How Often Should I Replace Fluids in My Car?

Sun Devil Auto Expert, published on 12/04/2015

Keeping your automobile in good shape is all about routine maintenance. Some systems require fluid flushes and lubrication at regular intervals to ensure reliable performance from your car or truck. These intervals do vary, however, so it’s important to know how often one should service each system.

Be advised that driving in “severe conditions” usually calls for more frequent servicing. Severe conditions refer to regularly traveling in stop-and-go traffic, in hot and dusty areas, and using your vehicle primarily for short trips (less than 10 miles).

Coolant System

No one is more familiar with high temperatures than Arizona drivers, and one thing you’ll definitely want to avoid is the potential for your engine to overheat. A cooling system flush does this and more for your car or truck, including:

  • Fights formation of system rust
  • Provides water pump lubrication
  • Guards against cold weather freeze-ups

A majority of auto manufacturers recommend performing coolant replacement every 50,000 - 100,000 miles. For those who travel primarily in severe conditions, coolant should generally be flushed every 30,000 - 50,000 miles.

 Power Steering System

It takes a multitude of moving parts to make your vehicle run, and those parts need ample lubrication for prolonged performance. Replacing the fluid in your power steering system improves the transfer of power between its hydraulic components, maintaining the ability to easily maneuver your car or truck. It’s advisable to have a system flush performed by time and mileage before the fluid becomes brown to dark brown in coloration.

Transmission System

Transmission fluid performs many different functions including providing necessary hydraulic lubrication. Like motor oil is vital to smooth performance from your engine, this pressurized fluid plays a big part in your vehicle’s operation. It helps with the following:

  • Provides needed force for transmission engagement and disengagement
  • Allows for smooth downshifting and gear changes
  • Reduces risk of overheating problems
  • Hydraulic fluid
  • Acts as a cooling agent to help your transmission from overheating
  • Lubrication
  • Anti-corrosive agent

The preferred service interval does vary by auto make and model, but, on average, you should look to perform this type of system flush every 30,000 - 50,000 miles.

Brake System

The fluid in your brake system enhances its performance capability and prevents excess wear of primary components. This is another case where the dirt, heat, and even the moisture from the outside environment combine to take a toll on a crucial system. Put a halt to braking problems before they start by having this system flushed every two years or 30,000 miles.