You Probably Forgot About These 3 Maintenance Items

By Justin Cupler | July 25th, 2018

Maintaining your vehicle is a huge part of keeping it running for the long haul. But what kind of maintenance does your vehicle need? Sure, we all know about oil changes and brakes, but what other maintenance items could cause issues if left unchecked?

Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid is one of those quiet killers. It hides deep underneath the vehicle and rarely do you see a sign advertising a $19.99 transmission flush to remind you to have the service done. Your transmission goes through about as much stress as your engine as it bears the full weight of the vehicle on acceleration. Transmission fluid, like engine oil, has several functions: It lubricates, of course, but it’s also a hydraulic fluid, and acts as a cleaner, sweeping debris away from the transmission’s moving parts.

Time, heat, and stress kill transmission fluid, so you need to change it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations in the owner’s manual. Most manufacturers recommend a flush or a filter and fluid replacement once every 40,000 to 60,000 miles.

Brake Fluid

Wait, brakes have a fluid? And the fluid need changed — Whaaat? Yes, there is a hydraulic fluid that operates the brakes, and this fluid goes through a lot of heat stress. What’s worse is this fluid is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs and retains water. When it is fresh, this fluid can resist the heat and not boil. But once it takes on water, its ability to resist boiling fades, and boiling brake fluid can introduce air in the lines, which can lead to brake failure. Water can also cause rust and lead to hose deterioration from the inside out.

Many manufacturers do not list a recommended service interval for the brake fluid, but most technicians will suggest swapping it out every 60,000 miles.

Engine Coolant

Engine coolant is a mixture of distilled water and antifreeze, and it has one of the toughest jobs in your vehicle as it absorbs heat and returning to the radiator for cooling. In cooler climates, this fluid also protects the cooling system from freezing, hence the name “antifreeze.” Over time, the heat and contaminants coolant deals with can break it down or cause it to congeal, resulting in serious problems.

Replacing the coolant according to the manufacturer’s recommendations can help prevent this. Most manufacturer’s recommended 40,000- to 80,000-mile intervals.

Need one of these services? We can help you at Garber Buick Saginaw. Come by our service department serving Saginaw, Michigan and check out our great maintenance offers. And no, you do not need to have a Buick vehicle to take advantage of our experienced team.

Posted in Maintenance