If your walking through the automotive fluids section at an auto parts store, you’ll know how overwhelming the sheer number of products available can be. How can drivers know what’s right for their vehicle?
As you know, these fluids all serve a function in making your car run. The manufacturer of every vehicle has specified a particular type of fluid for every system from the motor, to the cooling system, brake fluid and so on. When you realize that not every variation is applicable to your vehicle, the task becomes more manageable.
Why are there are so many varieties; starting with motor oil, every vehicle requires specific viscosities of oil. Meaning that in order for the engine to run as designed, it is necessary to match the properties of a particular weight or type of oil with the required oil. For example, engines with sophisticated valve trains often require a thinner weight of oil.
Some vehicles come from the factory filled with synthetic oil and the recommendation to use it for life. The safe bet for all drivers is to always use what the manufacturer recommends. The recommendation is what’s been proven to work in function and durability tests. The recommended oil is also a factor in determining oil change interval schedules.
A good quality oil has more additives that are engineered to clean and protect the engine. They cost a bit more, but are worth the extra protection. If you buy budget oil, you might want to consider shortening your oil change interval.
Sometimes fluids are developed specifically to meet the needs of a particular family of engines. An example would be coolant. Because of the different materials used to build the cooling system, the coolant has to be formulated to protect those parts, which vary from to build up, from corrosion. We’ve seen special coolant for General Motors, Volkswagen, Chrysler and others.
The same is true of transmission fluid and brake fluid in recent years. The really good news is that Ryan’s Servicenter has databases that tell us the recommended fluids for your vehicle. This takes all the guess work out. If you have some special needs, like a higher mileage engine or want enhanced performance, ask your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor Caitlin at Ryan’s Servicenter for upgrades or additives that’ll meet your needs while being consistent with the Service Advisor’s recommendations.