What Six Fluids do I Need to Check in my Vehicle?

Midas Swellendam

What Six Fluids do I Need to Check in my Vehicle? These fluids are Engine oil, Coolant (Antifreeze), Power steering fluid, Brake fluid, Transmission fluid (in an automatic transmission vehicle, not a manual), and Windshield washer fluid. 

When do I check my fluid levels?

It is advisable to check your fluids at the same time you schedule an oil change, every 4800km if using regular oil and 8000km if using synthetic oil. We don’t always think about these things, so make a schedule and your mechanic will also routinely check all fluids, tire pressure, and other general maintenance items while the vehicle is in the shop. 

What are the purposes of the fluids in my vehicle?

By checking these fluids regularly, it ensures your vehicles optimal functioning, fuel economy and longevity! Be sure to always listen and watch out for unusual noises, odours, or vibrations.

Engine Oil

With engine components spinning thousands of reps per minute, it’s the engine oil that keeps everything lubricated and smoothly in motion. Engine oil is amber/yellow colour when new and a brown/black colour when it’s time for an oil change.


Coolant (antifreeze) keeps the engine cool in the summer and protects it from freezing during the winter. Coolant also prevents deposits, corrosion and foam from reducing cooling efficiency. 

Coolant comes in a variety of colours (blue, yellow, green, red, pink or purple), depending on vehicle model age and manufacturer. Never mix coolant types and always replace with the same type of antifreeze your owner’s manual recommends.

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Power Steering Fluid

Power steering fluid allows easy steering manoeuvrability. Power steering fluid is whiteish/pinkish colour. Remember trying to make a U-turn in one the older cars, if felt like you were turning an ox wagon around, yay for power steering😉

Brake Fluid

When stepping on the pedal, brake fluid connects the brake pedal to the brakes, a plunger pressurizes the fluid inside the brake lines, which cause the brake pads to clamp on the rotors, this slows the vehicle down. Brake fluid is a yellowish colour.

Transmission Fluid

Transmission fluid lubricates and cools transmission components (gears, clutches, and valves), for optimum performance. 

When your transmission fluid is low, your car won’t generate as much hydraulic pressure, leading to a failure to accelerate properly, your vehicle may be reaching high RPMs while moving sluggishly. Transmission fluid should be an amber/translucent red colour.

Windshield Washer Fluid

This is probably the fluid that we are most familiar with, vital to safe driving, windshield washer fluid allows the driver to see clearly. Usually blue, green, or orange/red in colour, simply pour new washer fluid into the reservoir until it’s full and close the cap. 

Voila! Mission accomplished!

I hope our article, “What Six Fluids do I Need to Check in my Vehicle?” was informative and acts as a reminder to check on the little things, we so easily miss.

Midas Swellendam is a retail auto parts store designed around the needs of vehicle owners and automotive mechanics, focusing on quality products at the best price.

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(There are currently there are over 300 franchised outlets across Southern Africa, including Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Namibia, Swaziland, and Zimbabwe.)

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