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Fluid level checks Ford Focus 2005 - 2011 Petrol 1.6 ZETEC

OnDemand step-by-step maintenance & repair BETA

Ford Focus 2005 - 2011  | 1.6 ZETEC Fluid level checks

  • time 5 to 30 minutes
  • difficulty 1

Underbonnet check points

1.6 litre engine A Engine oil level dipstick B Engine oil filler cap C Coolant expansion tank D Brake and clutch fluid reservoir E Power steering fluid reservoir F Screen washer fluid reservoir G Battery
1.8 litre engine A Engine oil level dipstick B Engine oil filler cap C Coolant expansion tank D Brake and clutch fluid reservoir E Power steering fluid reservoir (underneath the headlight) F Screen washer fluid reservoir G Battery

Engine oil level

1 • Make sure that the 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 Multigrade engine oil, viscosity SAE 5W/30 to Ford specification WSS-M2C913-B

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, then the engine may be burning oil.
5 • Always maintain the level between the upper and lower dipstick marks (see photo 2). 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 at the front 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 filler 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 run 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
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Engine oil and filter change

1 Frequent oil and filter changes are the most important preventative maintenance procedures which can be undertaken by the DIY owner. As engine oil ages, it becomes diluted and contaminated, which leads to premature engine wear.
2 Before starting this procedure, gather together all the necessary tools and materials. Also make sure that you have plenty of clean rags and newspapers handy, to mop-up any spills. Ideally, the engine oil should be warm, as it will drain more easily, and more built-up sludge will be removed with it.
3 Take care not to touch the exhaust (especially the catalytic converter) or any other hot parts of the engine when working under the vehicle. To avoid any possibility of scalding, and to protect yourself from possible skin irritants and other harmful contaminants in used engine oils, it is advisable to wear gloves when carrying out this work.
4 Firmly apply the handbrake, then jack up the front of the vehicle and support it on axle stands. Where fitted, release the fasteners and remove the engine undershield (see illustration) .
Undo the fasteners (arrowed) and remove the engine undershield
5 Remove the oil filler cap.
6 Using a spanner, or preferably a socket and bar, slacken the sump drain plug about half a turn (see illustrations) . Position the draining container under the drain plug, then remove the plug completely.
Engine oil sump drain plug (arrowed) – 1.4 and 1.6 litre engines
Engine oil sump drain plug (arrowed) – 1.8 and 2.0 litre engines
HINT: As the plug releases from the threads, move it away sharply, so that the stream of oil from the sump runs into the container, not up your sleeve.
7 Allow some time for the oil to drain, noting that it may be necessary to reposition the container as the oil flow slows to a trickle.
8 After all the oil has drained, wipe the drain plug with a clean rag. Examine the condition of the drain plug sealing ring, and renew it if it shows signs of flattening or other damage which may prevent an oil-tight seal (it is generally considered good practice to fit a new seal every time. Note that on some models the seal is integral with the drain plug (see illustration) . Clean the area around the drain plug opening, and refit the plug complete with the seal and tighten it to 28 Nm (21 Ibf ft).
On some drain plugs, the seal is integral with the plug
9 Move the container into position under the oil filter, which is located on the front of the cylinder block (see illustrations) .
Oil filter cartridge (arrowed) – 1.4 and 1.6 litre engines . . .
. . . 1.8 and 2.0 litre engines
10 Use an oil filter removal tool if necessary to slacken the filter initially, then unscrew it by hand the rest of the way (see illustration) . Empty the oil from the old filter into the container, then puncture the top of the filter, and allow the remaining oil to drain from the filter into the container.
Using a strap wrench to slacken the filter cartridge
11 Use a clean rag to remove all oil, dirt and sludge from the filter sealing area on the engine.
12 Apply a light coating of clean engine oil to the sealing ring on the new filter, then screw the filter into position on the engine (see illustrations) . Tighten the filter firmly by hand only – do not use any tools.
Apply a light coating of clean engine oil to the sealing ring . . .
. . . and screw the cartridge into place by hand
13 Remove the old oil and all tools from under the car, refit the engine undershield (where applicable), then lower the car to the ground.
14 Fill the engine, using the correct grade and type of oil. An oil can spout or funnel may help to reduce spillage. Pour in half the specified quantity of oil first, then wait a few minutes for the oil to run to the sump.
Engine oil quantity:
  1.4 litre engine 3.8 litres
  1.6 litre engine 4.1 litres
  1.8 litre engine 4.3 litres
  2.0 litre engine 4.3 litres
Engine oil grade Multigrade engine oil, viscosity SAE 5W/30 to Ford specification WSS-M2C913-B
15 Continue adding oil a small quantity at a time until the level is up to the MIN mark on the dipstick. Adding around 0.5 litre of oil will now bring the level up to the MAX on the dipstick – do not worry if a little too much goes in, as some of the excess will be taken up in filling the oil filter. Refit the dipstick and the filler cap.
16 Start the engine and run it for a few minutes; check for leaks around the oil filter and the sump drain plug. Note that there may be a few seconds delay before the oil pressure warning light goes out when the engine is started, as the oil circulates through the engine oil galleries and the new oil filter before the pressure builds-up.
17 Switch off the engine, and wait a few minutes for the oil to settle in the sump once more. With the new oil circulated and the filter completely full, recheck the level on the dipstick, and add more oil as necessary.
18 Dispose of the used engine oil and the old oil filter safely. Many local recycling points have containers for waste oil, with oil filter disposal receptacles alongside.

