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Fluid level checks Honda Accord 1998 - 2002 Petrol 2.3

OnDemand step-by-step maintenance & repair BETA

Honda Accord 1998 - 2002  | 2.3 Fluid level checks

  • time 5 to 30 minutes
  • difficulty 1
Fluids are an essential part of the lubrication, cooling, brake, clutch and other systems. Because these 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 before fluid levels can be checked

Engine oil

1 The engine oil level is checked with a dipstick located at the front side of the engine. The dipstick extends through a metal tube from which it protrudes down into the engine oil pan
2 The oil level should be checked before the vehicle has been driven, or about 15 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 engine components, producing an inaccurate reading on the dipstick
3 Pull the dipstick from the tube and wipe all the oil from the end with a clean rag or paper towel. Insert the clean dipstick all the way back into its metal tube and pull it out again
4 The oil level should be between the two holes in the dipstick - if it isn’t, add enough oil to bring the level to or near the upper hole
5 It takes one quart of oil to raise the level from the lower hole to the upper hole on the dipstick. Do not allow the level to drop below the lower hole or oil starvation may cause engine damage. Conversely, overfilling the engine (adding oil above the upper hole) may cause oil fouled spark plugs, oil leaks or oil seal failures
6 Remove the threaded cap from the valve cover to add oil. Use an oil can spout or funnel to prevent spills. After adding the oil, install the filler cap hand tight. Start the engine and look carefully for any small leaks around the oil filter or drain plug. Stop the engine and check the oil level again after it has had sufficient time to drain from the upper block and cylinder head galleys
7 Checking the oil level is an important preventive maintenance step. A continually dropping oil level indicates oil leakage through damaged seals, from loose connections, or past worn rings or valve guides. If the oil looks milky in color or has water droplets in it, a cylinder head gasket may be blown or the oil cooler could be leaking. The engine should be checked immediately. The condition of the oil should also be checked. Each time 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. Rinse off spills immediately with plenty of water. Antifreeze is highly toxic if ingested. Never leave antifreeze lying around in an open container or in puddles on the floor; children and pets are attracted by its sweet smell and may drink it. Check with local authorities about disposing of used anti-freeze. Many communities have collection centers which will see that antifreeze is disposed of safely
Note: Non-toxic antifreeze is now manufactured and available at local auto parts stores, but even this type should be disposed of properly
1 All vehicles covered by this manual are equipped with a pressurized coolant-recovery system. A coolant reservoir located on the right side of the engine compartment is connected by a hose to the base of the radiator filler neck. If the coolant heats up during engine operation, coolant can escape through the pressurized filler cap, then through the connecting hose into the reservoir. As the engine cools, the coolant is automatically drawn back into the cooling system to maintain the correct level
2 Make sure the coolant level is between the MAX and MIN lines on the coolant reservoir - if it’s below the MIN line, unscrew the cap and add a sufficient quantity of the specified mixture of antifreeze and water. Use only ethylene glycol type coolant and water in the mixture ratio recommended by 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. Refer to your owner’s manual for the recommended ratio
3 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 filler cap, drain plugs, air bleeder bolt and water pump. If no leak is evident, have the radiator cap pressure tested. Warning: Never remove the radiator cap or the coolant recovery reservoir 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
4 If it is necessary to open the radiator cap, wait until the system has cooled completely, then wrap a thick cloth around the cap and turn it to the first stop. If any steam escapes, wait until the system has cooled further, then remove the cap
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
Fluid for the windshield washer system is stored in a plastic reservoir which is located at the left (four-cylinder models) or right (V6, shown) front corner of the engine compartment. Check the fluid level on four-cylinder models by detaching the cap and pulling up the dipstick while on V6 models the level markings are on the filler neck. In milder climates, plain water can be used to top up the reservoir, but the reservoir should be kept no more than 2/3 full to allow for expansion should the water freeze. In colder climates, the use of a specially designed windshield washer fluid, available at your dealer and any auto parts store, will help lower the freezing point of the fluid. Mix the solution with water in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions on the container. Do not use regular antifreeze. It will damage the vehicle’s paint

Brake and clutch fluid

1 The brake master cylinder is mounted on the front of the power booster unit and the clutch master cylinder next to it on the firewall within the engine compartment. Models with an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) also have a reservoir for the ABS modulator located on the right side of the engine compartment. ABS-equipped vehicles should be driven for a few minutes to equalize the fluid in the system before checking the fluid level in the reservoirs. If the level rises significantly above the MAX mark, have the system checked by a dealer because this could indicate a malfunction in the ABS system
2 The brake fluid should be kept between the MIN and MAX marks on the reservoir - turn and lift up the cap to add fluid. If the vehicle is equipped with an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS), the fluid level in the ABS unit reservoir must also be checked. It’s located on the right (passenger) side of the engine compartment
3 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 cap
4 Add only the specified brake fluid to the brake, clutch or ABS 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 about 3/4-inch below the MAX line - this brings the fluid to the correct level when you put the cap back on. Warning: Use caution when filling the reservoir - brake fluid can harm your eyes and damage painted surfaces. Do not use brake fluid that has been opened for more than one year or has been left open. Brake fluid absorbs moisture from the air. Excess moisture can cause a dangerous loss of braking
5 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
6 After filling the reservoir to the proper level, make sure the lid is properly seated to prevent fluid leakage and/or system pressure loss
7 The brake fluid in the 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 system, which should be corrected immediately. Check all brake lines and connections, along with the wheel cylinders and booster. A drop in the clutch reservoir level indicates a leak in the clutch hydraulic system
8 If, upon checking the brake master cylinder fluid level, you discover an empty or nearly empty reservoir, the brake system should be bled
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