Welcome to the first in this new series of technical guides that we have created and produced for Rolls-Royce & Bentley Driver magazine.

Getting hands-on with our test cars is the best thing about my job and I look forward to sharing my knowledge with you, including things about certain models that you only learn by experience. Over the coming months, we’ll cover essential service and maintenance tasks – the types of jobs that many owners like to do themselves – as well as looking at some common fixes and more challenging repairs.

For this first guide, fluid checks, we’ll be using our 1990 Rolls-Royce Silver Spirit II.  We’ll start with an oil change, including the oil filter, before moving on to transmission oil and filter, then brake fluid, power steering fluid, and coolant checks.

It is hard to overstate just how important it is to keep your oil nice and fresh. Not doing so will lead to premature wear internally, economy and performance issues, or, in the worst-case scenario, the engine seizing up. On the other hand, doing this relatively simple job immediately delivers smoother and cleaner running. Recommendations vary by model on how often to replace the oil filter. Some say every second oil change. My view is it’s a low-cost item and the two jobs go hand-in-hand.

Other fluids can leak, or diminish over time, and, given the consequences of them running dry, it is good practice to check them regularly – certainly every few months, or if you suspect an issue, such as the brakes feeling spongy or the steering wheel starting to feel heavy. When it comes to engine maintenance, replenishing your coolant and getting the strength ratio correct is a big one, helping to prevent overheating and limiting internal corrosion during the hottest months of the year.

A few caveats: please note that these articles are intended as general guidance only. For model-specific instructions please refer to your owner’s manual. I’ll try to use generic product names, rather than pushing certain brands. Finally, and I can’t emphasise this enough, safety is paramount. Please use the appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) and dispose of waste products responsibly. Good luck and remember – mind your head!

Click the links for the step-by-step guide

Engine Oil and Filter Change

Transmission Oil and Filter Change

Power Steering Fluid, Brake Fluid, and Coolant Checks