6: CHECK FLUIDS AND TOP UP YOUR OIL
By making sure your car’s fluid levels are topped up, you can potentially avoid damage to the engine. Park your car on a level surface, apply the handbrake and turn off the engine.
Opening the bonnet
The bonnet opening release is generally situated in the driver’s foot well. Simply pull the lever to release the catch.
Then at the front of the car you’ll need to release the safety catch. This varies from model to model, but usually you’ll feel a metal lever to press or move to the left, to be able to open the bonnet.
Take the bonnet support rod and position it securely in the slot on the side of the engine bay. Now you’re ready to ready to check the fluid levels.
To check your car’s oil level, you’ll need to find the dipstick and prepare a clean cloth. Generally it’s a yellow or orange ring situated on one side of the motor. Pull the ring firmly to extract the dipstick completely.
The oil level should be easy to see and normally situated between the MIN and MAX lines. Wipe the dipstick with the clean cloth and insert it carefully back into the tube. Be sure to press it firmly back in place.
If the oil is below the MIN line, you’ll need to top up the oil.
Important: Only ever use the manufacturer’s recommended grade of engine oil when topping up oil levels. Check your owner’s manual for details.
The expansion reservoir and the radiator contains the coolant – commonly also referred to as anti-freeze. The expansion reservoir with minimum and maximum levels should be clearly visible in the engine bay.
When the car is cold, the coolant level should be between the two lines.
Important: Never open the coolant expansion reservoir when the car is hot, as you risk serious burns from the hot, pressurised liquid.
If the level is low, unscrew the yellow cap and top up the levels with coolant that meets the manufacturer’s specification. You’ll find that in the owner’s handbook.
If your car is left standing for any length of time, condensation can form inside the fuel tank, particularly if it is only half full. Simply keep your fuel levels topped up to avoid any evaporation of the fuel.