This is a sponsored post, I am a Sears blogger, though all opinions are my own.
Last month I visited Sears Auto Center and learned all about tires. This month they invited me back to learn about engine fluids. I must admit the tires I knew a little bit more about going in but I was pretty clueless about most of these fluids in our cars. As I keep learning more about my car I am feeling more empowered to make decisions on maintenance, even without Hubby.
Do you remember long ago when you went to a gas station and it was full service? Not only did the pump the gasoline for you, but they also would check your fluids. Most of the full service stations are gone now, but it is still a good time for you to check many of your fluids on your own.
The first fact I learned is that coolant and antifreeze are the same thing. You often hear it called coolant in the warm months and antifreeze in the colder months but it is all the same thing. All water-cooled engines need coolant, which is the majority of cars on the road today. Coolant keeps the water in the engine from boiling over or freezing up. Ideally, your coolant will remain at optimum levels between changes, but some things can cause it to be low. It can actually evaporate if your car is overheating or even just running hotter than normal.
Remember in old movies when we would see cars overheating all the time and they opened the hood and all of this steam was coming out of the radiator? They usually were adding water to it to try and fix the problem. Well, now we have coolant to help prevent that from happening and this coolant overflow tank (pictured above) which holds the excess coolant and also allows the radiator to suck it back in as needed.
Check your owner’s manual to find out when it is suggested that you change your coolant. This will vary greatly from car to car. Sears Auto Centers can also pull up this information for your specific car.
Transmission fluid is the lifeblood of your transmission. Without this fluid the gears and transmission clutches cannot function properly. Checking transmission fluid is easier on older cars than newer cars. If your car is approximately 2006 or newer having it checked by a professional is recommended because there are special requirements to check. Always check your owner’s manual. In the past, smell and color used to be indications that your transmission fluid may need changed but that is no longer accurate. Heat is the number one enemy of your transmission fluid because heat breaks down the molecular structure which causes it to lose its lubricating ability and hydraulic ability. Learn more about transmission fluid from Sears Auto Centers.
Differential fluid is something I have a tiny bit of experience with. My first new car was a Suzuki Samurai and because I was out of differential oil the rear end went out making the car inoperable. This instilled in me the importance of differential fluid. It is the lubricant for the gears inside the differential which is the part that allows the back tires to spin at different speeds while still applying pressure. Not all cars have differential fluid although all cars do have a differential. Generally speaking, front wheel drive vehicles do not have differential fluid. How often this fluid needs to be changed depends on the vehicle. Sears Auto Centers will be able to check the recommended mileage for this service, if needed. Learn more about the deal with differential fluid from Sears Auto Centers.
Fuel system cleanings are recommended every 15,000 to 18,000 miles. The cleanings use a multi-step process remove carbon deposits from the throttle plate, clean the fuel injectors, and cleaning the combustion chamber which is done thru an IV-like drip. A fuel system cleaning maximizes fuel economy and reduces vehicle emissions. Good for your pocket and good for the environment. You can learn more about fuel system cleanings in this post from Sears Auto Centers.
BONUS DEAL: Keep an eye on the Sears Auto Facebook page and website during the 12 Days of Car Care promotion from 12/13-12/24, where there will be exclusive deals on Road Handler tires and Valvoline oil changes.
Sears has also provided me with a gift card to giveaway. You can use this at your local Sears Auto Center or Sears store on whatever you need! You can learn more about Rules of the Road Warrior by following the hashtag #SACRoadWarriors, follow @SearsAuto on Twitter, like the Sears Auto Facebook page, and even follow Sears Auto on Instagram.
The Giveaway: $50 Sears Gift Card
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