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 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 front 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 Ford 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
- Close + Open

Coolant replacement

Warning: Do not allow antifreeze to come in contact with your skin or painted surfaces of the vehicle. Flush contaminated areas immediately with plenty of water. Don’t store new coolant, or leave old coolant lying around, where it’s accessible to children or pets – they’re attracted by its sweet smell. Ingestion of even a small amount of coolant can be fatal. Wipe up garage-floor and drip-pan spills immediately. Keep antifreeze containers covered, and repair cooling system leaks as soon as they’re noticed.
Warning: Never remove the expansion tank filler cap when the engine is running, or has just been switched off, as the cooling system will be hot, and the consequent escaping steam and scalding coolant could cause serious injury.
Warning: Wait until the engine is cold before starting these procedures.
Note: If the pink/red Ford antifreeze is used, the coolant can then be left indefinitely, providing the strength of the mixture is checked every year. If any antifreeze other than Ford’s is to be used, the coolant must be renewed at regular intervals to provide an equivalent degree of protection; the conventional recommendation is to renew the coolant every two years.

Coolant draining

1 To drain the system, first remove the expansion tank filler cap.
2 If the additional working clearance is required, raise the front of the vehicle and support it securely on axle stands. Where fitted, undo the fasteners and remove the engine undershield (see illustration) .
Undo the fasteners and remove the engine undershield
3 Place a large drain tray underneath, and unscrew the radiator drain plug (see illustration) ; direct as much of the escaping coolant as possible into the tray.
Slacken the radiator drain plug
4 Once the coolant has stopped draining from the radiator, close the drain plug.

System flushing

5 With time, the cooling system may gradually lose its efficiency, as the radiator core becomes choked with rust, scale deposits from the water, and other sediment. To minimise this, as well as using only good-quality antifreeze and clean soft water, the system should be flushed as follows whenever any part of it is disturbed, and/or when the coolant is renewed.
6 With the coolant drained, refit the drain plug and refill the system with fresh water. Refit the expansion tank filler cap, start the engine and warm it up to normal operating temperature, then stop it and (after allowing it to cool down completely) drain the system again. Repeat as necessary until only clean water can be seen to emerge, then refill finally with the specified coolant mixture.
7 If only clean, soft water and good-quality antifreeze (even if not to Ford’s specification) has been used, and the coolant has been renewed at the suggested intervals, the above procedure will be sufficient to keep clean the system for a considerable length of time. If, however, the system has been neglected, a more thorough operation will be required, as follows.
8 First drain the coolant, then disconnect the radiator top and bottom hoses. Insert a garden hose into the radiator top hose connection, and allow water to circulate through the radiator until it runs clean from the bottom outlet.
9 To flush the engine, insert the garden hose into the radiator bottom hose, wrap a piece of rag around the garden hose to seal the connection, and allow water to circulate until it runs clear.
10 Try the effect of repeating this procedure in the top hose, although this may not be effective, since the thermostat will probably close and prevent the flow of water.
11 In severe cases of contamination, reverse-flushing of the radiator may be necessary. This may be achieved by inserting the garden hose into the bottom outlet, wrapping a piece of rag around the hose to seal the connection, then flushing the radiator until clear water emerges from the top hose outlet.
12 The use of chemical cleaners is not recommended, and should be necessary only as a last resort; the scouring action of some chemical cleaners may lead to other cooling system problems. Normally, regular renewal of the coolant will prevent excessive contamination of the system.

