Why Are Fluid Exchanges So Important?

We all want to get the most out of our investments, and a car is a pretty significant investment. Believe it or not, the fluids in our vehicles are designed to protect the engine and components; they play a significant role in extending the life of our car. Over time, these fluids, be they synthetic or petroleum, break down over time. Because of this, flushing and exchanging these fluids preserve and extend the life of your car.

Is your goal to keep driving your car for as long as possible? If so, it might be time to schedule a flush for your vehicle. It is a simple fact of life that, over time, things break down or wear out. Oils, synthetics, and other liquids all fall victim to this same misfortune. The side effects are not pretty when we don't properly care for ourselves or our vehicles. Your car has engine oil, transmission fluid, steering fluid, brake fluid, and coolant all running through its veins. Each one of these fluids plays an essential role in keeping your car in top operating condition.

We have put a list of fluids and their standard rule of thumb for how often fluid exchanges should be performed. You will still want to check your owners manual and consult your local mechanic shop for how often fluid exchanges or flushes should be scheduled for your exact make and model.

Engine Oil - The oil in your engine should be replaced every 3,000 miles. With new technology, there is a lot of variance with this old rule-of-thumb, Synthetics and blends have extended life expectancy and are usually able to hold its integrity for longer. The last thing anyone needs is viscosity breakdown in your engine oil; it is a real thing. If you do happen to go past your recommended oil life, you may consider having the engine oil flushed in your car to make sure any accumulated debris has been removed.

Transmission Fluid - Tranny fluid can go much longer than engine oil before needing an exchange. However, it is exposed to very high temperatures and will begin to break down over time or even fail. When you hit 25,000 miles or so from your last exchange, it is time to call your mechanic and ask them what is recommended for your car. If you open the hood and check your transmission fluid, be sure to check for a burnt smell or dark brown or black color. These are signs that your transmission fluid has reached the end of its lifecycle. Transmission fluid can get a little tricky over time, because if it has never been changed, sometimes it is best not to change it at all. It may sound odd. However, there are debris that could have collected in your transmission and settled at the lowest point. Changing the fluid adds a layer of risk to stirring that sediment up, causing other performance problems down the road.


Coolant Flush - The coolant in your engine is a vital component to keeping your engine from overheating and possibly cracking. Flushing the coolant every couple of years will help your engine from being under additional stress in extreme hot or cold situations. Coolant also provides an anti-corrosion component, which with age, diminishes. Yet another reason to have your coolant flushed. 

Brake Fluid - We often take this for granted, thinking only of our brakes when the squeak, grind or make us feel unsafe. Your brake system is run with hydraulics, which requires top performance at our foot's request. It is a good idea to exchange this fluid every 2-3 years.

Power Steering Fluid - Power steering fluid keeps our hands to the wheel connection agony-free. Have you ever driven a car without power steering? It can be a beast to turn! If you run out of power steering fluid, or if your cars system becomes faulty, it is extremely challenging to navigate the road. Best to avoid this by getting a power steering fluid exchange on a scheduled basis. Give your mechanic shop a call and ask them to get you on a maintenance schedule. 

We are happy to help you with fluid exchanges or setting up a maintenance schedule for your car. Give us a call, or schedule an appointment today with Family Auto Service. With four locations throughout the San Diego area in La Jolla, La Mesa, Santee, and Alpine, Family Auto Service's auto mechanics are available to keep your vehicle in prime condition. If you need a shuttle service while our auto mechanics repair your car, please let us know so we can drop you off where you need to go. Our business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

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