Tolker Auto Service Car Care Center
Tolker Auto Service   Car Care Center

FAQs – Automotive Fluids


Q: Besides motor oil, what other lubricants and fluids need to be changed to keep my car running in top condition?

A: Other essential fluids include: coolant (antifreeze or radiator fluid) and transmission, power steering, and brake fluid. As part of our Oil Change Plus, the technicians at Tolker Auto Service check the condition and levels of all of your automotive fluids.




Q: Why are they important?

A: They are crucial to the operation of the various systems in your car truck, or van. Transmission and power steering fluid bathe, lubricate, and protect important gears. Coolant regulates engine temperature. Brake fluid multiplies the force you apply to your brake pedal so that you can stop a two ton vehicle traveling at highway speeds.




Q: How often should I top off these fluids?

A: At one time motorists did need to check levels and add antifreeze, transmission fluid, etc. Today, if you need to add any of these fluids, at least between oil changes, something is wrong. They are designed to last tens of thousands of miles before needing replacement.




Q: How often do they need to be changed?

A: VisitTolker Auto Service for a free print-out of the factory-scheduled maintenance for your vehicle. Or, consult your owner’s manual.




Q: Why should I spend time and money changing these fluids? My car runs fine.

A: Today’s lubricants and coolants are designed for long life, but not immortality. Protect the substantial investment that you have in your car by changing the automotive fluids according to the factory maintenance schedule.





Q: Why do I need antifreeze?

A: Automobile engines run hot—between 195 and 220 degrees F. These temperatures test the engine’s metal parts, but result in more complete combustion, better fuel economy, and reduced emissions. The water/antifreeze mixture, circulated through the engine by a pump, removes excess heat and disperses it through the radiator. The coolant keeps your vehicle from boiling over and from freezing in winter. Special additives in antifreeze inhibit corrosion inside your cooling system, radiator, and engine, and lubricate the pump and seals.




Q: How often should I replace my antifreeze?

A: See Tolker Auto Service for a free print-out of your manufacturer’s required maintenance schedule. Or, check your owner’s manual. To extend the life of your engine, radiator, and cooling system, we recommend that you do a cooling system flush and fill roughly every two years or 30,000.




Q: Why do I need a cooling system flush and fill?

A: Over time, the coolant breaks down and collects rust and dirt from inside the engine, radiator, and cooling system hoses. The sediment clogs your cooling system and the coolant fails to protect your vehicle.




Q: What kind of antifreeze do I need to get ready for winter?

A: Today’s coolants are engineered for year-round use. Consult your owner’s manual for the correct specifications. Any coolant that you add must be the same type as already in your vehicle. Otherwise, a chemical reaction can occur that turns the mixture into sludge. See the experts at Tolker Auto Service to ensure this doesn’t happen to you.




Q: My temperature warning light is on. What should I do?

A: Driving with the light on (or temperature gauge in the red) risks serious damage to your engine. If you use AAA or some other roadside service, call for assistance. Or, call Tolker Auto Service manager to arrange for a tow. Never remove the radiator cap until the engine has cooled completely. You could release a cloud of steam and cause severe scalding.





Q: How often should I replace the fluid in my transmission?

A: Transmission fluid does break down over time and collects dirt, rust, and other contaminants. Fresh transmission fluid ensures smooth and quiet gear changes and maximum transmission life. We would be happy to check the level and condition or your transmission fluid and print out a free copy of the factory maintenance schedule, usually every two years or 30,000 miles. Transmission fluid specifications and replacement intervals are also listed in your owner’s manual.




Power Steering

Q: How often should I replace the power steering fluid?

A: Visit Tolker Auto Service for a free print-out of your manufacturer’s maintenance schedule. Or, check your owner’s manual. The standard interval is every three years or 50,000 miles.




Q: I hear a squealing sound when I make a sharp turn. Could changing my power steering fluid help?

A: Fresh power steering fluid keeps your steering operating smoothly and quietly. Power steering fluid degrades over time from heat, air, rust, and other contaminants. That’s why your auto maker schedules steering fluid servicing as part of your maintenance. Talk to the experts at Tolker Auto Service for a diagnosis of your steering issue.





Q: My Mr. Tire/Tread Quarters/Autotire manager says that my differential fluid should be drained and replaced. Is this necessary?

A: Heat, pressure, and contaminants cause the special lubricant in the differential gear box to break down. The differential converts engine power to rear axle motion (in rear-wheel drive vehicles) and connects the two rear axles so that they can turn at different speeds on turns. Fresh fluid protects this expensive component and ensures smoother, quieter operation. We recommend a change approximately every 30,000 miles or on the interval specified by your manufacturer.





Q: Does the brake fluid need to be changed periodically?

A: It is impossible to determine based on color, smell, or touch when your brake fluid has become contaminated, although chemical tests are available. Change the brake fluid at 24,000- to 36,000-mile intervals. Or, anytime you have work done on the brake lines or cylinders.

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Tolker Auto Service

427A E Diamond A ve

Gaithersburg, MD 20877


+1 301 869-9360+1 301 869-9360


+1 301 947-8689




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