How Often Should You Change Your Car’s Fluids?

When it comes to the fluids in your car, you are, often times told by others, the standards and rules that your should follow when it comes to changing and checking them. As much as their advice may be worthwhile in other areas, it’s always good to look to the owners manual of your car. Manufacturer recommendations are there so that you can make certain that your car is always given the right attention. However, there are some tips that you can follow to make sure that your car’s fluids are always at the right level.

Motor Oil

Check your oil regularly. This holds true even if the sticker on your car says that you have over a thousand miles left before your next oil change. Some professionals say that you should change your oil at 3,000 miles. Others, that it should be changed at 5,000 miles. The bottom line here is that you should always check your fluid levels. Having low oil and not knowing is worse than spending a few extra minutes checking your oil.

Transmission Oil

Transmission oil can be tricky. Because there are so many variables, it’s recommended that you don’t have your transmission oil changed at quick lube shops. The job is not only tricky, but certain requirements need to be met with different cars. It’s not something to be taken lightly. Transmissions aren’t cheap to replace if the fluid change isn’t done right. Your first change should be at 60,000 miles and then every 30,000 miles thereafter.

Differential Oil

This is pretty straight forward. While it does matter whether or not you use your vehicle for towing, you should change this oil at around 60,000 miles for synthetics and 30,000 for conventional oils.


This is a commonly overlooked fluid. If the coolant in your vehicle gets old, the pH changes and can actually damage your engine and its parts. As always, manufacturer recommendations vary. Most professionals suggest that you get the coolant flushed and changed every three years.

Brake Fluid

Believe it or not, most people have no idea that they even need to have their brake fluid changed. Your brake fluid should usually be changed every two years, but if you’re replacing your brakes then it’s not a bad idea to flush out the old brake fluid and replace it even if you haven’t reached those two years yet. As we’re all aware, brakes are rather important in the grand scheme of things.

Power Steering Fluid

This one is fairly simple too, especially if you have a newer car with an electric steering system. If you don’t have a car with an electric steering system, then it’s a good idea to change your power steering fluid every 30,000 miles or roughly every three years.