Important Car Maintenance Flushes: Coolant, Brake, & Transmission

You probably know that specific systems need to be flushed periodically if you own or lease a vehicle. But unless you’re a car care expert, you may not know what those systems are, why they require service or how often to schedule them. 

As a result, you may wonder if a dealership or auto shop is taking advantage of you when they recommend one or more of these maintenance flushes. At Big Chief Tire Southside, we don’t want our customers to feel that way. You rely on us for your vehicle maintenance, and we want you to understand our service recommendations. So, we explain the three most common flushes below. 

What Are Coolant, Brake, & Transmission Flushes? 

It’s important to be aware of the different types of maintenance flushes to maintain the safety of your car. The three fluids you’ll need a car care expert to flush periodically are your coolant, brake, and transmission fluids. Each of them has a unique purpose:

  • Coolant. In colder climates, you may hear this fluid referred to as antifreeze. In the heat of summer and the cold of a northern winter, coolant helps your car’s engine maintain the correct operating temperature. Here in Florida, keeping the engine cool is the focus. Coolant also helps prevent rust and corrosion and has lubricating properties. 
  • Brake fluid. Brake systems have multiple components—rotors, pads, etc. Another of these components is brake fluid. Over time, moisture contaminates brake fluid, making it work less effectively. The result is dangerous “brake fade,” meaning you have to depress the brake pedal farther to stop your vehicle. 
  • Transmission fluid. This fluid lubricates your vehicle’s transmission, which is the mechanism that ensures that the right amount of power goes to the wheels at a given speed. As the fluid begins to break down, it can’t adequately protect transmission system components.

How Often Do You Need To Flush Your Coolant, Brake, & Transmission Fluids?

How often should you flush coolant, brake, and transmission fluids? The short answer is that you should schedule those services—and all car maintenance—as often as your car manufacturer recommends. And, you should be skeptical of a dealer or auto shop that says they should perform them significantly earlier than that. 

For example, a dealer or auto shop might encourage you to get the flush “as long as you’re here” for another service. But it’s generally not cost-effective or necessary to do that. The exceptions might be that you’re close to the recommended flush interval, or you won’t be able to visit the shop until well after that date. 

Our technicians at Big Chief Tire can tell you how often you need to perform fluid flushes based on the type of vehicle you drive, your mileage, what you use the car or truck for (daily commuting versus occasional off-roading, for example), and other factors. But you can use these general guidelines for when to book your appointment:

  • Coolant flush: Schedule approximately every 40,000 miles
  • Brake fluid flush: Schedule every two years or 30,000 miles
  • Transmission fluid flush: Schedule every 50,000 to 100,000 miles

Why These Services Are Important for Your Vehicle

Now you know approximately how often to have our team perform these services for you. But what’s the benefit of having them done? In general, scheduling a flushing car service helps ensure that your vehicle is safe to operate and delivers optimal performance. Regular maintenance can also extend the life of your car. 

In particular, a coolant flush gives your engine the temperature management capability it needs, along with proper lubrication and rust prevention. Failing to have a car care expert perform this service can result in problems with your engine overheating and damage to engine components. 

Flushing your brake fluid helps ensure that your vehicle has maximum braking power. We will check brake pads and rotors are in good condition, as well. If you ignore this vital service, you may find yourself unable to stop quickly when it matters most.

You don’t have to do it often, but scheduling a transmission fluid flush rids your transmission of damaging sludge that accumulates over time. It also keeps your transmission system components lubricated and helps disperse the system’s heat. If you don’t flush the fluid when you should, you will start to experience rough shifting or the transmission “slipping.” You’ll also increase the risk of a costly transmission system failure. 

Proper Car Care Starts With Awareness

The rest is easy once you understand why fluid flushes are needed and how often you should schedule them. Just contact Big Chief Tire Southside, and we’ll put you on our calendar. 

We’re happy to answer any questions. Do you want to know about the benefits of a transmission flush, our brake fluid flush cost, or how long a coolant flush takes? Give us a call. We’re here to help: (904) 932-1547.

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