San Francisco Automotive Solutions

San Francisco Automotive Solutions

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The Differences Between a Fluid Change and a Fluid Flush

Your car has many different fluids running through it. They keep vital parts lubricated and running smoothly. If the fluid is old, corroded or losing viscosity, it can lead to major damage within the vehicle. It's always important to make sure your fluids are at the proper levels and that the fluid itself is fresh.

Here are the most important fluids in your vehicle:

      • Engine Oil

      • Transmission Fluid

      • Brake Fluid

      • Radiator Coolant (Antifreeze)

      • Power Steering Fluid

Of course, there's also windshield washer fluid and air conditioning coolant (Freon) that you'll want to keep at proper levels, but those really aren't performing any vital lubricating or hydraulic functions. The fluids above are essential to the performance of your vehicle.

Why You Need Fresh Fluids

Over time, fluids can get gunky. Grease, dirt particles and metal shavings can accumulate, as well, even if you replace your oil filter and transmission filter regularly. A typical fluid change (most commonly an oil change or standard transmission service) involves draining the fluid from the pan, replacing a filter and refilling the reservoir with fresh fluid. This is common preventative maintenance and it's important to change all fluids at regular intervals.

When a Fluid Flush is Needed

However, a standard fluid change will not replace all fluid within the system. The fresh fluid definitely helps to clean the system, but in some cases a full fluid flush is recommended. This is a much more detailed process where the entire fluid line system is flushed. Everything is drained and cleaned before the new fluid is introduced. This gets rid of all gunk, impurities and debris so the lines are like new again.

Transmission fluid flushes and engine oil flushes are the most common, but completely flushing the hydraulic brake fluid or radiator coolant is also recommended from time to time. Power steering fluid does not need to be flushed that often, but it can be a recommendation if the steering system isn't working smoothly.

Your Fluid Flush Experts

A knowledgeable auto repair shop like San Francisco Automotive Solutions can inspect your vehicle and it's fluid lines to let you know if you just need a standard fluid change or if a full fluid flush is recommended for the transmission, engine, brakes or other systems. We'll let you know anything that's wrong and provide you with expert recommendations to keep your vehicle working as well as possible. Making sure the fluids are in good shape can help prevent major internal damage down the road. A little maintenance now can save you thousands in repairs in the future!

For a full fluid evaluation and vehicle health inspection, call San Francisco Automotive Solutions at (415) 957-1170 or schedule your service appointment online.

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Car Care Tips