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Fluid level checks Vauxhall Astra 1998 - 2004 Petrol 1.4 16v

OnDemand step-by-step maintenance & repair BETA

Vauxhall Astra 1998 - 2004  | 1.4 16v Fluid level checks

  • time 5 to 30 minutes
  • difficulty 1

Underbonnet check points

1.6 litre SOHC A Engine oil level dipstick B Engine oil filler cap C Coolant reservoir (expansion tank) D Brake and clutch fluid reservoir E Washer fluid reservoir F Battery G Power steering fluid reservoir
1.4 & 1.6 litre DOHC A Engine oil level dipstick B Engine oil filler cap C Coolant reservoir (expansion tank) D Brake and clutch fluid reservoir E Washer fluid reservoir F Battery G Power steering fluid reservoir
1.8 litre DOHC A Engine oil level dipstick B Engine oil filler cap C Coolant reservoir (expansion tank) D Brake and clutch fluid reservoir E Washer fluid reservoir F Battery G Power steering fluid reservoir
2.2 litre DOHC A Engine oil level dipstick B Engine oil filler cap C Coolant reservoir (expansion tank) D Brake and clutch fluid reservoir E Washer fluid reservoir F Battery G Power steering 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.
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 5W/40, 10W/40 or 15W/40, to ACEA A3 or higher

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 is located on 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 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. 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. Rotate the cap through a quarter-turn anti-clockwise and withdraw it. Top-up the level. A funnel may help to reduce spillage. Add the oil slowly, checking the level on the dipstick often. Do not overfill. Should 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.
Antifreeze type:
  Up to Model year 2001 ‘Blue’ antifreeze, Vauxhall part number 90 297 545
  From Model year 2001 ‘Red’ antifreeze, Vauxhall part number 09 194 431
The coolant level varies with the temperature of the engine. When the engine is cold, the coolant level should be slightly above the KALT/COLD mark on the side of the tank. When the engine is hot, the level will rise.
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 is up to the MAX level mark. Refit the cap and tighten it securely. 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.
The MAX and MIN marks are indicated on the front of the reservoir. The fluid level must be kept between the marks at all times. Note: On Zafira models, first remove the plastic water deflector from in front of the windscreen.
If topping-up is necessary, first wipe clean the area around the filler cap to prevent dirt entering the hydraulic system.
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

10 • Park the vehicle on level ground.
11 • With the engine idling, turn the steering wheel slowly from lock to lock 2 or 3 times and set the front wheels at the straight-ahead position, then stop the engine.
HINT: For the check to be accurate, the steering must not be turned once the engine has been stopped.

Safety first!

12 • The need for frequent topping-up indicates a leak, which should be investigated immediately.
The power steering fluid reservoir is located on RHD vehicles on the left-hand side of the engine compartment between the transmission and the bulkhead. On LHD vehicles, the reservoir is located between the engine and bulkhead on the right-hand side of the engine compartment. The fluid level should be checked with the engine stopped. Note: On Zafira models, first remove the plastic water deflector from in front of the windscreen.
Unscrew the filler cap from the top of the reservoir. On TRW manufactured units, the dipstick is incorporated into the filler cap, whilst Delphi manufactured units have the dipstick incorporated into the filter immediately below the filler cap. Wipe all fluid from the dipstick with a clean rag. Refit the dipstick, then remove it again. Note the fluid level on the dipstick.
When the engine is cold, the fluid level should be between the upper and lower marks on the dipstick. Top up the fluid level using the specified type of fluid (do not overfill the reservoir), then refit and tighten the filler cap.
Power steering fluid Special steering fluid, Vauxhall part number 90 544 116

Screen washer fluid level

13 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.
The reservoir for the windscreen and rear window (where applicable) washer systems is located on the front left-hand side of the engine compartment. If topping-up is necessary, open the cap.
When topping-up the reservoir(s) a screenwash 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
- 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 fully away from the glass until it locks. Swivel the blade through 90º, then squeeze the locking clip, and detach the blade from the arm. When fitting the new blade, make sure that the blade locks securely into the arm, and that the blade is orientated correctly.
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