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Fluid level checks Chevrolet Cruze 2011 - 2015 Petrol 1.8

OnDemand step-by-step maintenance & repair BETA

Chevrolet Cruze 2011 - 2015  | 1.8 Fluid level checks

  • time 5 to 30 minutes
  • difficulty 1
Fluids are an essential part of the lubrication, cooling, brake and windshield washer systems. Because the fluids gradually become depleted and/or contaminated during normal operation of the vehicle, they must be periodically replenished
Note: The vehicle must be on level ground when fluid levels are checked

Engine oil

1 The oil level is checked with a dipstick, which extends down into the oil pan (see below)
2 The engine oil dipstick is located on the forward side of the engine (1.4L shown)
3 The oil level should be checked before the vehicle has been driven, or about 10 minutes after the engine has been shut off. If the oil is checked immediately after driving the vehicle, some of the oil will remain in the upper part of the engine, resulting in an inaccurate reading on the dipstick
4 Pull the dipstick out and wipe all the oil from the end with a clean rag or paper towel. Insert the clean dipstick all the way back in and pull it out again. Note the oil at the end of the dipstick. At its highest point, the level should be between the MIN and MAX marks on the dipstick (see below)
5 The oil level should be in the safe range - if it’s below the MIN or ADD area (A), add enough oil to bring it up to or near the MAX or FULL area (B)
6 It takes one quart of oil to raise the level from the MIN mark to the MAX mark on the dipstick. Do not allow the level to drop below the MIN mark or oil starvation may cause engine damage. Conversely, overfilling the engine (adding oil above the MAX mark) may cause oil fouled spark plugs, oil leaks or oil seal failures. Maintaining the oil level above the MAX mark can cause excessive oil consumption
7 To add oil, remove the filler cap from the valve cover (see below). After adding oil, wait a few minutes to allow the level to stabilize, then pull out the dipstick and check the level again. Add more oil if required. Install the filler cap and tighten it by hand only
8 The oil filler cap is located on the valve cover - always make sure the area around the opening is clean before unscrewing the cap to prevent dirt from contaminating the engine
9 Checking the oil level is an important preventive maintenance step. A consistently low oil level indicates oil leakage through damaged seals, defective gaskets or past worn rings or valve guides. If the oil looks milky in color or has water droplets in it, the cylinder head gasket(s) may be blown or the head(s) or block may be cracked. The engine should be checked immediately. The condition of the oil should also be checked. Whenever you check the oil level, slide your thumb and index finger up the dipstick before wiping off the oil. If you see small dirt or metal particles clinging to the dipstick, the oil should be changed

Engine coolant

Warning: Do not allow antifreeze to come in contact with your skin or painted surfaces of the vehicle. Flush contaminated areas immediately with plenty of water. Don’t store new coolant or leave old coolant lying around where it’s accessible to children or pets - they’re attracted by its sweet smell. Ingestion of even a small amount of coolant can be fatal! Wipe up garage floor and drip pan spills immediately. Keep antifreeze containers covered and repair cooling system leaks as soon as they’re noticed
Warning: Do not remove the expansion tank cap when the engine is warm
1 All models covered by this manual are equipped with a pressurized coolant recovery system. The coolant expansion tank is located at the left rear of the engine compartment and is connected by hoses to the cooling system. As the engine heats up during operation, the level in the tank rises
2 The coolant level should be checked regularly. It must be at the COLD FILL line on the tank when the engine is cold (see below). If it isn’t, allow the fluid in the tank to cool, then remove the cap from the reservoir and add coolant to bring the level up to the line. Use only the type of coolant listed in your owner's manual. Do not use supplemental inhibitors or additives. If only a small amount of coolant is required to bring the system up to the proper level, water can be used. However, repeated additions of water will dilute the recommended antifreeze and water solution. In order to maintain the proper ratio of antifreeze and water, it is advisable to top up the coolant level with the correct mixture
3 Arrow shows the cold fill line
Warning: Never remove the pressure cap when the engine is running or has just been shut down, because the cooling system is hot. Escaping steam and scalding liquid could cause serious injury. If it is necessary to open the pressure cap, wait until the system has cooled completely, then wrap a thick cloth around the cap and slowly unscrew it. If you hear hissing or any steam escapes, wait until the system has cooled further, then remove the cap
4 If the coolant level drops within a short time after replenishment, there may be a leak in the system. Inspect the radiator, hoses, engine coolant pressure cap, drain plugs, and water pump. If no leak is evident, have the pressure cap pressure tested
5 When checking the coolant level, always note its condition. It should be relatively clear. If it is brown or rust colored, the system should be drained, flushed and refilled. Even if the coolant appears to be normal, the corrosion inhibitors wear out with use, so it must be replaced at the specified intervals
6 Do not allow antifreeze to come in contact with your skin or painted surfaces of the vehicle. Flush contacted areas immediately with plenty of water

