Filters and Fluids: Essential Maintenance for Your Vehicle’s Longevity

Filters and Fluids: Essential Maintenance for Your Vehicle’s Longevity

Regular maintenance is the key to keeping your vehicle running smoothly and extending its lifespan. When it comes to auto repair and maintenance, paying attention to your oil, filters, and fluids is crucial. Filters help keep harmful contaminants out of your engine and cabin, while fluids ensure proper lubrication, cooling, and functionality of various components. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of filters and fluids in auto repair maintenance, their role in vehicle performance, and essential tips to keep them in optimal condition.

Engine Air Filter

The engine air filter plays a vital role in maintaining the health of your vehicle’s engine. It prevents dirt, dust, debris, and other contaminants from entering the engine, ensuring clean air for combustion. Over time, the air filter becomes clogged, restricting airflow and reducing engine efficiency.

A dirty air filter can lead to decreased fuel economy, reduced power output, and even engine damage. Regularly inspecting and replacing the engine air filter according to the manufacturer’s recommendations prevents the need for further engine service

Cabin Air Filter

The cabin air filter is responsible for filtering the air that enters your vehicle’s interior through the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system. It traps dust, pollen, pollutants, and other airborne particles, ensuring clean air for you and your passengers. A dirty cabin air filter can lead to unpleasant odors, reduced HVAC performance, and increased allergy symptoms. It’s important to check and replace the cabin air filter regularly to maintain good air quality inside your vehicle.

Engine Oil

Engine oil is the lifeblood of your vehicle’s engine. It lubricates moving parts, reduces friction, and helps dissipate heat generated during combustion. Over time, engine oil degrades, losing its lubricating properties and becoming contaminated with dirt and debris. Regular oil changes are crucial to maintaining engine health and preventing premature wear and damage. Consult your vehicle’s owner manual for the recommended oil change intervals and use the proper oil viscosity grade for your engine.

Transmission Fluid

The transmission fluid serves as both a lubricant and a hydraulic fluid in automatic transmissions. It helps facilitate smooth gear shifts, reduces friction and heat, and protects internal components from wear. Over time, transmission fluid can break down and become contaminated, leading to rough shifting, slipping gears, and transmission damage. Regularly checking and changing the transmission fluid according to the manufacturer’s recommendations is essential for ensuring a properly functioning transmission.


The coolant, also known as antifreeze, plays a vital role in regulating engine temperature and preventing overheating. It circulates through the engine and radiator, absorbing heat and dissipating it through the radiator. Over time, coolant can become contaminated or lose its effectiveness, putting your engine at risk of overheating. Regularly checking coolant levels and flushing the cooling system at recommended intervals can help prevent engine overheating and costly repairs.

Other Essential Fluids

In addition to engine oil, transmission fluid, and coolant, several other fluids require regular attention:

Brake Fluid

Brake fluid transfers the force from your foot on the brake pedal to the brakes themselves. Regularly checking brake fluid levels and replacing it prevents the need to repair or replace your brakes.

Power Steering Fluid

Power steering fluid facilitates smooth and easy steering. Checking the power steering fluid level regularly and topping it up when needed ensures responsive and effortless steering.

Windshield Washer Fluid

Windshield washer fluid keeps your windshield clean for better visibility. Regularly topping up the washer fluid reservoir prevents running out during critical moments.

Keep Up With Your Filter and Fluid Maintenance 

Proper maintenance of filters and fluids is essential for keeping your vehicle running smoothly and maximizing its longevity. Regularly inspecting and replacing engine air filters, cabin air filters, engine oil, transmission fluid, coolant, and other fluids will help ensure optimal performance and prevent costly repairs down the road.

Remember to consult your vehicle’s owner manual for specific maintenance intervals and recommendations. If you’re unsure about the maintenance requirements or need assistance, it’s always best to consult a qualified mechanic or service professional.

By staying proactive and attentive to the condition of your filters and fluids, you’ll not only enhance your driving experience but also contribute to the long-term health and reliability of your vehicle. Taking the time to perform these essential maintenance tasks will keep your car operating at its best, providing you with peace of mind on the road.

So, prioritize filters and fluids in your regular auto repair maintenance routine and enjoy a smoother, more efficient, and reliable driving experience for years to come!

