Underbonnet check points
998cc carburettor engine
A Engine/transmission oil level dipstick
B Engine/transmission oil filler cap
C Radiator pressure cap
D Brake fluid reservoir
E Clutch fluid reservoir
F Screen washer fluid reservoir
Engine oil level
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
Modern engines place great demands on their oil. It is very important that the correct oil for your car is used.
|Engine/transmission oil grade
||Multigrade engine oil, viscosity SAE 10W/40 to API SH and ACEA-A2.96
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 back into the engine 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. Approximately 0.5 litres of oil will raise the level from the lower to the upper marks.
Oil is added through the filler on the rocker cover. Unscrew the filler cap and top-up the level; a funnel may help to reduce spillage. Add the oil slowly, checking the level on the dipstick frequently. Avoid overfilling.
Should you need to renew the oil and filter, click below
DO NOT attempt to remove the radiator or 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.
||Ethylene glycol-based antifreeze and soft water*
||* Later models (from the end of 1999 approximately) use a new orange-coloured long-life antifreeze of a different formula to the blue-green type previously specified. The antifreeze types must not be mixed; seek the advice of a specialist if in any doubt as to the type of antifreeze to obtain.
To check the coolant level, wait until the engine is cold. Turn the radiator pressure cap slowly anti-clockwise and wait until any pressure in the system is released. Once any pressure is released, unscrew it fully and lift it off.
Later models are fitted with an expansion tank located separately from the radiator. Unscrew the expansion tank cap in the same way as the radiator pressure cap.
The coolant level varies with engine temperature. When cold, the coolant should just cover the wire bridge inside the radiator. When hot, the level may rise slightly above the bridge. On later models with an expansion tank, the coolant level should be up to the horizontal seam half way up the side of the tank, when the engine is cold.
If topping-up is necessary, add a mixture of water and antifreeze through the radiator or expansion tank filler neck until the coolant is at the correct level. Refit the cap, turning it clockwise as far as it will go to secure.
Should you need to replace the coolant, click below
Brake 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.
On early models the level can be checked by unscrewing the filler cap and looking into the reservoir; the level should be up to the filler neck. On later models, MAX and MIN marks are indicated on the side of the reservoir. The fluid level must be kept between the marks.
If topping-up is necessary, first wipe the area around the filler cap with a clean rag before removing the cap. This will prevent dirt entering the system.
Unscrew the reservoir cap and carefully lift it out of position. Where a level indicator is fitted, it will be easier if the two wires on the cap are first disconnected. 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 on surrounding components. Use only DOT 4 hydraulic fluid;mixing different types of fluid can cause damage to the system. After topping-up to the correct level, refit the cap securely and wipe off any spilt fluid. Reconnect the level indicator wires if they were disconnected.
Clutch fluid level
The clutch master cylinder and reservoir is located on the engine compartment bulkhead. Wipe the area around the filler cap with a clean rag then unscrew the cap. The level can be checked by looking into the reservoir; the fluid should be up to the filler neck.
Later models have a transparent reservoir with MAX and MIN markings on the side. The fluid level should be maintained between these marks.
If topping-up is necessary, carefully add fluid, taking care not to spill it on surrounding components. Using a funnel makes this much easier. Use only DOT 4 hydraulic fluid; mixing different types of fluid can cause damage to the system. After topping-up to the correct level, refit the cap securely and wipe off any spilt fluid.
The need for frequent topping-up indicates a leak, which should be investigated immediately.
Brake/clutch hydraulic fluid can harm your eyes and damage painted surfaces, so use extreme caution when handling and pouring it.
Screen washer fluid level
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 washer fluid reservoir is located at the rear or front right-hand side of the engine compartment, or in the boot. Release the cap and observe the level in the reservoir by looking down the filler neck.
When topping-up the reservoir, a screen-wash additive should be added in the quantities recommended on the bottle.
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 windscreen wiper blade, pull the arm fully away from the glass until it locks. On early models, ease back the small metal clip that secures the blade to the arm and slide the blade off the arm. On later models, swivel the blade through 90º, press the locking tab with your fingers and slide the blade out of the arm’s hooked end.