Stop, Steer & Stay Cool
by Pat Goss
This time we’re going to talk about steering, stopping, and cooling. Now, steering well historically cars have had power steering and most all of them were hydraulic but now they are changing over to electric. But, there are still millions of hydraulic powered steering fluid equipped cars on the road. And that power steering fluid needs to be changed. Typically no more than three years, 36,000 miles. And always use the fluid that is recommended for your power steering system.
Brakes? What could be made more important than brakes? And brakes have brake fluid and brake fluid is hygroscopic which means it attracts and absorbs moisture. Moisture is bad for brake systems. Now here we have brand new fluid. This one is half fluid, half water. You don’t see a whole lot of difference. So just because brake fluid looks good, that doesn’t mean it is good. You should test it, or better yet, just simply flush and replace it every 2 years.
Now, the big thing with brake fluid are three types- .3 .4 and .5. .3 is used in a lot of cars, .4 in a lot of European cars, some domestic cars, .5 is silicone synthetic and should only be used in older cars or cars that do not have ABS brakes. Reason is that some ABS systems can cause .5 fluid to foam and that lets your pedal go to the floor during a panic stop. So big important stuff there with brakes.
Coolant, well, all cars have cooling systems. And the cooling system in most is liquid. The liquid uses coolant, used to call it antifreeze, mixed with distilled water. Usually 50/50 mix of water and coolant.
The big thing with coolant is there are all types of proprietary products that are made for specific vehicles, they are designed to be compatible with the metals and plastics and rubber materials in that car’s cooling system. You would do well to pay a couple of dollars more to get the proper coolant for your car than pay hundreds of dollars for repairs later in the life of the car ‘cause you used the wrong coolant. Use the one that is designed specifically for your car and one size typically does not fit all.
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