Fall Auto DIY Project #3, Part 1

We are here to continue our 5 simple Fall Auto DIY projects for you today!  (Fall Auto DIY Project #1 is here, and #2 is here in case you missed them) We hope that you are getting into the swing of things and have begun to get a little more confidence when it comes to knowing a few tricks to maintaining your vehicle. With that being said lets introduce to you Fall Auto DIY Project #3, checking your fluids.  

We are only going to focus on the fluids that we think are the simplest to check and most pertinent to the weather changes that are associated with Fall, so this is by no means a complete checklist of all fluids to check on your vehicle.  We will try to tackle that project another day.  But, for now here are the top three for today’s objective:

  1. Windshield Wiper Fluid
  2. Antifreeze
  3. Brake Fluid

So, you may be thinking why should I be checking these fluids as Fall approaches? Here’s why…

Windshield Wiper Fluid is imperative to check at this time to ensure that you have a solvent suited for use in cold weather.  If you are one of those people that try to save a few dollars over the summer and put water in your reservoir now is the time to correct that.  If you take the risk and leave just water in the windshield wiper fluid reservoir, there could be an unnecessary repair in your future when the water freezes.  As it can cause permanent damage to the pump among other possibilites.  

Fall is a great time to check up on your Antifreeze level in your vehicle.  Antifreeze serves as a safeguard to your engine block.  It keeps it from freezing throughout the winter.  So, fall is the perfect time to get proactive before it gets too cold out.  

Brake Fluid becomes even more important as it gets cooler.  The entire braking system is obviously vital to your vehicle always, but it becomes even more important as the cold weather approaches i.e. snow, sleet, hail, etc.  As your brakes wear, it is normal for the fluid to go down slightly.  But, if it seems like there is a significant decrease when you check this fluid level it could be a sign of a bigger issue– a leak or another problem with the braking system.  

So, now that you are convinced.  Today we will show you . . . .

How to Check Your Windshield Wiper Fluid

How to Check Your Windshield Wiper Fluid

Step 1

Pop the Hood. Most newer model vehicles will have a hood release found on under the driver’s side dashboard.  So, pull the release lever and then walk around the front of the car, reach under the hood, find the latch and squeeze it. As you squeeze the latch, open the hood.  NOTE: Make sure you start out with a cool engine so, you eliminate any chance of getting burned.

Step 2

Locate the Windshield Wiper Fluid Reservoir. Generally it is located by the fender or the front of the vehicle & it looks like a plastic jug.  Look for the windshield wiper icon as you see on the above lid.  If you are still unsure of where it is, check your owner’s manual for the precise location of the windshield wiper fluid reservoir.

Step 3

Check the Fluid Level.  If it is less than three-quarters full go ahead & fill it to the top with an “all season” solvent.  The right mixture for your specific vehicle will be listed in your owner’s manual.  When filling the reservoir it is recommend to use a funnel to save the other components from contamination.  Also, since you are already “here” you may as well check the reservoir for any cracks or leaks.  A damaged tank should be replaced immediately.  

Step 4

Close up Shop.  Make sure you close the cap properly on the reservoir and that you close up your hood and hear it latch.  

We will have the How To’s for checking the other fluids in Fall Auto DIY Project #3, Part 2 and Part 3 coming up in the next few days. 

Let us know if you have any questions in the comments section below.  

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