Brake and clutch fluid

1 The brake master cylinder is mounted on the front of the power booster unit in the engine compartment. The hydraulic clutch master cylinder used on manual transaxle models is located to the right and below the master cylinder
2 The brake master cylinder and the clutch master cylinder share a common reservoir. To check the fluid level of either system, simply look at the MAX and MIN marks on the brake fluid reservoir (see below)
3 The brake fluid level should be kept between the MIN and MAX marks on the translucent plastic reservoir; with manual transaxles, the brake fluid reservoir is connected to the clutch master cylinder by a hose
4 If the level is low, wipe the top of the reservoir cover with a clean rag to prevent contamination of the brake system before lifting the cover
5 Add only the specified brake fluid to the reservoir (refer to your owner’s manual). Mixing different types of brake fluid can damage the system. Fill the brake master cylinder reservoir only to the MAX line
Warning: Be careful when filling the reservoir - brake fluid can harm your eyes and damage painted surfaces. Do not use brake fluid that is more than one year old or has been left open. Brake fluid absorbs moisture from the air. Excess moisture can cause a dangerous loss of braking
6 While the reservoir cap is removed, inspect the master cylinder reservoir for contamination. If deposits, dirt particles or water droplets are present, the system should be drained and refilled
7 After filling the reservoir to the proper level, make sure the cap is properly seated to prevent fluid leakage
8 The fluid in the brake master cylinder will drop slightly as the brake pads at each wheel wear down during normal operation. If the master cylinder requires repeated replenishing to keep it at the proper level, this is an indication of leakage in the brake or clutch system, which should be corrected immediately. If the brake system shows an indication of leakage check all brake lines and connections, along with the calipers, wheel cylinders and booster. If the hydraulic clutch system shows an indication of leakage, check all clutch lines and connections, along with the clutch release cylinder
9 If, upon checking the brake or clutch master cylinder fluid level, you discover the reservoir empty or nearly empty, the systems should be checked, repaired and bled
1 The windshield washer fluid reservoir is located in the left front corner of the engine compartment
2 In milder climates, plain water can be used in the reservoir, but it should be kept no more than 2/3 full to allow for expansion if the water freezes. In colder climates, use windshield washer system antifreeze, available at any auto parts store, to lower the freezing point of the fluid. Mix the antifreeze with water in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions on the container
Caution: Do not use cooling system antifreeze - it will damage the vehicle’s paint
Recommended lubricants and fluids
Engine oil
  Type API "certified for gasoline engines" (dexos 1 certification)
    1.4L (turbocharged) engine SAE-5W-30
    1.8L (non-turbocharged) engine SAE 0W-30, 0W-40, 5W-30 and 5W-40
Fuel Unleaded gasoline, 87 octane minimum
Brake fluid DOT 3 brake fluid
Engine coolant 50/50 mixture of DEX-COOL coolant and de-ionized water
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