Summer is here, and you’re all packed and ready to go on a road trip. You’re anxious to leave and checking your to-do list twice. Did you pack everything you need? Are your passengers ready? Most importantly, is your vehicle ready? Before you start that epic summer road trip, below is a few common vehicle fluids you should check before you leave: 


 It’s already hot, the last thing you need is an overheated engine. You can check your coolant levels in two ways. Once your vehicle is cooled down, check the coolant levels by opening the radiator cap. If the coolant level isn’t near the top of the container, add a bit more to top it off. You can also check your coolant levels by looking at the plastic reservoir next to the radiator. The liquid should be situated between the “minimum” and “maximum” levels.

Motor oil

The motor oil is one of the most critical liquids to check. While the car is turned off – pull out the oil dipstick, wipe it clean, and reinsert it. Once you pull the oil dipstick out again, check the levels. Your oil should be situated somewhere between the low and high marks, and if it isn’t, top off your oil. It’s always a good idea to keep a bit of motor oil in your trunk while on a road trip just if you need to top your vehicle off while you’re on the road.  

Power steering fluid

Your power steering fluid is usually located under the hood near the passenger side of the vehicle. Before you leave, make sure this fluid is pretty much filled to the top. The power steering system is a closed system, so unusually low fluid levels can indicate a leak. If you suspect a leak, have your vehicle inspected right away.  

Transmission fluid

The transmission fluid is an important aspect that often gets overlooked. The transmission fluid helps keep your car’s transmission shifting smoothly. The transmission fluid is a little similar to the motor oil because you can also check it with a dipstick. The only difference with the transmission fluid is that you should check it while the engine is still running. The purpose of checking this fluid is to ensure that it isn’t too dirty and doesn’t smell burnt. If the transmission fluid looks unusual, it would be good to reach out to us to have it replaced. 

Brake fluid

During a road trip, your car will cover several miles. While on this drive, you will be pressing the brake pedal several times in the span of your trip. The last thing you’d want is for your brake fluid to become low while you’re already on your trip. Low brake fluid may minimize your brakes response time leading to a major accident. If you aren’t comfortable checking your brake fluid, bring your vehicle in to have the brakes inspected. In some cases, the brakes may need to be bled to eliminate any air pockets.  

Once these fluids are checked, you’ll be on the road in no time. If you run through this list and notice any unusual signs or suspect a repair is needed, don’t hesitate to bring your vehicles in at Longview Auto & Tire here in Longview, WA.


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