August 25, 2023

What kind of fluids does my car have?

Your car has many types of fluids that are critical for all sorts of functions- ranging from your engine, to your brakes, to windshield fluid. 

While there are a lot of car related fluids to know, fear not – you won’t be tested on this material nor do you need to memorize it! When you get regular maintenance with Roda, we ensure that all fluids and functions are checked each time we bring your vehicle in with our comprehensive multi-point safety inspection.

Engine Oil

Also known as motor oil or engine lubricant, this is probably the most commonly known fluid in your vehicle (usually because it’s the one you change most often!) Depending on the kind of engine oil that your car uses, the liquid usually consists of additional additives to improve its functionality and keep it lasting as long as possible. The main function of engine oil is to reduce the friction and wear of the moving parts in your engine. It also has many other functions like keeping the engine clean and cool.


Also known as “antifreeze,” coolant fluid is mixed with water to prevent your radiator from getting too hot in the summer/warm months, and keep it from freezing during the harsh cold temperatures of winter. Read more about coolant and why you will occasionally need to flush this system.

Brake Fluid

Brake fluid is what’s called a “hydraulic” fluid which means it serves as the mechanism for power to be transferred in a hydraulic system- like your brakes! 

Transmission Fluid

While this is a lesser known fluid than engine oil, it’s an important one to know because ignoring it could mean transmission issues, which is one of most expensive type of issues to fix on your vehicle. As engine oil lubricates and cools your engine, transmission fluid does the same for your transmission (i.e. gear shifting) system.

Power Steering Fluid

If you have ever had a power steering issue, you’ll know the importance of this fluid. Power steering fluid and the system it supports allows us to maneuver our vehicles easily. It ensures all the pieces of the power steering system work optimally. 

Windshield Wiper Fluid

This one is pretty simple. Wiper fluid is the liquid that helps you keep your windshield clean as you drive. Most wiper fluids have chemicals like methanol and other alcohols that give you a nice clean shine on that windshield so your visibility is maximized. Often, it contains antifreeze to keep it from freezing in the colder months.