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Fluid level checks Land Rover Discovery 1998 - 2004 Diesel 2.5 TD5

OnDemand step-by-step maintenance & repair BETA

Land Rover Discovery 1998 - 2004  | 2.5 TD5 Fluid level checks

  • time 5 to 30 minutes
  • difficulty 1

Underbonnet check points

Discovery TD5 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

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.

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/40 or 5W50, to ACEA A1, B1
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.

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 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
- Close + Open

Engine oil and filter change

HINT: Frequent oil and filter changes are the most important preventative maintenance procedures that can be undertaken by the DIY owner. As engine oil ages, it becomes diluted and contaminated, which leads to premature engine wear.

Oil renewal

1 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 better, and more built-up sludge will be removed with it. Take care, however, not to touch the exhaust 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 rubber gloves when carrying out this work.
2 Access to the underside of the vehicle will be greatly improved if it can be raised on a lift, driven onto ramps, or jacked up and supported on axle stands. Whichever method is chosen, make sure that the vehicle remains as level as possible, to enable the oil to drain fully.
3 Lift the flap in the engine cover, and unscrew the oil filler cap from the valve cover, then twist the access cover in the engine undershield (where fitted) anti-clockwise to reveal the sump drain plug (see illustration) . Position a suitable container beneath the sump.
Rotate the drain plug access cover (arrowed) anti-clockwise
4 Clean the drain plug and the area around it, then slacken it using a suitable socket or spanner (see illustration) . If possible, try to keep the plug pressed into the sump while unscrewing it by hand the last couple of turns. As the plug releases from the threads, move it away sharply, so that the stream of oil issuing from the sump runs into the container, not up your sleeve.
Engine oil drain plug (arrowed)
5 Allow some time for the old oil to drain, noting that it may be necessary to reposition the container as the oil flow slows to a trickle.
6 After all the oil has drained, wipe off the drain plug with a clean rag, and discard the sealing washer – a new sealing washer must be fitted. Clean the area around the drain plug opening, then fit the washer and tighten the plug to 23 Nm (17 Ibf ft) (see illustration) .
Fit a new sealing washer to the drain plug
7 Remove the old oil and all tools from under the vehicle, then (if applicable) lower the vehicle to the ground.
8 Fill the engine with the specified quantity and grade of oil. Pour the oil in slowly, otherwise it may overflow from the top of the valve cover. Check that the oil level is up to the correct level on the dipstick, then refit and tighten the oil filler cap.
Engine oil quantity 7.2 litres
Engine oil grade Multigrade engine oil, viscosity SAE 5W/40 or 5W50, to ACEA A1, B1
9 Run the engine for a few minutes, and check that there are no leaks around the sump drain plug. 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 now completely full, recheck the level on the dipstick, and add more oil if necessary. Refit the engine undershield access cover (where fitted).
10 Dispose of the used engine oil responsibly.

Oil centrifugal rotor

Note: This procedure must be accompanied by changing the engine oil as described earlier in this Section.
11 The centrifugal oil cleaner is fitted on the left-hand side of the engine block. Oil enters the centrifuge from the side under pressure, and spins the rotor within at up to 15 000 rpm. Any dirt/particles within the oil are captured on the inner surface of the rotor as the oil is thrown outwards, forming a sludge inside the rotor. The rotor is able to trap very fine impurities that would normally pass through a paper element type normal filter.
12 Undo the two bolts and remove the centrifuge cover (see illustration) . Discard the cover O-ring seal – a new one must be fitted.
Oil centrifuge rotor housing bolts (arrowed)
13 Lift out the rotor and discard it – a new one must be fitted (see illustration) .
Lift out the oil filter rotor
14 Use shop rag to clean the centrifuge body and cover.
15 Fit the new rotor into the body, then refit the cover with a new O-ring seal. Tighten the cover bolts securely.

Oil filter cartridge

Note: This procedure must be accompanied by changing the engine oil as described earlier in this Section.
16 Clean the area around the filter housing, and place a container under the engine beneath the filter.
17 Using an oil filter removal tool if necessary, slacken the filter initially (see illustration) . Loosely wrap some rags around the oil filter, then unscrew it. Remove the oil filter from the engine compartment, and empty the oil into the container used to drain the sump.
The oil filter cartridge (arrowed) is located under the exhaust manifold, on the left-hand side of the engine
18 Use a clean rag to remove all oil, dirt and sludge from the filter sealing area on the engine. Check the old filter, to make sure that the rubber sealing ring hasn’t stuck to the engine. If it has, carefully remove it.
19 Apply a light coating of clean oil to the sealing ring on the new filter, then screw it into position on the engine (see illustration) . Tighten the filter firmly by hand only – do not use any tools. Wipe clean the exterior of the oil filter.
Apply a little clean engine oil to the seal at the top of the filter cartridge
20 Refitting is a reversal of removal.

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.
Warning: 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

6 • Make sure that your car is on level ground.

Safety first!

