Understanding Transmission and Steering Fluids

Cars need fluids to lubricate many components, including transmission components. Fluids could also work as coolants and heat is produced when engine transmit kinetic energy to the transmission. Manual transmission is simpler than the automatic models, but it also requires proper lubrication. Without regular oil change, the life of our transmission oil could become shorter. In general we should check our owner’s manual for specific information on proper transmission fluids. In general, transmission fluids are usable until up to 60,000 miles.

In any case, it should be important to check our transmission fluid. We could check it with using the dipstick, however cars with manual transmission rarely have dipstick. We should always ask the mechanic to check all fluid levels when we bring the car to him. Transmission fluid that goes bad may have burnt smell, so we could also use our senses to find out whether fluids are normal. Unfortunately, burnt smell could also indicate that the transmission system has started to break down. So, we should immediately check it for troubles and problems.

We need to steer our car to reach the desired destination, unless we want to go in a straight line indefinitely. Steering components also have moving parts, such as tie rod ends and ball joints that can wear out. When we turn the steering wheel and hear noises, that we could have an indication that replacement is necessary. To improve the longevity of our steering components, we should also check the steering fluids. However, like any fluid in our car, it doesn’t last forever and fluids can be contaminated when some components break apart, causing small bits of rubber and metal to get diluted. It is important that any fluid in our car is at proper viscosity level and relatively free of contaminants. When the transmission fluid is contaminated, the power steering pump would need to work a bit harder and this could cause it to wear faster.

In general, it is much faster to replace the steering fluid than the pump. It is cheaper and the damaged power steering pump could already cause problems with other components. In more serious cases, the whole power steering rack could already get damaged and on older cars, this situation could total our car. Or it means that the entire repair and replacement cost will be higher than the actual value of our car.

So what we should do? If we start hearing funny noises, it is a good idea to have our steering system checked by a professional. We could also have an indication that the pump should be checked or replaced if the steering wheel moans or whines when we turn it. It is important to check the manufacturer’s guidelines to known when we should change the steering fluid. Fluid level should be checked regularly, because our pump could get affected pretty quickly if it runs out of fluid. Maintaining our car is all about checking all details of our car and it would be important to have a checklist.

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