What Makes Your Nissan Run?

There are several crucial components that keep your Nissan running — from small parts to fluids. All of these are important, even if you don't see them at work. But what are these components? And why are they so important? We're here to help answer any questions you have, so keep reading to learn more about what's under the hood of your Nissan.

Taking care of your Nissan may seem like a lot of work, especially if you operate with a DIY mindset when it comes to maintenance. Some of the most crucial parts of your vehicle's system include the engine coolant reservoir, the brake fluid reservoir and the fuse box. Learn more about these components and more in our helpful list below.

Engine Coolant Reservoir

Coolant is easily one of the most important fluids in your vehicle. Its primary function is to transfer heat away from the engine and prevent damage from freezing or boiling. The coolant reservoir can be found affixed to your Nissan's radiator. Engine coolant is used as part of a broader liquid cooling system. Overall, this system primarily serves to keep your engine from overheating.

Drive Belt Location

Your Nissan's drive belt is located at the front of the engine. If you're checking on the belt, always make sure that the car is switched off and has had time to cool down. The drive belt should be inspected every time you get an oil change. Our factory-trained technicians will check on it to make sure that no damage has occurred since the previous inspection.

Engine Oil Filler Cap

Your engine oil filter cap can help prevent oil leaks and retains the oil inside the reservoir. While it might seem like a small part of your car, it's actually a critical component to your vehicle's functionality. In fact, your engine could easily overheat or become a fire hazard without it. You can maintain the oil filler cap by wiping it clean with a rag to remove any residue build it. If it becomes damaged, be sure to have it replaced.

Brake Fluid Reservoir

Located on top of the master cylinder, the brake fluid reservoir, as its name suggests, contains your vehicle's brake fluid. This helpful component operates the hydraulic system that controls your brakes. Because your brakes are a hydraulic system, the brake fluid is as important as your brake pads themselves. When you press the brakes, the pedal compresses a piston in the brake caliper, which displaces the fluid and causes the rotors to press against the brake pads.


Your Nissan's battery is another vital part of your vehicle's functionality. You should always handle your battery with caution, since there is a risk of electric shock. For best results, keep the battery securely mounted and make sure that the top, including the terminals, are clean and dry. To clean the terminals, simply wipe them down and coat them with petroleum jelly or terminal grease. If you find any spilled battery acid, be sure to rinse it with a mix of water and baking soda.

Fuse Box

This important component protects engine parts like the cooling system, anti-lock brake pump and engine control unit from electrical overload. It is made up of a variety of fuses that function similarly to the electrical panel in your apartment or house. The fuse box typically won't need to be replaced unless it's been damaged physically. If you notice that any of your electrical controls aren't working properly, you can check the appropriate circuit fuses in the fuse box.

Air Cleaner

Sometimes known as the air intake system, your Nissan's air cleaner collects and directs air into individual cylinders. One crucial component of this system is the engine air filter, which keeps debris out of the sensitive inner workings of your engine. If your Nissan's engine air filter is soiled, it's time for it to be replaced, so that your engine can continue running smoothly.

Radiator Cap

Your vehicle's radiator cap helps control the pressure in the cooling system. If it can't maintain the correct fluid pressure, your engine could start to overheat. Your Nissan's radiator cap is located at the highest point of the cooling system, typically higher than the engine.

Engine Oil Dipstick

Your Nissan's oil dipstick is also quite important, as it indicates your vehicle's oil level. When you add oil yourself, it's important to read all of the oil manufacturer's precautions. To check the dipstick, start your vehicle and allow the engine to reach its normal operating temperature. Then, turn the engine off and wait around five minutes to allow the oil to resettle in the oil pan. You can also do this after you've been driving your vehicle for a normal amount of time. Then, pull the dipstick out, wipe it off and insert it again all the way. Pull it back out and take a look at the level indicators. Your oil level should be positioned between F and L.

Windshield Washer Fluid Reservoirr

Another seemingly insignificant but crucial part of your vehicle is the windshield washer fluid reservoir. Windshield wiper fluid is important because it helps keep your windshield clean, leading to proper visibility while driving. Make sure you never use antifreeze or engine coolant in place of washer fluid. If you don't have any washer fluid, you can use water instead. In a cold climate, you can buy special washer fluid with antifreeze mixed in to prevent freezing.

Need Help Under the Hood? We're Here.

Here at Giles Nissan of Lafayette, we're here for you. Schedule your service appointment today, or give us a call with any further questions you may have. Located in 6137 Johnston Street, Lafayette LA, we're proud to help customers near Lafayette, New Iberia and Abbeville.