Did you know you are supposed to have the fluid in your transmission and differential serviced? How about having the quality of your coolant tested? Did you ever even think about the condition of the fluid in your brake system, if you even knew you had them? In reality these items generally do not need tested every time you have your auto serviced, but it can be a huge savings in maintenance cost to do so. Why? To help prevent future damage, of course.
Virtually every motor vehicle on the road uses a fluid controlled brake system. There are very few which do not. Even though these systems are “sealed” it is still possible for water and other contaminants to find their way in. While a little condensation is not likely to cause an immediate failure and result in tragedy it is possible that, over time, internal components can become corroded which can ultimately lead to a dangerous condition. So at least once per year make sure you ask your auto service technician to check your brake fluid not only to make sure it is topped off but if it looks to be contaminated in any way.
Yet another sealed system is the engine’s coolant system. We don’t really think about contamination and breakdown inside the radiator but did you know that fluid travels through small tunnels inside of your engine itself and super heats and cools millions of times over a period of time? In fact the components of engine coolant fluid can themselves eventually break down and begin to lose their ability to transfer enough heat away from the engine and then fail to cool off quickly in the radiator which can result in engine overheating. Most automotive service centers have the proper equipment to check the cooling quality of the fluid. This should be done at least twice per year if not at every oil change. Other serious conditions may also first be detected in the cooling fluid so don’t omit this simple test.
Gasoline powered vehicles all have some transference mechanism to get the engine power to the wheels. This may included a transmission and a differential or just a transmission in some cases. Either way both of these drivetrain components are filled with lubricants. Automatic transmissions actually use a hydraulic fluid which is used to make the system shift through the gears at the right time. Manual transmissions use a heavy viscosity oil to keep the spinning gears, many of which spin as fast as your engine which is thousands of turns per minute. It gets very hot inside of these systems and condensation may also result. These systems should be checked at least once per year during your automotive service appointment. Any degradation or contamination signals time for a change and could signal the need for further repair.