Just as drinking plenty of cold fluids to prevent heat exhaustion is essential for ones’ own health during these hot summer months, keeping your car’s fluids topped off is equally as important.

Vehicle maintenance can prevent major expenses later down the road, increase gas mileage, and reduce risks for breakdowns along the way. So, in order to prevent these awful bumps in the road, we have some simple instructions for you to follow to ensure proper hydration all summer long.

Checking Your Car’s 5 Essential Fluids: Doing the Dirty Work

First, it’s important to ensure the car is parked on level ground and the engine is cold.

1. Engine oil: Remove and wipe clean the dipstick, then insert it for a clean read. The dipstick should have a normal range indicated. If the oil is low, add more following recommendations in your owner’s manual. Be careful not to over-fill. Make sure, also, to change the oil as per the schedule in your car’s owner’s manual.

2. Coolant: Look for the clear overflow plastic container near the radiator. If the liquid is below the minimum line, fill with a 50/50 mix of water and antifreeze.

3. Power steering fluid: The small tank is located near the firewall, at the windshield’s base. Level should be between the minimum and maximum levels.

4. Brake fluid:  Usually in a clear reservoir marked with minimum and maximum lines. Fill if it’s low, but then have the system checked: there could be a leak or the brake pads may be wearing.

5. Windshield washer fluid: It’s very important to keep your windshield clean, free from smudge and debris especially with the glaring sun.

And last but not least of all, don’t forget the GAS CAP!  A damaged or loose gas cap can result in fuel loss and increased gas emissions. No one wants to lose essential fluids unnecessarily.

Stay on track with Covercraft. Happy Travels!

Gas Trends: Check out what the national average gas prices look like across the board. http://gasprices.aaa.com/toptrends/?filter%5Baverage%5D=today&filter%5Bregion%5D=st&filter%5Bby%5D=least

Additional Resources: http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2008/12/car-care-five-fluids-to-check/index.htm