What’s under your bonnet?

  • Washer fluid
  • Oil
  • Brake fluid 

Washer fluid

The washer fluid should be checked and topped up regularly, as it’s annoying if you’re trying to clear your windscreen and the fluid runs out, so make sure you check it! While there’s generally no indicator to show how much fluid is left in the reservoir, it’s no problem to just pour in the washer fluid – not water and washing-up liquid – and stop when it reaches the top. 



Oil is vital for the safe and efficient running of an engine, so it’s important to check it at least once a month to ensure there’s enough in there. To check your oil, you need to find your dipstick, and this is generally yellow, but is located in different places dependent on the car, so if you’re unsure of where it is, check your user manual. It may be that your car does not have a dipstick, as some modern cars are fitted with electronic oil monitors, again this will all be in your manual.

If you have a dipstick, just pull it out, wipe it down on a cloth or tissue and re-insert it, leave in for 30 seconds or so, and then pull it out and see where the level is. There are minimum and maximum levels on the dipstick, so if it’s in the middle, your oil doesn’t need topping up, but if it’s closer to the minimum level than the maximum, it’s a good idea to top it up. 

To do this, you need to ensure you have the correct oil for your vehicle, again refer to your user manual or simply look up the best oil for your car on the internet. Once you have purchased the oil, you need to locate the oil cap, which again is usually yellow and has a symbol of an oil can on it. Remove the cap and slowly pour in the oil, but only add a little bit at a time and regularly check your dipstick to see what level you’re up to. You do not want to overfill the oil, because this will also damage your engine and you would need to have the excess drained out.

Make sure no oil has spilled while you were filling and, if it has, clean it up before you replace the cap, then you’re good to go.


Brake fluid

The brake fluid is one that not many people think to check when they’re looking at their engine, but it’s very important. If the brake fluid level is low, it could indicate a potentially dangerous leak in the braking system that could lead to brake failure, so you need to make sure you’re keeping an eye on it.

The brake fluid reservoir is usually located in one of the back corners of the engine compartment. Similar to the dipstick for the oil, there’s a minimum and maximum level, which in this case is marked on the reservoir itself, so if it’s low, you need to either top it up yourself, or go to a workshop and ask them to do it for you. 

If you want to top it up yourself, you need to make sure you’re using the right specification for your car, because there are many different types of brake fluid, but all of this information can be found in your user manual. 

It’s recommended that you use a funnel when topping up and to slowly pour enough fluid to reach the maximum marker. If you don’t have enough room to use a funnel, make sure that you’re pouring the liquid into the reservoir carefully to avoid spilling any into your engine bay, as brake fluid can damage the paint. If you do spill some, make sure you clean the surface thoroughly to avoid further damage. However, be careful, as you shouldn’t be touching brake fluid because it’s corrosive.

If you are not confident in doing any of these tasks yourself, naturally go to your local workshop, and they will gladly assist you. 

Artikel vom aus der Kategorie: Magazine

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