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Fluid level checks Volkswagen Polo 2002 - 2009 Petrol 1.4

OnDemand step-by-step maintenance & repair BETA

Volkswagen Polo 2002 - 2009  | 1.4 Fluid level checks

  • time 5 to 30 minutes
  • difficulty 1

Underbonnet check points

1.2 litre petrol A Engine oil level dipstick B Engine oil filler cap C Coolant expansion tank D Brake fluid reservoir E Power steering fluid reservoir F Screen washer fluid reservoir G Battery
1.4 litre petrol A Engine oil level dipstick B Engine oil filler cap C Coolant expansion tank D Brake fluid reservoir E Power steering fluid reservoir F Screen washer fluid reservoir G Battery
1.4 litre diesel A Engine oil level dipstick B Engine oil filler cap C Coolant expansion tank D Brake fluid reservoir E Power steering fluid reservoir F Screen washer fluid reservoir G Battery
1.9 litre diesel A Engine oil level dipstick B Engine oil filler cap C Coolant expansion tank D Brake fluid reservoir E Power steering fluid reservoir F Screen washer fluid reservoir G 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:
  Petrol engines:
    Standard (distance/time) service interval Multigrade engine oil, viscosity SAE 5W/40 to 20W/50 VW 504 00 or better
    LongLife (variable) service interval VW LongLife engine oil VW 504 00 or better*
  Diesel engines:
    Standard (distance/time) service interval Multigrade engine oil, viscosity SAE 5W/40 to 20W/50 VW 507 00 or better
    LongLife (variable) service interval VW LongLife engine oil VW 507 00 or better*
* A maximum of 0.5 litres of standard VW oil may be used for topping-up when LongLife oil is unobtainable

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 is often brightly coloured for easy identification (see Underbonnet check points for exact location). Withdraw the dipstick, then use a clean rag or paper towel to wipe the oil from it. 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. It is satisfactory for the level to be anywhere in the dotted area. The notches on the dipstick represent the absolute MAX and MIN marks.
Oil is added through the filler cap aperture. Unscrew the cap.
Place some cloth rags around the filler cap aperture, then 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.
Antifreeze type VW additive G12 only (antifreeze and corrosion protection)
The coolant level varies with the temperature of the engine. When the engine is cold, the coolant level should be between the MIN and MAX marks.
If topping-up is necessary, wait until the engine is cold. Slowly unscrew the cap to release any pressure present in the cooling system, and remove the cap.
Add a mixture of water and the specified antifreeze to the expansion tank until the coolant level is halfway between the level marks. Refit the cap and tighten it securely. Note that some antifreeze is supplied pre-mixed with water (‘ready to use’), and that no more water should be added to it. Should you need to replace the coolant, click below

Coolant replacement

Brake (and clutch) fluid level

Note: On manual transmission models, the fluid reservoir also supplies the clutch master cylinder with fluid

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.
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.
The MIN and MAX marks are indicated on the reservoir. The fluid level must be kept between the marks at all times. Note that the level will drop naturally as the brake pad linings wear, but must never be allowed to fall below the MIN mark.
If topping-up is necessary, first wipe clean the area around the filler cap to prevent dirt entering the hydraulic system. Unscrew and remove 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. On completion, securely refit the cap and wipe away 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.
a The screenwash fluid reservoir is located on the left-hand side of the engine compartment, behind the headlight. Pull up the filler cap to release it from the reservoir.
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. For maximum clarity of vision, wiper blades should be renewed annually, as a matter of course.
To remove a windscreen wiper blade, pull the arm fully away from the screen until it locks. Swivel the blade through 90º, then slide the blade away from the windscreen and off the arm.
Where applicable, don’t forget to check the tailgate wiper blade as well. To remove the blade, lift it off the glass and unclip it from the end of the arm.

Power steering fluid level

13 Turn the front roadwheels to the straight-ahead position without starting the engine. If the car has been left standing for an hour or more, the power steering fluid will be cold (below 50ºC), and the ‘cold’ level markings must be used. If, however, the engine is at normal temperature (above 50ºC), the fluid will be hot, and the ‘hot’ level markings must be used.
14 The reservoir for the Electrically Powered Hydraulic Steering (EPHS) is located on the front left-hand corner of the engine compartment. Note: On some models with a high capacity battery, the battery and tray must be removed in order to access the reservoir filler cap. The fluid level is checked with the dipstick attached to the reservoir filler cap. Unscrew the cap from the hydraulic fluid reservoir, and wipe clean the integral dipstick with a clean cloth (see illustration) .
Unscrew the cap from the hydraulic fluid reservoir
15 Screw on the cap hand-tight, then unscrew it again and check the fluid level on the dipstick. The fluid level must be between the MIN (or lower) and MAX (or upper) marks (see illustrations). If the fluid is cold (below 50ºC), it must be at least above the lower level mark or MIN. If the fluid is hot (above 50ºC), it must not be above the upper level mark or MAX.
The power steering fluid level must be between the upper and lower marks
Alternative power steering cap markings
16 If the level is above the maximum level mark, syphon off the excess amount. If it is below the minimum level mark, add VW hydraulic fluid (G 004 000 MZ) as necessary, but in this case also check the system for leaks (see illustration) . On completion, screw on the cap and tighten. Refit the battery and tray where removed.
Topping-up the fluid level
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