed. It could also indicate a transmission problem that needs to be addressed.

Brake Fluid

In the brake fluid reservoir, the brake fluid should be at the full line. If it’s lower, it could be simply that the brake pads are worn and more fluid is in the lines and calipers, which is normal. Just top up the fluid from a new container. Be sure to use the same brake fluid specification as the reservoir cap says.

Power Steering Fluid

Vehicles with electric power steering don’t have a reservoir to check. If you have hydraulic power steering, the fluid should be up to the ‘full’ line on the dipstick. Top it up with the approved fluid according to the power steering cap.

Washer Fluid

Top up your washer fluid at every fuel fill. Use the right washer fluid for the season, and never use summer washer fluid in the winter! You could freeze and damage your washer fluid reservoir or pump.   If you find anything abnormal when you check your fluids, let us know at Jay Wolfe Honda. We’re here for you, and we’ll help you find the right answer for your situation.