When temperatures soar and you're on the road, you might only care that your car's air conditioner is working. But below the hood, elevated temperatures can wreak havoc on your vehicle's engine. The fluids that course through your car's various systems keep it running within healthy temperatures, but they are susceptible to extreme heat. As the summer sun beats down, don't forget to check these vital fluids to prevent any permanent damage. 

Topping Off the Coolant

Perhaps the most important item on this list, coolant is your first line of defense against an overheating car. As its name suggests, coolant runs through much of your engine, wicking heat away from sensitive components and the radiator. Low coolant levels can quickly cause overheating, but thankfully it's not hard to check your coolant level. If the liquid seems low, it must be replaced with the correct mixture of antifreeze and water. 

Replacing Engine Oil

Another staple of car maintenance, engine oil keeps the parts of your engine moving smoothly. Over time, however, that oil breaks down, evaporates, and gets clogged with debris. The added strain of cooling an engine on a hot day degrades engine oil faster, and your car may be ready for an oil change sooner than expected. Let it go too long and real damage can occur. 

Checking Brake Fluid

When you hit the brakes, high-pressure brake fluid rushes into action. The fluid presses your brake pads against spinning discs on the wheel, and the resulting friction grinds your car to a halt. But just like the other liquids on this list, brake fluid can't always disperse heat fast enough on a hot day. Sustained or hard braking can overwhelm its heat resistance and cause the fluid to boil. When this happens, you might notice your car losing braking power. This is a sign to bring it in for maintenance as soon as possible. 

Swapping Out Transmission Fluid

Your transmission is one of the most delicate and expensive parts of your car. Transmission fluid works like both engine oil and brake fluid. It lubricates and cools as well as applies pressure to other moving parts. Transmission fluid responds to excess heat like engine oil by breaking down and clogging up the system. Once a transmission begins to overheat, irreversible damage racks up quickly.

Monitoring Other Fluids

These are just the most vital fluids that keep your car cool and running, but they're not the only liquid systems that need maintenance. To avoid an unexpected breakdown on the hottest day of summer, hire a mechanic today to check your fluids and top them off as needed. You might save yourself a more expensive repair bill by autumn.  

For more information, contact a local company like Technician Find.