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Fluid level checks Fiat Panda 2004 - 2012 Diesel 1.3 Multijet

OnDemand step-by-step maintenance & repair BETA

Fiat Panda 2004 - 2012  | 1.3 Multijet Fluid level checks

  • time 5 to 30 minutes
  • difficulty 1

Underbonnet check points

Panda petrol engine (1.2 litre shown) A Engine oil level dipstick B Engine oil filler cap C Coolant expansion tank D Brake fluid reservoir E Screen washer fluid reservoir F Battery G Clutch fluid reservoir
500 diesel engine A Engine oil level dipstick B Engine oil filler cap C Coolant expansion tank D Brake and clutch fluid reservoir E Screen washer fluid reservoir F Battery

Engine oil level

1 • Make sure that your car is on level ground.
2 • Check the oil level before the car is driven, or at least 5 minutes after the engine has been switched off.
HINT: If the oil is checked immediately after driving the vehicle, some of the oil will remain in the upper engine components, resulting in an inaccurate reading on the dipstick.

The correct oil

3 Modern engines place great demands on their oil. It is very important that the correct oil for your car is used.
Engine oil grade:
  Petrol engines Multigrade engine oil, fully-synthetic, viscosity SAE 5W/40 or 10W/40 to ACEA A3 and API SL or better Fiat classification 9.5535-S2
  Diesel engines Multigrade engine oil, fully-synthetic, viscosity SAE 5W/30 or 5W/40 to ACEA B4 and API CF or better* Fiat classification 9.5535-S1

Car care

4 • If you have to add oil frequently, you should check whether you have any oil leaks. Place some clean paper under the car overnight, and check for stains in the morning. If there are no leaks, the engine may be burning oil, or the oil may only be leaking when the engine is running .
5 • Always maintain the level between the upper and lower dipstick marks (see photo 3). If the level is too low severe engine damage may occur. Oil seal failure may result if the engine is overfilled by adding too much oil.
The dipstick is located on the right-hand side of the engine (see Underbonnet check points for exact location). Withdraw the dipstick. Using a clean rag or paper towel, remove all oil from the dipstick.
Insert the clean dipstick into the tube as far as it will go, then withdraw it again. Note the oil level on the end of the dipstick, which should be between the MAX and MIN marks. If the oil level is only just above, or below, the MIN mark, topping-up is required.
Oil is added through the filler cap. Unscrew the cap . . .
. . and top‑up the level; a funnel may be useful in reducing spillage. Add the oil slowly, checking the level on the dipstick often, and allowing time for the oil to fall to the sump. Add oil until the level is just up to the MAX mark on the dipstick – don’t overfill (see Car care) If you need to renew the oil and filter, click below

Coolant level

Warning: DO NOT attempt to remove the expansion tank pressure cap when the engine is hot, as there is a very great risk of scalding. Do not leave open containers of coolant about, as it is poisonous.

Car care

6 • With a sealed-type cooling system, adding coolant should not be necessary on a regular basis. If frequent topping-up is required, it is likely there is a leak. Check the radiator, all hoses and joint faces for signs of staining or wetness, and rectify as necessary.
7 • It is important that antifreeze is used in the cooling system all year round, not just during the winter months. Don’t top-up with water alone, as the antifreeze will become too diluted.
The coolant level varies with the temperature of the engine, and is visible through the expansion tank. When the engine is cold, the coolant level should be between the MAX and MIN marks on the side of the reservoir. When the engine is hot, the level may rise slightly above the MAX mark.
If topping-up is necessary, wait until the engine is cold. Slowly unscrew the expansion tank cap, to release any pressure present in the cooling system, and remove it.
Add a mixture of water and antifreeze to the expansion tank until the coolant level is halfway between the level marks. Use only the specified antifreeze – if using Fiat antifreeze, make sure it is the same type and colour as that already in the system. Refit the cap and tighten it securely. Should you need to replace the coolant, click below
Antifreeze type Paraflu UP

Brake and clutch fluid level

8 All models have a hydraulically-operated clutch which on some models uses the same fluid as the braking system, whereas on others the fluid is stored in a separate reservoir.
Warning: Brake fluid can harm your eyes and damage painted surfaces, so use extreme caution when handling and pouring it.
Warning: Do not use fluid that has been standing open for some time, as it absorbs moisture from the air, which can cause a dangerous loss of braking effectiveness.

Safety first!

9 • If the reservoir requires repeated topping-up this is an indication of a fluid leak somewhere in the system, which should be investigated immediately.
10 • If a leak is suspected, the car should not be driven until the braking system has been checked. Never take any risks where brakes are concerned.
The brake fluid reservoir is located on the left-hand side of the engine compartment.
On models with a separate clutch fluid reservoir, it’s located on the right, or left-hand side of the engine compartment.
The MAX and MIN marks are indicated on the side of the reservoir. The fluid level must be kept between the marks at all times. Clutch fluid reservoir . . .
. . . and brake fluid reservoir.
If topping-up is necessary, first wipe clean the area around the filler cap to prevent dirt entering the hydraulic system. Unscrew the reservoir cap and carefully lift it out of position. Inspect the reservoir; if the fluid is dirty, the hydraulic system should be drained and refilled.
Carefully add fluid, taking care not to spill it onto the surrounding components. Use only DOT 4 fluid; mixing different types can cause damage to the system. After topping-up to the correct level, securely refit the cap and wipe off any spilt fluid.

Washer fluid level

11 • The windscreen washer reservoir also supplies the tailgate washer jet, where applicable. On models so equipped, the same reservoir also serves the headlight washers.
12 • Screenwash additives not only keep the windscreen clean during foul weather, they also prevent the washer system freezing in cold weather – which is when you are likely to need it most. Don’t top-up using plain water as the screenwash will become too diluted, and will freeze during cold weather.
Caution: On no account use coolant antifreeze in the washer system – this could discolour or damage paintwork.
The washer fluid reservoir filler neck is located on the right-hand side of the engine compartment. The washer level cannot easily be seen. Remove the filler cap, and look down the filler neck – if fluid is not visible, topping-up may be required.
When topping-up the reservoir, add a screenwash additive in the quantities recommended on the additive bottle. It could also be time to replace the wiper blades. For details, click below
- Close + Open

Wiper blade replacement

1 • Only fit good-quality blades.
2 • When removing an old wiper blade, note how it is fitted. Fitting new blades can be a tricky exercise, and noting how the old blade came off can save time.
3 • While the wiper blade is removed, take care not to knock the wiper arm from its locked position, or it could strike the glass.
4 • Offer the new blade into position the same way round as the old one. Ensure that it clicks home securely, otherwise it may come off in use, damaging the glass.
Note: Fitting details for wiper blades vary according to model, and according to whether genuine Fiat wiper blades have been fitted. Use the procedures and illustrations shown as a guide for your car.
HINT: If smearing is still a problem despite fitting new wiper blades, try cleaning the wi ndsc reen wit h neat screen-wash additive or methylated spirit.
Check the condition of the wiper blades; if they are cracked or show any signs of deterioration, or if the glass swept area is smeared, renew them. Wiper blades should be renewed annually, regardless of their apparent condition.
To remove a windscreen wiper blade on Panda models, pull the arm fully away from the glass until it locks. Swivel the blade through 90°, press the locking tab with your fingers and slide the blade out of the arm.
To remove a windscreen wiper blade on 500 models, pull the arm fully away from the glass until it locks. Press the release button with your fingers and slide the blade out of the arm’s hooked end.
Don’t forget to check the tailgate wiper blade as well (where applicable). Remove the blade by prising apart the blade casing.
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