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Fluid level checks Ford Ka 1996 - 2004 Petrol 1.3 ENDURA-E

OnDemand step-by-step maintenance & repair BETA

Ford Ka 1996 - 2004  | 1.3 ENDURA-E Fluid level checks

  • time 5 to 30 minutes
  • difficulty 1

Underbonnet check points

1.3 litre Endura engine A Engine oil level dipstick B Engine oil filler cap C Coolant expansion tank (up to model year 1999) D Brake (and clutch) fluid reservoir E Power steering fluid reservoir (up to model year 1999) F Screen washer fluid reservoir G Battery
1.3 litre Endura engine H Coolant expansion tank (from model year 1999) I Power steering fluid reservoir (from model year 1999)

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 Multigrade engine oil, viscosity SAE 10W/30 or 10W/40, to API SH or ACEA A1-96, A2-96, or A3-96

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.
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 top is brightly coloured for easy identification (see “Underbonnet check points” for exact location). Withdraw the dipstick.
Using a clean rag or paper towel wipe 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 upper ‘MAX’ mark and lower ‘MIN’ mark. If the oil level is only just above, or below, the ‘MIN’ mark, topping-up is required.
Oil is added through the filler cap aperture. Lift off the cap using a twisting motion. Top‑up the level taking care not to spill the oil. 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 flow 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. ‘MIN’ and ‘MAX’ marks are shown on the side of the tank. When the engine is cold, the coolant level should be between the two marks, but ideally on the ‘MAX’ mark. When the engine is hot, the level will rise above the ‘MAX’ mark slightly.
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 on the ‘MAX’ mark. Refit the cap and tighten it securely. Note: On vehicles from model year 1999, the expansion tank has been moved to the right-hand rear corner of the engine compartment (see Underbonnet check points). Should you need to replace the coolant, click below

Brake (and clutch) fluid level

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!

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.
Hint : Make sure your car is on level ground. The fluid level in the reservoir will drop slightly as the brake pads and shoes wear down, but the fluid level must never be allowed to drop below the MIN mark.
The “MAX” and “MIN” marks are indicated on the side of the reservoir, which is located at the rear left-hand side of the engine compartment. The fluid level must be kept between these two marks.
If topping-up is necessary, first wipe the area around the filler cap with a clean rag, then hold the fluid level sensor wiring plug as the cap is unscrewed. When adding fluid, it’s a good idea to inspect the reservoir. The fluid should be changed if dirt is visible.
Carefully add fluid, avoiding spilling it on surrounding paintwork. Use only DOT 4 fluid; mixing different types of fluid can cause damage to the system and/or a loss of braking effectiveness. Bear in mind that the level in the reservoir will rise slightly when the cap/float assembly is refitted. After filling to the correct level, refit the cap securely. Wipe off any spilt fluid.
Check the operation of the low fluid level warning light. Switch on the ignition and ask an assistant to press the button on top of the reservoir cap. The brake fluid level/handbrake “on” warning light should come on - if not, the level switch, wiring or bulb may be faulty. If the warning light comes on and the fluid level is not low, check that the handbrake is not on. Switch off the ignition after testing.

Power steering fluid level

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 located at the right-hand rear corner of the engine compartment. The fluid level is visible through the reservoir body; when the system is at operating temperature, the level should be up to the ‘MAX’ mark on the side of the reservoir.
If topping-up is required, wipe clean the area around the reservoir filler neck and unscrew the filler cap from the reservoir.
When topping-up, use the specified type of fluid and do not overfill the reservoir. When the level is correct,securely refit the cap. Note: On vehicles from model year 1999, the reservoir has been moved around the side of the suspension top mounting (see Underbonnet check points)
Power steering fluid Automatic transmission fluid to Ford specification ESP-M2C 166-H

Screen washer fluid level*

14 * The underbonnet reservoir also serves the tailgate washer.
15 Screenwash additives not only keep the winscreen 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. On no account use coolant antifreeze in the washer system - this could discolour or damage paintwork.
The screen/tailgate washer fluid reservoir filler neck is located in the centre of the engine compartment rear bulkhead, and the filler cap is brightly coloured. The screen washer level cannot easily be seen. Remove the filler cap, and look down the filler neck - if fluid is not visible, topping-up is required.
When topping-up the reservoir, add a screenwash additive in the quantities recommended on the bottle. It could also be time to replace the wiper blades. For details, click below
- Close + Open

Wiper blade replacement

HINT: If smearing is still a problem despite fitting new wiper blades, try cleaning the windscreen with 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. For maximum clarity of vision, wiper blades should be renewed annually, as a matter of course.
To remove a windscreen wiper blade, pull the arm fully away from the screen until it locks. Swivel the blade through 90°, then depress the locking clip at the base of the mounting block, and slide the blade out of the hooked end of the arm. Where applicable, don’t forget to check the tailgate wiper blade as well. The blade can be removed by swivelling the blade through 90°, then sliding the blade from the arm. Fit the new blade using a reversal of the removal procedure.
To remove the tailgate wiper blade, pull the arm away from the window until it locks. Carefully prise the blade from the arm using the fingers only until it is released. Fit the new blade using a reversal of the removal procedure.
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