Coolant filling

13 With the cooling system drained and flushed, ensure that all disturbed hose unions are correctly secured, and that the radiator/engine drain plug(s) is securely tightened. Refit the engine undershield (where applicable). If it was raised, lower the vehicle to the ground.
14 Set the heater temperature control to maximum heat, but ensure the blower is turned off.
15 Prepare a sufficient quantity of the specified coolant mixture (see below); allow for a surplus, so as to have a reserve supply for topping-up.
16 Slowly fill the system through the expansion tank. Since the tank is the highest point in the system, all the air in the system should be displaced into the tank by the rising liquid. Slow pouring reduces the possibility of air being trapped and forming airlocks.
Coolant quantity: Litres
  1.4 litre engines:
    With air conditioning 5.5
    Without air conditioning 5.2
  1.6 litre engines:
    Non-Ti-VCT engines:
      With air conditioning 5.8
      Without air conditioning 5.5
    Ti-VCT engines 6.0
  1.8 litre engines 6.5
  2.0 litre engines 6.3
Anti-freeze type Motorcraft SuperPlus pink/red antifreeze to Ford specification WSS-M97B44-D
17 Continue filling until the coolant level reaches the expansion tank MAX level line, then cover the filler opening to prevent coolant splashing out.
18 Start the engine and run it at 2500 rpm for 2 minutes. If the level in the expansion tank drops significantly, top-up to the MAX level line, to minimise the amount of air circulating in the system.
19 Fill the expansion tank to the MAX level line, refit the expansion tank cap, and run the engine at 2500 rpm until the thermostat opens and the engine is at normal operating temperature. Check this by feeling the radiator bottom hose – if it’s hot, then the thermostat has opened.
20 Briefly run the engine at 4000 rpm, then run it at 2500 rpm for approximately 3 minutes.
21 Stop the engine, wash off any spilt coolant from the engine compartment and bodywork, then leave the car to cool down completely (overnight, if possible).
22 With the system cool, open the expansion tank, and top-up the tank to the MAX level line. Refit the filler cap, tightening it securely, and clean up any further spillage.
23 After refilling, always check carefully all components of the system (but especially any unions disturbed during draining and flushing) for signs of coolant leaks. Fresh antifreeze has a searching action, which will rapidly expose any weak points in the system.

Antifreeze type and mixture

Note: Do not use engine antifreeze in the windscreen/tailgate washer system, as it will damage the vehicle’s paintwork. A screenwash additive should be added to the washer system in its maker’s recommended quantities.
24 If the vehicle’s history (and therefore the quality of the antifreeze in it) is unknown, owners are advised to drain and thoroughly reverse-flush the system, before refilling with fresh coolant mixture.
25 If the antifreeze used is to Ford’s specification, the levels of protection it affords are indicated in the coolant packaging.
26 To give the recommended standard mixture ratio for antifreeze, 50% (by volume) of antifreeze must be mixed with 50% of clean, soft water; if you are using any other type of antifreeze, follow its manufacturer’s instructions to achieve the correct ratio.
27 You are unlikely to fully drain the system at any one time (unless the engine is being completely stripped), and the capacities quoted in Specifications are therefore slightly academic for routine coolant renewal. As a guide, only two-thirds of the system’s total capacity is likely to be needed for coolant renewal.
28 As the drained system will be partially filled with flushing water, in order to establish the recommended mixture ratio, measure out 50% of the system capacity in antifreeze and pour it into the hose/expansion tank as described above, then top-up with water. Any topping-up while refilling the system should be done with water – use a suitable mixture.
29 Before adding antifreeze, the cooling system should be drained, preferably flushed, and all hoses checked for condition and security. As noted earlier, fresh antifreeze will rapidly find any weaknesses in the system.
30 After filling with antifreeze, a label should be attached to the expansion tank, stating the type and concentration of antifreeze used, and the date installed. Any subsequent topping-up should be made with the same type and concentration of antifreeze.

General cooling system checks

31 The engine should be cold for the cooling system checks, so perform the following procedure before driving the vehicle, or after it has been shut off for at least three hours.
32 Remove the expansion tank filler cap, and clean it thoroughly inside and out with a rag. Also clean the filler neck on the expansion tank. The presence of rust or corrosion in the filler neck indicates that the coolant should be changed. The coolant inside the expansion tank should be relatively clean and transparent. If it is rust-coloured, drain and flush the system, and refill with a fresh coolant mixture.
33 Carefully check the radiator hoses and heater hoses along their entire length; renew any hose which is cracked, swollen or deteriorated.
34 Inspect all other cooling system components (joint faces, etc) for leaks. A leak in the cooling system will usually show up as white- or antifreeze-coloured deposits on the area adjoining the leak (see Haynes Hint) . Where any problems of this nature are found on system components, renew the component or gasket.
HINT: A leak in the cooling system will usually show up as white- or antifreezecoloured deposits on the areas adjoining the leak.
35 Clean the front of the radiator with a soft brush to remove all insects, leaves, etc, embedded in the radiator fins. Be careful not to damage the radiator fins, or cut your fingers on them.


