Automotive

Need advice on what to do with the fluids in my car

  • Last Updated:
  • Aug 14th, 2017 11:27 am
[OP]
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Mar 13, 2017
270 posts
148 upvotes

Need advice on what to do with the fluids in my car

I drive a Hyundai Accent 2007. I bought it last year with 75k on it. Its now at 93k.

Overall the car runs great. Only problem I've had is with the wheel bearing and joint on both wheels.

I'd like to make this car last as long as possible to get me through school. I was looking at the coolant and power steering fluid. The coolant reservoir is a bit low and so is the power steering valve. My steering wheel also makes sounds sometimes when turning. Is this because the fluid is low?

I'd like to maintain these fluids as much as possible. I want to top them up, but they look a bit dirty. I also don't know if the previous owner used the same fluid. Should I just flush it? I have watched videos on how to do it but I don't feel confident enough to change it like I do with oil.

I have changed my oil twice. Once by myself and once at Mr. Lube in the winter. The guy working there told me that ny transmission fluid was dirty and bad. I told him not to worry as I've seen countless videos on garages scamming people for this.. But was he right or just Bsing? It's a manual transmission and changing gears feels fine.

I would go by the instructions in the manual, but the car is 10 years old and the scheduled time to check on or replace parts and fluids has well been passed. Any advice?
7 replies
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Apr 15, 2011
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aGincourt
If the car shifts fine without grinding then the MT fluid is fine, definitely an upsell.

Coolant fluid expands when hot. As long as it is between max and min when cold, ex after being parked overnight, its fine. If fluid isn't dark then its still good, is your car running hotter than normal?

Not too sure about PS fluid but the PS rack will make noise if the wheel is fully cranked to the end
Deal Expert
Aug 2, 2001
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For many manual transmission vehicles, they are able to go a long time in between changes. If you have changed your own oil you should be capable of changing oil on a manual transmission vehicle (with the assumption the transmission is not some sort of sealed unit that does not have a drain plug). This one is very easy to do, and should be very cheap. I would highly recommend doing it and putting in the OEM fluid. If you choose a different fluid however, I would highly recommend reading the message forums to at least see if there is a consensus.

It would be difficult to know whether a noise while turning is your power steering fluid being low - but regardless, you should have your fluids topped up to the appropriate level. I would do this first, then listen for these sort of noises.


Overall - I would recommend following the procedures in your manual, and at 100K I suspect they want a coolant flush. However I do know many who just do a drain/refill on their coolant themselves (you drain out the coolant, fill with distilled water, let it run and keep adding water until the drained water is clear). As with any maintenance you have to decide what you are comfortable with and want to spend - for some that means just doing the drain/fill themselves and for others it means maintaining as per manufacturer specifications.


That said, it is my experience you will have other problems before coolant or power steering fluid cause issues. For example, you may have a radiator or water pump failure that causes you to have your coolant drained anyways. However I do stand behind "follow the manual" which might mean catching up to where you should be. The choice is really yours.
Deal Addict
Aug 10, 2013
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If not by miles then go by time. If not by time then go by condition of fluid.

You can have a shop replace the fluids if you arent comfortable DIYing it yourself. Keep a log of when you did each maintenace so that you have a record. You'll also want to know condition of belts and replace as necessary.

For power steering, you can get away with using a turkey baster and sucking up as much old fluid as you can and refilling it. Turn the wheel slow lock to lock several times without the res getting low (youll suck in air and you dont want that). Its not a true drain and flush but at least there is some fresh fluid in there.

Coolant, if dirty, change it.
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Feb 11, 2007
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GTA
If you want your car to last a long time you should regularly change your fluids as indicated in the manual.
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Nov 3, 2012
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As long as you got a pair of jacks, they're both really easy to do. ChrisFix makes some really detailed videos about these in particular, take a look. If you can row through gears fine, don't bother.



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Aug 10, 2013
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tk1000 wrote: Did you read the last part of post # 1?

"I would go by the instructions in the manual, but the car is 10 years old and the scheduled time to check on or replace parts and fluids has well been passed. Any advice?"
Thanks for the data diarrhea and not contributing....

There OP, how hard was this?
https://www.driverside.com/service-sche ... 53-12140-0
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6mthatch wrote: Thanks for the data diarrhea and not contributing....

There OP, how hard was this?
https://www.driverside.com/service-sche ... 53-12140-0
lol, I guess he deleted his own post. I'm not sure what was so hard to make sense out of my comment and OP's original post.
OP "well passed what manual recommends". Me "follow your manual", which obviously suggests to change everything that's long passed ASAP. DIY'ing them should be fairly easy as Zak posted. Just be sure to read up on the processes, take your time, do multiple flushes if needed and take all safety precautions.
OP, if you're in Toronto you can call a Toxic taxi to pickup your fluid waste if it's over 7L (maybe 11L, not sure). Otherwise quick lube places should accept your waste or take it to your local dump. Check your city's website to be sure.
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