The Different Vehicle Fluids Your Ride Needs to Keep Running

car oil

Every person behind the wheel should have a basic knowledge of the types of vehicle fluids that can be found in your car.

It’s essential to have proper regular maintenance to understand what could go wrong, and potentially how to fix it or to know when to bring it to a professional. 

Oil: The King of Vehicle Fluids

Engine Oil is the lifeblood of your car. It helps the engine not get damaged and protects the car from overheating. 

You can check the oil level by checking the dipstick located either in front or right behind the engine. The type of oil you use is dependent on the make and model of the car. 

Your oil cap should have some sort of image or an oil type written on it. 

When checking engine oil levels, pull out the dipstick and wipe the oil off. Dip the stick back into the oil and pull it out again. Where the oil goes up to indicates how much is in your car; you want to be between the minimum and maximum lines on the dipstick. 

Color can be an important indicator of oil and engine health. If the oil is a darker brown or black color it is time for you to get an oil change!

When should you get your oil changed? Professionals, like A Plus Transmission, will have different opinions, but most will agree that you should get it changed by 5,000 miles.

Power Steering Fluid

Power steering fluid is a light blush color and can be checked in the same manner that engine oil is checked. There should be a cap or reservoir that indicates where the power steering fluid should be located.

Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is rare to change and easy to check. It has to be replaced every 4 to 5 years unless there are other issues. If brake fluid isn’t sufficient, braking can be not as effective.

To check levels find the brake fluid cap, it will say brake fluid or it will have a circular symbol on it. Brake fluid level should be at the top of the container and be an amber or white wine color.  

Transmission Fluid

You may or may not be able to check the transmission fluid yourself, based on whether it has a dipstick and where it is located.

Always consult a professional if you have any questions about replacing fluids in your car. Proper maintenance is beyond important.


This is also known as engine coolant! This fluid comes in bright colors usually, like blue or pink. You should be able to see the reservoir and assess the levels from the outside. 

Windshield Washer Fluid 

Washer fluid is necessary to keep your windshield clear so you can drive safely. The cap usually has a windshield picture or “washer fluid” written on it. You can typically see the reservoir, do not confuse it with the anti-freeze as it can also be bright in color!

You’ll be able to tell if your windshield washer fluid is out if you press the button to clean the windshield and nothing comes out. 

Car Guru in the Making

We’ve already learned so much together! Now that you’re familiar with the fluids that are in your vehicle, you’ll be much better prepared to maintain your car and recognize when there is an issue. 

If you have any other questions, come to We’ve got the information and advice you need on vehicle fluids or any other car problem.