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Learn more about the 5 most important types of car fluid!

You want to make sure that you keep your Nissan performing at its best, right?  Well, here at Bates Nissan we definitely want to see you Nissan running properly!  One of the easiest ways to do this is making sure you stay on top of these 5 necessary fluid checks for your vehicle. Unfortunately, many of these fluid changes often get overlooked, which can be disastrous for your vehicle, so make sure that you never forget about them! They are crucial to protecting the life and longevity of your vehicle and making sure that it stays in optimal condition.

Power Steering Fluid

Power steering fluid is the hydraulic fluid that transmits the power in the steering wheel to help you turn the wheel.  The power steering fluid is the cheapest component of your power steering system, so changing it out prolongs the life of the system as well as ensures maximum power.  If you don’t change this fluid, it causes the power steering system to work much harder and eventually break down.  You can’t drive a car with power steering without the use of power steering, so if this does break down, it will cost several hundred dollars to fix/replace.  If you ever hear a whining/moaning noise when you turn the wheel, you should have you power steering system checked because it could be about to break.  Most of the time you will just need to top it off.  Most of the time you won’t have to worry about this fluid, but double check your owner’s manual to see if and how often this fluid should be replaced.

Oil Change

A lot of people may not realize how important it is, but oil is one of the most important aspects of your engine. It lubricates the engine to make sure that parts do not rub together or damage each other. It also acts as a cooling agent and prevents the engine from overheating. Overtime, exposure to air, heat, and moisture causes the oil to oxidize. Oxidation of the oil makes it thick and sludge-like. Along with not lubricating the engine properly, the thick, corrosive oil also leads to more damage to the engine, resulting in repairs that cost way more than a simple oil change.  Many experts claim that you should get your oil changed every 3,000-5,000 miles. While this may be true for some cars, it is not true for all cars. Be sure to check your owner’s manual to find out how often it is recommended for your vehicle’s oil to be changed.


Coolant, also known as anti-freeze, keeps your car at a cool temperature and makes sure that it does not overheat.  If you are ever low you run the risk of your car overheating.  Coolant is very easy to check.  When your car is off and has not been running, remove the radiator cap. You will see where the coolant should be filled to, and if it is not it just needs to be topped off.  Make sure you add the same type of coolant that is already in the radiator. It should be checked about twice a year and replaced every 2 or 3 years.

Brake Fluid

Brake fluid does not need to be changed as often as your vehicles oil or coolant.  Always check your owner’s manual to see when it is recommended for your vehicles brake fluid to be changed.  Sometimes it is not listed in the owner’s manual.  If it is not listed, contact a trusted mechanic, like the technicians at Bates Nissan Service Department, to find out when it is recommended for your Nissan to have its brake fluid replaced.  Typically, brake fluid only needs to be replaced every 4 or 5 years, or around the same time as you have other brake work done.  It is important to change your brake fluid when it is recommended because it can absorb moisture over time which can cause corrosion of the brake system.  This moisture can also lower the boiling temperature of brake fluid, reducing the effectiveness of the braking system during hard stops. To ensure your safety and avoid costly repairs of the braking system, be sure to get your oil changed when it is recommended for your vehicle.

Transmission Fluid

Like other automotive fluid changes, consult your owner’s manual to find out when your car should get fresh transmission fluid.  Most cars call for fresh fluid around 100,000 miles.  If you drive your car under high-stress conditions such as stop-and-go city driving, hauling heavy loads, or towing a trailer most of the time you are driving, you may need to have a transmission fluid change sooner.  Transmission fluid helps facilitate gear shifts, cool the transmission, and lubricate moving parts in the transmission.  You should check the transmission fluid more often because high-stress driving deteriorates the fluid quicker, causing it to work less effectively.  The transmission fluid is often red, but can also come in other colors, and as it deteriorates it becomes darker.  Another indication would be the presence of dirt or debris in the fluid. Be aware that many vehicles require a different maintenance plan when it comes to different vehicles transmissions.  Some require it to be flushed out or to have a new filter installed while others do not.  Also, different vehicles require different types of transmission fluid.  Make sure the repair shop is using the correct fluid and procedures for your vehicle’s transmission.

If your car is ready for its next fluid change or if it just needs to be topped-off, be sure to check out Bates Nissan’s Service Specials page to see if there are any current specials to save you money on your next service appointment. We would be happy to provide any routine maintenance on your vehicle if you schedule your next appointment with us! Be sure to contact us if you have any questions about your Nissan’s next fluid change.
5501 E. Central Texas Expressway

Service Department


  • Monday
    7:30am - 6:00pm
  • Tuesday
    7:30am - 6:00pm
  • Wednesday
    7:30am - 6:00pm
  • Thursday
    7:30am - 6:00pm
  • Friday
    7:30am - 6:00pm
  • Saturday
    8:00am - 4:00pm
  • Sunday

Contact Information

5501 E. Central Texas Expressway
Killeen, TX 76543
Phone: (866) 207-1569
Fax: (254) 213-5965
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