Drivers in the San Francisco Bay Area, Here Are Six Fluids You Can Check on Your Own

Things to Know About Checking the Fluids in Your Vehicle - Service Questions Answered by the pros at Carlsen Subaru

You may have heard that regular inspections are good for your Subaru--but did you know that there are some inspections you can perform by yourself? Inside your Subaru are various fluids, and you can check many of these. Below, we've put together a list of six easy-to-check fluids.

Wondering when to change some of these fluids? Your owner's manual will have a general schedule, or you can use our convenient maintenance schedule lookup tool to get more information.

The wiper fluid cap, with its signature windshield wiper fluid symbol.

6. Windshield Wiper Fluid

The windshield wiper fluid is one you may already have filled up by yourself. If not: it's located in a translucent reservoir that has a cap with a windshield wiper symbol. Remove the cap and look into the reservoir. If you can't see any fluid, it's best to add some.

Checking the brake fluid can help keep you safe.

5. Power Steering Fluid

The power steering system in your Subaru is hugely important, and it's filled with fluid to help make it work. Like the wiper fluid reservoir, this is also generally translucent. Look at the outside of the container to make sure that the fluid is between the minimum and maximum fill lines.

While you're at it, try to get a good look at the color of the power steering fluid. Reddish or clear fluid is usually a good sign. If it's brown or black, it may have been contaminated and should be serviced soon.

4. Brake Fluid

The brake fluid in your Subaru is also stored in a translucent reservoir. This means that you can also make sure that this fluid is where it should be by looking at it. As with the power steering fluid, you should take a look at the color of the brake fluid. Translucent, slightly yellow brake fluid is in good condition. If it's darker or cloudy, you may need a brake fluid flush. It's a good idea to check the brake fluid every month.

Be sure to regularly check the oil levels in your Subaru.

3. Automatic Transmission Fluid

If you have an automatic transmission, you have automatic transmission fluid. Unlike the previous fluids, you'll need to use a dipstick to check this fluid. However, many modern transmissions no longer feature a dipstick, meaning you'll need a technician's help to check the fluid. If your car does have a transmission dipstick, here's how to check the fluid in your transmission: remove it from the engine and wipe it clean. Re-insert it, and then remove it again. The fluid should come up to the recommended fill level on the stick. To get an accurate reading, the engine will need to be warm when you check this fluid.

2. Coolant

The coolant in your engine is incredibly important, as it helps prevent overheating. Because of this, it's best to check the coolant levels every time you stop to fill up your car with gas. Coolant is generally kept in a translucent reservoir, so you can visually check the levels. If it's too low, you'll need to get it serviced and inspected. We recommend letting the experts take care of this. Not only does low coolant mean you'll need an inspection, but it can also be dangerous to try to change it yourself.

1. Engine Oil

The oil is the lifeblood of your engine--and since it's so important, you should check it whenever you refuel. This also uses a dipstick, so check it the same way you would check transmission fluid. If the oil levels are low, you'll need to bring your Subaru in for an inspection. And don't forget to get regular oil changes to keep everything functioning at its best.

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  1. Carlsen Subaru

    480 Veterans Blvd
    Redwood City, CA 94063

    • Sales: (888) 520-5916

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Carlsen Subaru

480 Veterans Blvd
Directions Redwood City, CA 94063

  • Sales: 650-365-6390
  • Service : 650-365-6390
  • Parts: 650-365-6390
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