How To Check Car Basics Under The Bonnet
During your practical driving test you will be asked about car maintenance as part of the Show Me, Tell Me section. If you are luckily enough to have already passed, have a quick look to brush up on your knowledge. Learn the basic car maintenance under the bonnet with this clear visual demonstration.
Step 1: Oil Level
This is the oil level indicator, or dipstick. To check the level, remove the dipstick and wipe it clean with a dry cloth. Reinsert it fully, then remove it again to see how much oil there is. It should be between the H and L marks. If the level is below the L mark, remove the oil cap and pour more into the opening without overfilling it. You should check the oil when the engine is cold for a more accurate result.
Step 2: Engine coolant level
This is the coolant reservoir tank, it should be filled to the indicated mark. If it is below, top it up with water. You should only do this when the engine and radiator has cooled or else there's a danger of scalding yourself.
Step 3: Windscreen washer reservoir
This is the windscreen washer reservoir. To refill it flip open the cap and check that the level of liquid is up to the neck of the container. If it needs topping up dilute windscreen washer in the correct amount of water, as per the instructions on the back of the bottle. Never use anti-freeze as it could damage your car.
Step 4: Brake fluid reservoir level
This is the brake fluid reservoir, it can be identified by the brake symbol on the cap. The level of fluid should be neither lower than the MIN mark and no higher than the MAX mark. Top it up if you need to, you will definitely be needing your brakes when driving.
If the brake fluid regularly needs topping up take the car to a qualified mechanic, it may be an indication of a serious problem.