Fundamental fluids: Car liquids you need to check before you drive

The new Changan CS35 Plus

Whether you’re taking a trip to the provinces or just heading out for a quick cup of Joe, it’s important that you check your car’s fluids before you hit the road. That said, here are some of the fundamental fluids you can check on your own before you drive.


  • What are the basic car fluids you can check before you drive?

    They are the engine oil, brake fluid, and coolant.
  • Where can you find the proper level of each fluid?

    You can check it in your car's manual.
  • 1. Engine oil

    The purpose of the engine oil, or motor oil, is to keep the moving parts in the engine lubricated. And driving with low engine oil could cause some serious damage to your car’s power plant.

    There’s a reason why your dads, uncles, and grandfathers check the engine oil in the morn. Doing so allows the engine to cool down and the oil to set, which gives a more accurate measurement of how much oil is left in the engine. It will also help if the car is parked on level ground.

    Remove and wipe the dipstick, then insert it again to get a reading. Follow the owner’s manual for the recommended amount of motor oil. You can either take a DIY approach or take your car to the casa.

    2. Brake fluid

    Your brake fluid is responsible for transferring force into pressure and amplifying the braking force in your brakes. Low brake fluid can affect your car’s ability to decelerate and could potentially cause accidents. On that note, make sure to regularly check your car’s brake fluid.

    Brake fluids are often held in a reservoir, typically a clear one. If you’re struggling to find it, you can check your car’s manual for directions. Your manual will also tell you how much fluid you should have in your reservoir; fill as necessary.

    And while you’re at it, try to check the color of your brake fluid. If you see a dark brown tone, you might need a brake fluid flush. In this case, it’s best to leave it to the pros.

    3. Coolant

    The engine coolant keeps the engine cool and prevents your car from breaking down. It also helps prevent corrosion, foam, and deposits from forming in the engine. Especially here in the Philippines, regular maintenance and replacement of your car coolant is a must as our hot climate can contribute to the heat the engine makes.

    Make a quick inspection of your engine coolant to see if it’s still at the proper level. Do check for leaks as well.

    Photo from Changan

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