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Fluid level checks Vauxhall Astra 2004 - 2008 Petrol 1.8 16v

OnDemand step-by-step maintenance & repair BETA

Vauxhall Astra 2004 - 2008  | 1.8 16v Fluid level checks

  • time 5 to 30 minutes
  • difficulty 1

Underbonnet check points

1.4 litre 1 Engine oil level dipstick 2 Engine oil filler cap 3 Coolant reservoir (expansion tank) 4 Hydraulic fluid reservoir 5 Washer fluid reservoir 6 Battery
1.6 litre 1 Engine oil level dipstick 2 Engine oil filler cap 3 Coolant reservoir (expansion tank) 4 Hydraulic fluid reservoir 5 Washer fluid reservoir 6 Battery
1.8 litre Z18XE 1 Engine oil level dipstick 2 Engine oil filler cap 3 Coolant reservoir (expansion tank) 4 Hydraulic fluid reservoir 5 Washer fluid reservoir 6 Battery
1.8 litre Z18XER 1 Engine oil level dipstick 2 Engine oil filler cap 3 Coolant reservoir (expansion tank) 4 Hydraulic fluid reservoir 5 Washer fluid reservoir 6 Battery

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 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 0W/30, 0W/40, 5W/30 or 5W/40 to specification ACEA A3, ACEA A3/B3, ACEA A3/B3/B4 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, then 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 is 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 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. 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 frequently. Avoid overfilling (see Car care). 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 diluted.
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 KALT/COLD level mark. Refit the cap and tighten it securely. Should you need to replace the coolant, click below
Antifreeze type Vauxhall/Opel silicate-free coolant (93 170 402)

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. Do not use fluid which has been standing open for some time, as it absorbs moisture from the air, which can cause a dangerous loss of braking effectiveness.

Before you start

8 • Make sure that the car is on level ground.
9 • Cleanliness is of great importance when dealing with the braking system, so take care to clean around the reservoir cap before topping-up. Use only clean brake fluid.

Safety first!

10 • If the reservoir requires repeated topping-up, this is an indication of a fluid leak somewhere in the system, which should be investigated immediately.
11 • 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.
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.

Washer fluid level

12 • 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 reservoir for the windscreen, rear window and headlight (where applicable) washer systems is located on the front left-hand side of the engine compartment. If topping-up is necessary, open the filler cap.
When topping-up the reservoir 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 windscreen wiper blade, pull the arm fully away from the screen until it locks. Swivel the blade through 90º, then lift it off the pivot peg on the wiper arm. Don’t forget to check the tailgate wiper blade as well which is removed in the same way.

Power steering fluid level

13 The power steering fluid reservoir on RHD vehicles is located 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 cold.
14 Wipe clean the reservoir and filler cap, then unscrew the filler cap from the top of the reservoir (see illustration) . The filler cap has a bayonet fitting and has a dipstick incorporated into it.
Power steering fluid reservoir filler cap (arrowed)
15 Wipe all fluid from the dipstick with a clean rag. Refit the dipstick, then remove it again. Note the fluid level on the dipstick which should be up to the MAX mark (see illustration) .
The fluid level should be up to the MAX mark (arrowed) on the dipstick
16 If topping-up is necessary, obtain a clean funnel and a long length of flexible pipe to fit the end of the funnel. Insert the pipe down behind the engine and into the top of the reservoir (see illustration) . Using power steering fluid of the specified type, top-up the reservoir by means of the funnel and tube until the level is up to the MAX mark on the dipstick. Do this slowly and carefully, checking the level with the dipstick frequently. Take care not to overfill the reservoir.
Use a clean funnel and a long length of flexible pipe to top-up the reservoir
Power steering fluid Vauxhall/Opel steering fluid (90 544 116)
17 When the level is correct, remove the funnel and tube and refit the reservoir filler cap.
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