Lets get acquainted: Fluids present in your Car

Published On  May 15, 2015 06:06 PM By Abhijeet Singh Rathore at CarDekho.com

As most of us are familiar with our car’s engine oil and coolant there are a host of other fluids that are still little concealed to a daily driver. We have summed up the major fluids that are vital for your car’s smooth operation and will help you to smartly interact with your mechanic.

Engine Oil

The major function of a car engine oil is to lubricate the moving parts, clean the engine sludge by constant motion and to some extent carry away the heat. As time have passed we have developed a better understanding towards engine oils. Like if the oil is synthetic, semi-synthetic or mineral, or how to use a dipstick to check the level and quality of the oil, or the change intervals. 

If we talk about the current scenario, semi-synthetic and synthetic engine oil are getting more prevalent because of their longer changing intervals.

Transmission Oil

Unlike engine oils, tranmission oils are underrated and it is quite possible that most of us don't even heard about it. However, transmission fluid do similar functions of lubrication, cooling and keep your car's gearbox sludge free.

Gearbox oil is different for automatic and manual transmission, as in automatic transmission, the oil has to performs additional duties to operate clutch and shifting gears. Therefore, the transmission oil in automatics has better pressure transferring properties.

So, transmission oil do the necessary lubrication to keep transitions between gears smooth and keep gearbox in good shape. Unlike the engine oil, the transmission oil has to changed less frequently and you can refer to your owner's manual to know the exact period.

Brake Oil

Brake oil is another essential car fluid that transfers the brake foot pedal effort to stop your car. We need to go behind the scene to understand the importane of brake fluid. Whenever you apply brakes, the brake pedal effort goes to brake booster, which is sort of a pump. This effort now transfers to master cylinder, which is a distributer and it transfer brake fluid with required pressure to stop the car according to your input. In whole this process, brake fluid is the medium of transfer and if you do not have optimum brake fluid level, then it can reduce braking power of your car.

Brake oil runs under pressure and this pressure has to be retained so as to maintain optimum braking efficiency. Therefore, we recommend getting it checked and topped up on every service and get it changed on recommended intervals.


As the name suggests Coolant take away heat from your car's engine and allow it to operate on optimum temprature. Open your hood, and you can easily locate a big plastic resorvoir with a green, blue or pink fluid, just make sure the fluid is on indicated level else your car will start to heat up frequently.

Wiper Fluid

This is the simplest sort of fluid that everyone is comfortable filling in their car, all you need is water. Well, it is not that simple either, because if you fill simple water; first it will not do the required cleaning and second it may clog your car’s spray jet with salts. To make sure this doesn’t happen always fill it with distil water mixed with recommeded cleaning shampoo.

Power steering oil

Though, electric steering are getting more popular day by day, hydraulic power steering is still present in many passenger cars. These steerings work on hydraulics, which reduces the effort of turning your car. The steering oil is the most important component of this hydraulic system, which runs under pressure to direct your wheels according to your input. It also lubricates the moving gears present in a steering system.

Other Oils

These include 4x4 transfer case oil, differential oil, etc that are only present in not every but some cars. Similar to these they too have to be regularly checked to keep them in perfect shape.


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