36 If, after draining and refilling the system, symptoms of overheating are found which did not occur previously, then the fault is almost certainly due to trapped air at some point in the system, causing an airlock and restricting the flow of coolant; usually, the air is trapped because the system was refilled too quickly.
37 If an airlock is suspected, first try gently squeezing all visible coolant hoses. A coolant hose which is full of air feels quite different to one full of coolant when squeezed. After refilling the system, most airlocks will clear once the system has cooled, and been topped-up.
38 While the engine is running at operating temperature, switch on the heater and heater fan, and check for heat output. Provided there is sufficient coolant in the system, lack of heat output could be due to an airlock in the system.
39 Airlocks can have more serious effects than simply reducing heater output – a severe airlock could reduce coolant flow around the engine. Check that the radiator top hose is hot when the engine is at operating temperature – a top hose which stays cold could be the result of an airlock (or a non-opening thermostat).
40 If the problem persists, stop the engine and allow it to cool down completely, before unscrewing the expansion tank filler cap or loosening the hose clips and squeezing the hoses to bleed out the trapped air. In the worst case, the system will have to be at least partially drained (this time, the coolant can be saved for re-use) and flushed to clear the problem. If all else fails, have the system evacuated and vacuum filled by a suitably-equipped garage.

Expansion tank pressure cap check

41 Wait until the engine is completely cold – perform this check before the engine is started for the first time in the day.
42 Place a wad of cloth over the expansion tank cap, then unscrew it slowly and remove it.
43 Examine the condition of the rubber seal on the underside of the cap. If the rubber appears to have hardened, or cracks are visible in the seal edges, a new cap should be fitted.
44 If the car is several years old, or has covered a large mileage, consider renewing the cap regardless of its apparent condition – they are not expensive. If the pressure relief valve built into the cap fails, excess pressure in the system will lead to puzzling failures of hoses and other cooling system components.
Anti-freeze type Motorcraft SuperPlus pink/red antifreeze to Ford specification WSS-M97B44-D

Brake and clutch fluid level

Note: All manual transmission models have a hydraulically-operated clutch, which uses the same fluid as the braking system.
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.
HINT: Make sure that your car is on level ground. Note that the fluid level in the reservoir will drop slightly as the brake pads wear down, but the fluid level must never be allowed to drop below the DANGER mark.
8 • If the reservoir requires repeated topping-up this is an indication of a fluid leak somewhere in the system, which should be investigated immediately.
9 • 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 right-hand side of the engine compartment.
The MAX and MIN marks are indicated on the front of the reservoir. The fluid level must be kept between the marks at all times.
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, holding the wiring connector plug and taking care not to damage the level sender float.
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.

Power steering fluid level

Note: 1.8 and 2.0 litre models are equipped with Electro-Hydraulic power steering (EHPS). According to Ford, there is no requirement to check the fluid level. However, it may be prudent to check the level every few months or so.

Before you start

10 • Park the vehicle on level ground.
11 • Set the steering wheel straight-ahead.
12 • The engine should be turned off.
HINT: For the check to be accurate, the steering must not be turned once the engine has been stopped.

Safety first!

13 • The need for frequent topping-up indicates a leak, which should be investigated immediately.
The reservoir is mounted at the front right-hand side of the engine compartment. On 1.8 and 2.0 litre models, remove the headlight. The fluid level can be viewed through the reservoir body, and should be between the MIN and MAX marks when the engine is cold. If the level is checked when the engine is running or hot, the level may rise slightly above the MAX mark.
If topping-up is necessary, use the specified type of fluid – do not overfill the reservoir. Undo the reservoir cap. Take care not to introduce dirt into the system when topping-up. When the level is correct, securely refit the cap.
Power steering fluid Ford or Motorcraft power steering fluid to Ford specification WSS-M2C204-A2

Washer fluid level

14 • The windscreen washer reservoir also supplies the tailgate washer jet, where applicable. On models so equipped, the same reservoir also serves the headlight washers.
15 • Screenwash additives not only keep the windscreen clean during bad 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 diluted, and will freeze in cold weather.
Caution: On no account use engine coolant antifreeze in the screen washer system – this may damage the paintwork.
The washer fluid reservoir filler neck is located in the right-hand rear corner 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
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Wiper blade replacement

1 Only fit good-quality wiper 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 Ford 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 glass with neat screenwash additive or methylated spirit
5 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
6 To remove a windscreen wiper blade, pull the arm fully away from the glass until it locks. Position the blade at 90° to the arm and lift it off the retaining pin. Installation is the reverse of removal
7 To remove the tailgate blade, lift the arm, position the blade at 90° to the arm, and pull the blade from the arm. Installation is the reverse of removal
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