How to check you car's fluid levels | McCarthy Cars

CHECKING YOUR CAR'S FLUID LEVELS

The reliable running of your car is ensured by the engineering, safety features, and the fluid levels. These include the oil, screenwash, brake fluid, coolant, and more. Make sure you know how to test the level of each fluid, when to change or top it up, and how to do all of that safely.

Engine coolant

Ensuring that the engine never overheats is extremely important. Coolant keeps it at a safe temperature as you drive. When you stop to check the coolant, give the engine enough time to cool down – never attempt to remove the cap while it is still hot.

Hold a rag over the cap when unscrewing it, and do so slowly to let the pressure inside release safely. If any coolant splashes out onto the car or your skin, it needs to be washed off immediately.

Brake fluid

The brake master cylinder is where you can check the brake fluid level. Most cars have this on the driver's side, at the back of the engine. Look for a rectangular metal container with a plastic fluid reservoir at the bottom.

A simple 'full' line will show you whether you have enough brake fluid left. With older vehicles, you might need to take the cap off to see this line. If the fluid level is below this line, top it up with the right kind of fluid for your make and model.

Power steering fluid

If your car has power steering, the fluid for the system will be at one end of the power steering belt. The level will be easy to see if the cylinder is translucent – if not, there will be a dipstick underneath the cap. Add fluid steadily if needed, again making sure it is of the appropriate type for the vehicle.

Windscreen washer fluid

There is a special reservoir beneath the windscreen for the washer fluid. Open it and check how much fluid is remaining at a glance – no dipstick needed. This liquid is not pressurised, so you can refill the reservoir right to the top.

Keeping fluids checked and maintained will extend the running life of your car, whether you have a new or Approved Used model. For everything you need for safe, confident motoring, get in touch with McCarthy Cars in Croydon, south London.