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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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TESTIMONIALS

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They were quick and responsive, went the extra mile on the repairs, got everything directly from the dealer, car looks great. Also they're a mom and pop so they have great customer service, are trustworthy and dependable.
, 06/25/2022

Thank you Chuck for your help. Needed a water pump for an F150 Chuck took care of me in 3 days and in this time it is hard to find parts but he was able to. He even took me behind to see what parts were replaced and showed me before he even brought it down the lift. Keep up the great work. Did I mention the competitive prices.
, 06/15/2022

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This place is fantastic. I'd just purchased a used car, that seemed to be in good condition. But after having the car for only 6 days, I was driving on 118, & suddenly the muffler/exhaust came loose & started dragging underneath the car! I know very little about cars. (I couldn't even name the part that had fallen out until someone else told me!) I'm also a rather petite female, so I'm very aware of what an easy target I appear to be, whenever I walk into a repair shop. Its easy to bs or convince someone like me, who's relatively ignorant about the internal workings of their vehicle, to pay for unnecessary or over priced parts, repairs, etc. So it's always a headache whenever I've had to bring a car in for repairs. However, this time was surprisingly different. I called around to several mechanics & repair shops, & AG Automotive was not only the first to get back to me, but they were very friendly, & able to fit me in same day. When I got to the shop, Tammy greeted me right away, & instantly made me feel comfortable. She got all of my info, & showed me where I could hang out & wait, until the mechanic was able to look at my car. (They have a nice, air conditioned waiting room, with TV, water, etc.) After they lifted my car, Chuck, the mechanic, came & asked me to come look underneath. He explained everything to me in terms that even I could understand. He said the car had likely been in a place with saltwater or snow, as the underside of car was very rusted. Because of how rusted the exhaust was, it had become almost brittle in the area that broke. And since the hanger/bracket, that usually sits underneath the area to hold things in place, was missing, when it broke, it fell & was being dragged underneath the car. Chuck gave me 2 options. He told me I could replace it, or for a lower price, he could weld it back in place & create/attach a new hanger, that would be a temporary fix, but should last long enough, until I am able to do the replacement. I ended up going with the 2nd option for now. I thought I'd probably have to leave the car overnight, as it was late afternoon by then. But Chuck said if I was willing to wait, he may be able to get it done that evening. So I decided to stick around, & I am so happy I did, because he was able to get it done that day. (He even stayed late, until almost 10:00p.m. to finish it for me!) The entire experience was wonderful. From the time I arrived there, until the time I drove away, I was made to feel welcome & comfortable. Every person I interacted with here, was polite, helpful & respectful, & seemed genuinely sympathetic to my situation. They were fast, their pricing was very reasonable, & I never once felt like they were trying to take advantage or capitalize on the fact that I know so little about cars. It was awesome. I've always wanted a regular mechanic, who I can trust, & bring my car to when things like this happen. And I believe I have found that in Chuck. I hope to replace the exhaust in the next couple weeks, & I will most definitely be returning to AG Automotive to have the work done! (**Note: For anyone who is a dog lover, like myself, there was also a super handsome, very sweet German Shepard named Lobos there. Who kept me company in the waiting room, while they took care of my car!)
, 05/30/2022

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I did have a problem with the transmission of my 2013 Nissan Murano and another shop troubleshoot the problem and I was told I needed a new transmission, the price was $4,600 plus tax. I then took the car to A. G. Automotive & Diagnosis at 6824 Aura Ave, Reseda, CA 91335 and Chuck fixed the vehicle at a fraction of the price because the vehicle did not need a new transmission. Chuck thank you very much for all of your help and the way you professionally took care of my car and the great communication. Once again thank you very much.
, 05/26/2022

We brought our Mazda CX-5 in for an AC check, just a week after our Ford Fusion which needed numerous hose replacements. We've been using A.G. for a handful of years now for the Fusion, while the Mazda was serviced by the dealer until the warranty just recently expired. My Fusion was at A.G. for about a week which was a little bit longer than expected. But I realized that parts and shipping can have delays due to all the supply chain issues going on right now. And it helped in finding cheaper parts as they were able to shop around, which lowered my charge from the original quote. So, a week later, we decided to bring our Mazda in, basically without any appointment. The dealer wanted an insane amount of money to refresh the AC. But A.G. checked and repaired our AC issue and got it in and out in the same day. I think they did it so quick as a quiet courtesy for the delay with the Fusion, which, in my opinion, shows great customer service. We will continue using A.G. for all our auto repairs, as well as recommend them to our friends and family. Chuck is a cool, up front guy and the two women who handle the administrative work and the customers, Amber and Tammy, are very friendly and courteous.
, 05/01/2022

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Tammy and Amber were very helpful and nice, I think they both took an hour each to explain stuff to me. Not the cheapest shop ,but it's worth it in LA, I'll never take my car to a cheap shop to be lied to again. I would recommend anyone to come here if you care about your car.
, 04/12/2022