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Using Proper Fluids in Your vehicle

Posted November 21, 2021 11:07 AM


Today, A.G. Automotive & Diagnosis is writing about the proper fluids for your vehicle. It's become more complicated with changes in automotive design and manufacturing. It's not that people in Winnetka are confused as much as they don't realize how much things have changed in recent years.

If you have questions about the fluids in your vehicle, please don't hesitate to stop by A.G. Automotive & Diagnosis. You can find us on 19735 Sherman Way Suite 2 in Winnetka, CA 91306.
Just give us a call at (818) 438-9608.

Let's take engine oil. Twenty or 30 years ago, there were just a handful of different weights of oil. The weight of an oil is a scientific measure of its properties, particularly its viscosity or thickness.

It was common in those days to use a lighter weight oil in the winter when it's cold outside. That way the oil would be able to splash around inside the engine and protect the parts before it was fully warmed up. And a heavier weight oil would be used in the summer. The thicker oil wouldn't thin out too much in the summer heat and vaporize in the engine.

Modern valve trains have become very complicated with more moving parts and small passages than ever before. The valve train is in the top of the engine, so when the vehicle has been turned off for a while, the oil tends to run down to lower areas.  That means the valve train parts are vulnerable at start-up, before the oil starts circulating.

So new weights of oil have been introduced to meet the engineering specifications of these newer engines.

Manufacturers are recommending specific weights of oil. The recommendation is often printed on the oil fill cap. It's certainly in the owner's manual. Of course, A.G. Automotive & Diagnosis in Winnetka can look it up for you.

It's more important than ever to have the correct weight of oil. The wrong weight could actually harm the engine.

Other fluids are also becoming more sophisticated. In the last few years new types of transmission, power brake fluid and coolant have all been introduced for some of the same reasons as for engine oil.

In addition, vehicle manufacturers are now using a wider variety of materials in these systems. Looking at the cooling system as an example, it used to be that the parts were all made out of steel or iron and the hoses were rubber. Now, some parts are plastic, aluminum or other materials.

So the anti-corrosion additives contained in the coolant, or anti-freeze, need to be different in order to protect the different materials used to make the cooling system. If you use the wrong coolant that wasn't formulated to protect your plastic cooling system parts, they could become corroded and fail. And if you're using the wrong coolant, your cooling system won't be covered under warranty. So it's important to use the right coolant and to not mix different types.

Your owner's manual or service advisor at A.G. Automotive & Diagnosis can make sure you're using the right type. You may have heard of universal coolant. Universal, or global, coolant can be added to other types without harmful reactions. That's OK for an emergency top off, but following your manufacturer's recommendation for your vehicle or other auto type is always a safe bet.

In the area of brake fluid, there are a couple of new formulations. It's important to remember that the new ones aren't better than the old ones. They're just different formulations for different vehicles. So if your vehicle calls for DOT 3, using DOT 4 or DOT 5 is not an upgrade. Use the recommended formula.

There are fluid formulations for vehicles with higher mileage. These are special engine oil, transmission fluid and so on that contain additives to condition and restore seals and gaskets in older engines.

They're fine to use as long as they're a variant of the proper fluid. In other words you can use a high mileage engine oil as long as it's also the correct weight recommended by the manufacturer. Same goes for transmission fluid; as long as it's the right type for your transmission.

A.G. Automotive & Diagnosis
19735 Sherman Way Suite 2
Winnetka, CA 91306
(818) 438-9608
http://www.agautodiagnosis.com

 



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My regular mechanic has been really busy lately, and My daughter brings her Prius to A.G. Automotive, so I decided to try them out, and I was not disappointed. Chuck was very professional, and honest. He did fix the problem at hand, but did say he needed a few days to find the actual deep down cause of the problem so we will bring the car back very soon. He got the car back on the road, and I felt very at ease talking to him. He is very down to earth, and to the point. He is a mechanic you can send your kids or wife to and not worry about getting gouged or sold services that are not needed. Now granted they are a bit short handed right now, but they will get the job done. I feel like I have found a new mechanic, Also Thank you to Amber who answered the phone and got me in.
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All around amazing shop!! Some of the nicest and most up front people I've ever met. Aside from excellent customer service, there's no one I would trust more with my car. They got me in quickly and not only fixed my electrical issues, but made sure everything else on the car looked good. They even gave me a heads up on what I will be having to replace next! This shop is a rarity and will forever be my go to.
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These guys know there cars got a lot done for a very reasonable price I have zero complaints car runs great now!
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Chuck was great and he's a wealth of knowledge. AG was highly recommended by my local shop for a transmission service on my Ram 3500. He walked me through the things he looks for and the steps that he takes to do the job right. Doesn't hurt that their price was very competitive too.
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Awesome. Mechanics and Melissa is awesome too!
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