Maintaining the Fluids of Your Vehicle

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Is there such thing as a “lifetime fluid”? Well that all depends on what lifetime you are using. Most manufacturers nowadays are promoting “lifetime fluids”, unfortunately they don’t let you know whose lifetime they’re talking about. Most all fluids have an end date and most fluids will break down as they continue to cycle through a vehicle.  This will cause them to work less effective than in the beginning and over time allow engine components or transmission components to have damage. Now we all know that engines and transmissions may not always last a lifetime, but the fastest way to need to replace an engine or transmission is to not change your fluids. Most fluids should be changed within so many miles.

Here is a list of fluids along with the miles they should be changed at

  • Transmission fluid 30,000 miles 
  • Engine oil 5,000 miles 
  • Most coolant runs from 60,000 to 100,000 miles However with coolant it should be checked and inspected every 3 years 
  • Brake fluid 3 years 
  • Maximum power steering fluid 30,000 miles Differential fluid 30,000 miles 
  • Transfer case 30,000 miles

It is important that you look in your specific vehicles owner manual to see what is recommended for your vehicle. Some new cars will say that the fluid has lifetime but void a warranty if not changed within 10 to 15,000 miles of purchase a vehicle. There are multiple factors that go into when your fluid should be changed, such as year, make, model of vehicle, and the manufacturer specified warranty.  The reason the expression “lifetime fluids” has come about is due to manufacturers trying to make low maintenance vehicles. When your purchasing a vehicle it can sometimes sound like it will be cheap and easy to keep the vehicle maintained due to the “lifetime fluids”, however sometimes this is used really to get that consumer back to buy another vehicle as soon as the warranty runs out. So, the next time you go to buy a car ask that manufacture “If I have “lifetime fluid” does that mean I have “lifetime warranty?”  If you’re unsure about your specific vehicle and when certain fluid should be changed please contact your automotive repair facility that works on your vehicle and ask them what they recommend. A good auto repair shop will be able to let you know when your specific fluid should be changed. Hopefully this will clear up some of the myths of the “lifetime fluid”. Just remember your car’s warranty is not lifetime along with your car’s fluids are not lifetime.

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