Underbonnet check points
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 Power steering/ACE (where applicable) fluid reservoir
Engine oil level
• Make sure that your car is on level ground.
• Check the oil level before the car is driven, or at least 5 minutes after the engine has been switched off.
The correct oil
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/40 or 5W50, to ACEA A1, B1
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.
• 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.
• 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 often brightly coloured for easy identification (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 upper full mark (1) and low minimum mark (2). Approximately 1.0 litre of oil will raise the level from the lower mark to the upper mark.
Oil is added through the filler cap. Lift up the access flap, unscrew the cap and top.up the level; a funnel may help to reduce spillage. Add the oil slowly, checking the level on the dipstick often. Don't overfill. If you need to renew the oil and filter, click below
Brake and clutch fluid level
Brake fluid can harm your eyes and damage painted surfaces, so use extreme caution when handling and pouring it.
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.
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 MIN mark.
Before you start
• Make sure that your car is on level ground.
• If the reservoir requires repeated topping-up this is an indication of a fluid leak somewhere in the system, which should be investigated immediately.
• 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 MAX and MIN marks are indicated on the side 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.
Rotate the reservoir cap 45° anti-clockwise and carefully lift it out of position, taking care not to damage the level switch 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.
Screen washer fluid level
• 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.
On no account use coolant antifreeze in the washer system – this could discolour or damage paintwork.
Top up and securely replace cap. It could also be time to replace the wiper blades. For details, click below
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
To remove a front wiper blade, pull the arm away from the screen, slide the locking tab to the ‘unlock’ position, and detach it from the arm
To remove a rear wiper blade, pull the arm away from the screen, and press the blade pivot pin out from the recess in the arm
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.
• 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.
• 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.
||Ethylene glycol based antifreeze with OATS corrosion inhibitors
The coolant level is indicated by a minimum mark on the side of the expansion tank on the right-hand side of the engine compartment. If topping-up is necessary, wait until the engine is cold. Slowly remove 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 surface of the coolant is level with the mark on the expansion tank. Refit the cap securely. Should you need to replace the coolant, click below
Power steering/ACE fluid level
On models equipped with Active Cornering Enhancement (ACE), the fluid reservoir is shared between the two systems. However, the reservoir is divided, and separate filler caps are provided.
Before you start
• Park the vehicle on level ground.
• Set the steering wheel straight-ahead. For the check to be accurate, the steering must not be turned while the level is being checked.
• The engine should be turned off, and the fluid cool.
• The need for frequent topping-up indicates a leak, which should be investigated immediately.
|Power steering/ACE fluid:
| Ambient temperature below -20°C
||Texaco Cold Climate PAS fluid 14315
| Ambient temperature above -20°C
||Use the above or Dexron II or III
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