Transmission Fluid Change: The Consequences of Not Getting Your Car’s Transmission Fluid Changed

Transmission Fluid Change: The Consequences of Not Getting Your Car’s Transmission Fluid Changed

How often should you get your car’s transmission fluid changed? The answer to this question depends on where you live, how old your car is, and how often you drive it. For instance, if you live in a place that gets pretty cold during the winter, you may need to get the fluid changed more often than if you live in a warmer climate area, where it rarely snows. Delaying getting your car’s transmission fluid changed can have serious consequences which will almost always result in shortening the life of the transmission.

Burned Out Fluid

If you don’t change your transmission fluid, it will eventually burn out. This can cause several problems, including transmission trouble and a decrease in fuel efficiency. In addition, burned-out fluid can lead to overheating and potentially damage the transmission itself.

Slipping Gears

Transmission trouble can start with something as small as slipping gears. This is often caused by not enough transmission fluid, and if left unchecked, it can lead to big problems down the road. So if you notice your car slipping gears, it’s essential to get it checked out as soon as possible to avoid more severe issues.

Difficulty Shifting

If you have transmission trouble, shifting gears may not be easy. This can be caused because of contaminated transmission fluid which does not allow for the correct amount of pressure to maintain correct shifting patterns. Additionally, your car may make strange noises or jerk when shifting gears. Over time, this can damage your transmission and lead to more expensive repairs.

Overheating Transmission

Overheating is one of the most common and severe consequences of not changing your car’s transmission fluid. When transmission fluid breaks down, it can’t do its job correctly, which leads to friction and heat. That extra friction and heat can cause your transmission to overheat, leading to even more severe problems.

Delayed Acceleration

When your car’s transmission fluid is low, it can cause delayed acceleration. This is because the fluid is responsible for lubricating the transmission. When it’s low, the transmission has to work harder to function properly. In addition to delayed acceleration, low transmission fluid can cause the car to jerk or hesitate when shifting gears.

Transmission fluid is the lifeblood of your car’s transmission, and if it’s consistently low you will have transmission damage eventually. It’s essential to get any leaks repaired, and to follow the recommended maintenance schedule to keep your car’s transmission in good shape.

How Can I Tell if My Brake Fluid Level Is Low?

How Can I Tell if My Brake Fluid Level Is Low?

How Can I Tell if My Brake Fluid Level Is Low?

You can tell if your brake fluid is low by looking at the fluid level in the reservoir, but this does not necessarily mean that you should add brake fluid to the reservoir, even if reads low. It’s more complicated than adding a quart of oil to your engine if it needs oil. Brake fluid levels change as the brake pads wear down, and low brake fluid levels are more of an indicator that you need your brakes serviced rather than more brake fluid. Advantage Auto Service explains this further below.

Low Brake Fluid Causes

To flesh this out further, your brake fluid will get low if your brake pads are worn out. This why we say low brake fluid could be a sign of a need for brake system maintenance rather than a leak or other problem. As your brake pads wear down, the caliper piston extends farther to press the calipers into the pads. This draws more brake fluid into the braking system and out of the reservoir, which makes it look as if you are low on brake fluid when you actually are not.

Mechanical causes of low brake fluid include leaks and damaged brake lines. Your brake system can leak from the brake lines, calipers, hoses, or the master cylinder. If you have a leak, you will see a low level of brake fluid in the reservoir, but you should also see brake fluid on your garage floor. Brake fluid is light brown to dark brown and very oily to the touch. Your brake lines are made of steel, and they can rust if exposed to excess moisture, which can damage them and cause leaks.

Signs of Brake Fluid Troubles

Your vehicle’s brake fluid has a lifespan just as the motor oil does. Generally, that lifespan is 20,000 miles or two years, whichever comes first. Check your owner’s manual to see when your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends brake service and stick to that schedule to avoid brake trouble. Signs you’ve got a problem with the brake fluid in your car, truck, or SUV include

  • Dirty and/or discolored brake fluid
  • Low brake fluid levels
  • Mushy or soft brake pedal
  • Brake light warning

If you notice any of these signs, or if you just checked your brake fluid level and it’s low in the reservoir, call Advantage Auto Service in Atlanta, GA. You don’t want to top off the brake fluid without understanding why it’s low; otherwise, excess fluid will overflow onto the engine. We’ll inspect the brakes and perform any necessary maintenance or repairs to fix your low brake fluid problem.