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It’s always important to stick with a regular maintenance schedule with your vehicles. However, even if you are diligent with bringing your vehicle for maintenance every six months, certain minor issues can happen between visits that you can often take care of on your own. One of these is running out of different types of fluids that make your car operate. If you are comfortable enough with changing or replacing fluids in your vehicle, here are some mistakes you need to avoid.

Running Out Of Fluid

Running out of fluid completely could cause catastrophic damage to your vehicle. Whether it’s the oil, the coolant system, power steering system, or the transmission system, you never want to be in a situation where you run out of those necessary fluids. Newer vehicles today may have indicators alerting you if fluid levels are low, but it’s also valuable to pop the hood occasionally and check to make sure they are at a sufficient level. And if you begin noticing wet or oily spots on the ground where you park, you should bring it to a mechanic to determine whether a leak is present and get it fixed immediately.

Improperly Refilling Fluids

Certain fluids can be overfilled depending on the system and have to be kept at certain levels to avoid causing problems. Be sure to always check your owner’s manual before refilling any fluids to determine the proper levels they need to be at. Or if you have any doubts, you can also take it to a reputable auto mechanic to ensure the fluids are refilled correctly.

Cross-Contamination With Fluids


Don't make these vehicle fluid mistakes.This involves putting the wrong type of fluid in the wrong location. For example, refilling your power steering system with engine oil can be a big problem. Cross-contamination of fluids in this manner may not be as catastrophic to your vehicle as allowing it to run out of fluid, but it could cause significant repairs that need to be completed. Always pay attention to where you are pouring any given fluid and ensure it’s going to the right place.

Using The Wrong Type Of Fluid

Many years ago, fluids were very standardized among vehicles. There was only one type of power steering fluid, one type of oil, and one type of transmission fluid. Today, with vehicles and systems being vastly different among manufacturers, specific fluids often have to be used depending on the vehicle. The transmissions are particularly specific, and if you aren’t careful, you could ruin the transmission by putting the wrong type of fluid in when you think you’re doing the right thing by refilling it. 

Simply refilling fluids in vehicles isn’t as easy as it used to be. Vehicles have become much more specialized over the years, which means they need more specialized attention when it comes to maintenance. The best thing to do is to allow DeBoer’s Auto to handle your fluid levels for you. Be sure to contact us today to schedule your next vehicle maintenance appointment.


Bill DeBoer

Written by Bill DeBoer

William J. DeBoer (Bill Jr.) is Co-owner and Vice President at DeBoer’s Auto. As the company’s General Manager, Bill has been responsible for bringing innovations in daily operations to the full-service, high-tech auto repair facility for 20+ years. Passionate about computers from an early age, Bill’s interest in technology gravitated to cars while he was in college. By obtaining a Certificate in Automotive Technology followed by a B.S. in Business Management from Penn State, Bill was able to fuse his interests into a car technology specialization and join the family business shortly thereafter.