There are many fluids in a vehicle that require attention over the course of your car or trucks’ lifetime. How often should you change certain fluids? Why is it important to exchange fluids? We are happy to answer these questions on this week’s Ask the Experts! Today we will focus on three most common fluids: brake fluid, transmission fluid, and power steering fluid.

Brake Fluid

Brake fluid can be complicated because each manufacturer has different recommendations on the replacement of brake fluid. Some recommend 20,000 miles, or two years, or some don’t even mention it at all. We are going to base our judgment on the average. We recommend replacing the brake fluid every 30,000 miles, or when you replace the pads/rotors. It is important to keep your brake fluid in good condition. The brake fluid is housed in a closed system, however, over time it can absorb moisture. Moisture in the brake lines can lead to corrosion in the brake system. It can also lead to reduction of a brake pedals effectiveness or even brake failure.

Transmission Fluid

There is no argument that transmission fluid needs to be replaced, the only disagreement is how often. Again, every manufacturer is different, so we are going to go based on the average vehicle. We recommend every two years or 30,000 miles, especially in the Washington DC area, where our driving conditions are considered more severe than other parts of the country. While you may not necessarily need a “flush”, which is where the old fluid is forced out, you may still benefit from a “drain-and-fill”, if there are not too many contaminants in your fluid.

Power Steering Fluid

This service is not immune to the disagreements that we have seen previously. Almost every mechanic and manufacturer have different recommendations for this service as well. We recommend a power steering flush every two years or 30,000 miles. Over time your power steering fluid will collect metal and rubber particles. This will lead to increased wear of the power steering pump and gear. It can also collect in the rack and pinion seals which can lead to them needing to be replaced.

The bottom line here is that keeping your fluids clean and fresh will ultimately reduce the need for more costly repairs over time! Contact us today at 703.845.8477 to setup an appointment with one of our friendly service writers to determine if your vehicle is in need of a fluid exchange!