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Fluid level checks Mazda MX-5 1989 - 2005 Petrol 1.6

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Mazda MX-5 1989 - 2005  | 1.6 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 fluid reservoir E Clutch fluid reservoir F Screen washer fluid reservoir
1.8 litre engine (2000-on shown) A Engine oil level dipstick B Engine oil filler cap C Coolant expansion tank D Brake fluid reservoir E Clutch fluid reservoir F Screen washer fluid reservoir

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 10 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 10W/40 multigrade semi-synthetic or synthetic oil to specification ACEA A3/B4

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. 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 sometimes 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 maximum mark and lower minimum mark. Approximately 0.8 litres of oil will raise the level from the lower mark to the upper mark.
Oil is added through the filler cap. 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 (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 diluted.
The coolant level must be maintained between the FULL and LOW marks on the coolant expansion tank.
If topping-up is necessary, wait until the engine is cold. Unclip the expansion tank cap.
Add a mixture of water and antifreeze to the expansion tank until the level of the coolant is just below the FULL mark on the expansion tank. Refit the cap and tighten it until the arrow marks align. Should you need to replace the coolant, click below

Brake 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

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

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 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.
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.

Power steering fluid level

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

Safety first!

14 • The need for frequent topping-up indicates a leak, which should be investigated immediately.
The reservoir is located near the front of the engine compartment. Wipe clean the area around the reservoir filler neck and unscrew the filler cap/dipstick from the reservoir.
Insert the dipstick into the reservoir (without screwing on the cap), then remove it. The fluid level should be between H and L.
When topping-up, use Dexron II type of fluid and do not overfill the reservoir. When the level is correct, securely refit the cap.

Clutch fluid level

Warning: Hydraulic 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 clutch control.
Warning: The fluid level must never be allowed to drop below the MIN mark.

Before you start

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

Safety first!

16 • If the reservoir requires repeated topping-up this is an indication of a fluid leak somewhere in the system, which should be investigated immediately.
17 • If a leak is suspected, the car should not be driven until the clutch hydraulic system has been checked.
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.
Unscrew the reservoir cap and lift it out of position.
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*

18 * On models with a headlight washer system, the screenwash is also used to clean the headlights
19 • 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.
Warning: On no account use engine coolant antifreeze in the screen washer system – this may damage the paintwork.
The screen washer fluid reservoir is located at the left-hand side of the engine compartment.
Unclip the cap. When topping-up, add a screen wash additive in the quantities recommended by the manufacturer.
- 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 wiper blade, pull the arm away from the screen, then rotate the blade, compress the retaining clip …
… and side the blade from the arm.
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