7 • If the reservoir requires repeated topping-up this is an indication of a fluid leak somewhere in the system, which should be investigated immediately.
8 • 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

9 • 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.
Top up and securely replace cap. It could also be time to replace the wiper blades. For details, click below
- Close + Open

Wiper blade replacement

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
1 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

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

10 • 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.
11 • 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.
Antifreeze type 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
- Close + Open

Coolant replacement

Warning: Wait until the engine is cold before starting this procedure. Do not allow antifreeze to come in contact with your skin, or with the painted surfaces of the vehicle. Rinse off spills immediately with plenty of water. Never leave antifreeze lying around in an open container, or in a puddle in the driveway or garage floor. Children and pets are attracted by its sweet smell, but antifreeze is fatal if ingested. Refer to the ‘Antifreeze mixture’ sub-Section below before proceeding.

Cooling system draining

1 To drain the cooling system, first cover the expansion tank cap with a wad of rag, and slowly turn the cap anti-clockwise to relieve the pressure in the cooling system (a hissing sound will normally be heard). Wait until any pressure remaining in the system is released, then continue to turn the cap until it can be removed.
2 Position a suitable container beneath the radiator. Open the drain plug access cover in the engine undershield (where fitted), then unscrew the drain plug and allow the coolant to drain into the container (see illustrations) . Discard the drain plug sealing washer, a new one must be fitted.
Rotate the drain plug access cover in the undershield anti-clockwise . . .
. . . then unscrew the drain plug (arrowed)
3 Occasionally it may be necessary to fully drain the cooling system. Remove the alternator, then slacken and remove the coolant drain plug from the left-hand side of the cylinder block, and allow any residual coolant to drain from the block. When the flow of coolant has stopped, wipe clean the threads of the drain plug and block. Where the plug was fitted with a sealing washer, fit a new sealing washer. Where no washer was fitted, apply a smear of suitable sealant to the drain plug threads. Refit the drain plug to the block, and tighten it securely.
4 If the coolant has been drained for a reason other than renewal, then provided it is clean and less than two years old, it can be re-used.

Cooling system flushing

5 If coolant renewal has been neglected, or if the antifreeze mixture has become diluted, then in time, the cooling system may gradually lose efficiency, as the coolant passages become restricted due to rust, scale deposits, and other sediment. The cooling system efficiency can be restored by flushing the system clean.
6 The radiator should be flushed independently of the engine, to avoid unnecessary contamination.
7 To flush the radiator, disconnect the top hose at the radiator, then insert a garden hose into the radiator top inlet. Direct a flow of clean water through the radiator, and continue flushing until clean water emerges from the radiator bottom outlet (the bottom radiator hose should have been disconnected to drain the system). If after a reasonable period, the water still does not run clear, the radiator can be flushed with a good proprietary cleaning agent. It is important that the cleaning agent manufacturer’s instructions are followed carefully. If the contamination is particularly bad, insert the hose in the radiator bottom outlet, and flush the radiator in reverse (‘reverse-flushing’).
8 Remove the thermostat.
9 With the radiator top hose disconnected from the radiator, insert a hose into the thermostat hose. Direct a clean flow of water through the engine, and continue flushing until clean water emerges from the radiator top hose.
10 On completion of flushing, refit the thermostat, and reconnect the hoses.

Cooling system filling

11 Before attempting to fill the cooling system, make sure that all hoses and clips are in good condition, and that the clips are tight. Note that an antifreeze mixture must be used all year round, to prevent corrosion of the alloy engine components.
Coolant quantity 8.0 litres
Antifreeze type Ethylene glycol based antifreeze with OATS corrosion inhibitors
12 Slacken the bleed screw in the radiator top hose (see illustration) .
Undo the bleed screw in the top hose
13 Release the upper bleed hose from the battery box, then remove the coolant expansion tank from the mounting bracket, and lift it approximately 20 cm.
14 Fill the system by slowly pouring the coolant into the expansion tank to prevent airlocks from forming.
15 If the coolant is being renewed, begin by pouring in a couple of litres of water, followed by the correct quantity of antifreeze, then top-up with more water.
16 When air-free coolant emerges, tighten the bleed screw in the radiator top hose.
17 Top-up the expansion tank to the correct level, then refit the expansion tank cap.
18 Refit the expansion tank to its mounting bracket, and clip the bleed hose into place.
19 Start the engine, run it until it reaches normal operating temperature, then stop the engine and allow it to cool.
20 Check for leaks, particularly around disturbed components. Check the coolant level in the expansion tank, and top-up if necessary. Note that the system must be cold before an accurate level is indicated in the expansion tank. If the expansion tank cap is removed while the engine is still warm, cover the cap with a thick cloth. Unscrew the cap slowly, to gradually relieve the system pressure (a hissing sound will normally be heard). Wait until any pressure remaining in the system is released, then continue to turn the cap until it can be removed.

Antifreeze mixture

21 Always use an ethylene-glycol based antifreeze with OAT (Organic Acid Technology) corrosion inhibitors. Note: Do not mix this with any other type of antifreeze.
22 Before adding antifreeze, the cooling system should be completely drained, preferably flushed, and all hoses and clips checked for condition and security.
23 After filling with antifreeze, a label should be attached to the radiator or 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.
Caution: Do not use engine antifreeze in the windscreen/tailgate washer system, as it will cause damage to the vehicle paintwork. A screenwash should be added to the washer system, in the quantities recommended on the bottle.

Power steering/ACE fluid level

Note: 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

12 • Park the vehicle on level ground.
13 • Set the steering wheel straight-ahead. For the check to be accurate, the steering must not be turned while the level is being checked.
14 • The engine should be turned off, and the fluid cool.

Safety first!

15 • 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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