Check engine oil level and color to determine engine condition.

Check transmission fluid for signs of problems or neglect.

Check brake fluid for clues of wear or aging parts.

Fluids can reveal a car's condition

The fluids in a vehicle can indicate how it has been maintained and the condition it is in. Checking the fluids should be part of any inspection prior to purchasing a used car. The owner’s manual in any vehicle will guide you on how to check these fluids in that particular make and model.

Check the oil

Some St. George used car dealerships will replace the oil in their vehicles. All new oil will have an amber color while used oil will be dark brown or black. Seriously and costly problems with the engine can be indicated by water droplets or foamy residue on the oil dipstick.

Transmission fluid is important

Transmission fluid should be pink in color with an oily odor. Brown color with a burnt odor could indicate a problem with the transmission of the vehicle. As with oil, any visible metal particles can also be a sign of trouble, and should be inspected by a mechanic.

Brake fluid matters

Break fluid is available in a variety of colors, yet it should never look murky, dark brown, or black. Check for indications of leaks around the master brake cylinder and near each wheel. Be sure break fluid is filled to the level indicated by the owner’s manual.

Personal Mechanic

When shopping at St George used car dealerships, don’t be afraid to ask about having the vehicle inspected by your own mechanic. A mechanic can help you analyze the fluids in a used car and assess the overall condition of each of the car’s components.