A Guide to Engine Oil and Fluids

Motor oils and other fluids such as automatic transmission fluids, brake fluids, etc. continue to improve as the demand of the modern car evolves with higher performance and improved efficiencies.

Cars need to be regularly maintained to extend their lifespan and to keep them running efficiently which also has the added benefit of helping the environment, and one of the simpler tasks for any car owner is to check the fluids.

5 Fluids You Should Check

1) To maintain the smooth running of your car you should maintain it regularly and this is known as preventative maintenance which s usually a lot cheaper than repairing breakdowns or faults. Regular maintenance keeps your car on the road and keeps your ongoing costs down.

The first place to start is your handbook. We all know to check our fluids and fluid levels often but your handbook will tell you what often means.

For most of us who own cars the first fluid we would have been made aware of was the engine oil. Now there are many different engine oil brands and many different engine oil types such as:

  • Viscosity
  • Synthetic
  • Diesel engine oil

For multi-grade viscosity oils, the cold-temperature viscosity is labelled with a “W,” which stands for “winter.” Thus, in an SAE 10W-30 oil, the “10” is the cold-temperature viscosity rating, and the “30” is the high-temperature viscosity rating.

The engine oil guide in your handbook will tell you what oil is required for your particular model car and it is important you use the correct oil for your car. t is also important to change the oil as recommended by the handbook as your engine is one of the most expensive parts of your car.

2) Your transmission fluid, or gear box oil is what keeps the gears in your gearbox running smoothly and reduces wear and tear. This is one oil you may want your local garage t check out for you as it is important that it is kept at the correct level and the right quality of oil.

3) With modern cars we no longer refer to the water placed in the radiator as ‘water’ since all modern cars are filled with ‘coolant’ which prevents the system freezing in the winter and keeps it cooler in the summer months.

It is important that it is kept topped up but it is just as important that it is kept to the correct strength if the coolant is to help maintain the engines normal running temperature.

4) Brake fluid levels will drop as your brakes wear so be aware that as you find yourself topping up your brake fluid that you also check the disc pads for wear. Not all brake fluids are the same so again check with your handbook as your safety is paramount.

5) f your power steering system is leaking or the fluid starts to get low you may hear creaking noises and similar sounds and when really low you may find yourself with very heavy steering. If you encounter similar noises or low levels you need to get your system checked for leaks and as with the other fluids we have covered, check with your handbook for the correct type of fluid and levels.

FMP Motor Factors

FMP Motor Factors supplies both the trade and general public with all types of fluids and engine oils.  These can be purchased from any of our depots in Swansea, Port Talbot, Llanelli and Carmarthen. Alternatively, you can order online from our website http://fmpmotorfactors.com/


get in touch for advice & to order your car parts


Open Mon-Fri, 8.00am - 5.30pm and Sat 8am - 1.30pm
FMP Motor Factors, Unit 1, St John's Court, Upper Fforest Way,
Swansea Enterprise Park SA6 8QQ

Port Talbot

Open Mon-Fri, 8.00am - 5.30pm and Sat 8am - 12.30pm
FMP Motor Factors, Unit 30, Baglan Industrial Park,
Port Talbot, SA12 7DJ