How to top up your car fluids

Checking your car’s fluids regularly is a good habit to get into to maintain the smooth and efficient running of your car.

TIP: Ensure your vehicle is on level ground and check your levels when the engine is cold and not running. All engines differ so check the owners manual to locate reservoirs for your car’s different fluids.

Engine Oil

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Oil ensures the lubrication of your engine’s moving parts and is very important to the smooth running of your car. If the level runs low it can cause the engine to wear prematurely and if the oil level is very low, it can cause the engine to sieze up completely which in turn can lead to irrepairable damage. It is also important to have the recommended oil for your car as this can contain special additives which were developed with the engine to keep it running efficiently.

How to check the oil level

Most cars have a dipstick with maximum and minimum indications on it. Simply pull out the dipstick, wipe it off with a paper towel or cloth, replace the cleaned off dipstick into the holder and remove again to see where the oil level is. If the level is between the two marks (maximum and minimum) then your oil level is fine. If it is below the minimum mark, then you will need to top it up

How to top up your oil level

Replace the dipstick and open the oil cap (if in doubt refer to owner’s manual) it is usually close to the dipstick. Pour in a little oil at a time to let the oil drain into the engine (use a funnel if it helps) Recheck the level as before on the dipstick. Take care not to overfill the oil level as this can cause leaks so take your time.

 

Coolant/Antifreeze

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This is also crucial to the healthy running of your engine as it prevents it from overheating by means of the radiator. If the coolant gets too low it can lead to the overheating of the engine and serious damage.

How to check coolant level 

Many vehicles have a coolant reservoir with maximum and minimum level indicators and a visual check will suffice.

How to top up coolant/anti freeze level

As mentioned before it is important that this is done when the engine is cold as coolant expands in the reservoir when hot and is under pressure so opening the cap could cause the contents to spray out suddenly.

Auto Snakpax come with the coolant pre mixed for you and so all you need to do is top up the level. Be careful when handling anti freeze as it is a toxic substance and spillages should be avoided as it can also damage vehicle paintwort.


Screenwash

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Windscreen wash is important for your safety rather than your car’s performance but did you know that an empty screenwash reservoir can be an MOT failure?

How to check the screenwash

Most cars have a screenwash reservoir that cannot be seen, only usually the screenwash cap. If you cannot see the level near the top then chances are it will need topping up.

Topping up screenwash

Auto Snakpax screenwash is concentrated and how you dilute it down will depend on the time of year.

Summer mix is 10:1

Winter mix is 2:1 to protect to -7c or use neat to protect to -15c

The screenwash also acts as a de icer and can be put into a spray bottle and used to de ice the windscreen or door locks during the winter months.

Screenwash can be mixed with tap water according to the season by using an old drinks bottle or watering can and fill the reservoir until it reaches the cap.

TIP: Never use anti freeze or dishwashing liquid in your screenwash reservoir as the chemicals and salts in these products can damage your paintwork.