The fluids in your engine are important for the smooth running of your vehicle and should be checked regularly in order to ensure that they are at the right level and free of harmful impurities. Whilst checking your engine’s oil level, you can check your battery’s fluid levels as well, granted your battery isn’t sealed.
How to check your oil
- Park your vehicle on level ground as to get the most accurate reading. Switch your engine off and pull the handbrake up. Open your bonnet (the lever is under the dashboard in most car models) and prop it up. Allow to stand for at least a minute in order for your oil to settle.
- Wearing protective gloves, pull out the dipstick and wipe it clean with a paper towel. Place the dipstick back into place completely and leave it for several seconds, then remove it again to study the oil level.
- The oil level should be between the minimum and maximum marks located on your dipstick. If it is below the minimum, it may need topping up.
- To top up, remove the cap and fill with the appropriate amount of Shell Helix oil. Using a funnel will help you avoid spilling. There is a scale on the bottle that tells you how much has been used. Check the level again by repeating steps 2 and 3.
- Once you’re satisfied with the oil level, replace the oil filter cap and dipstick securely.
How to check your battery fluid level
You can only check the levels of your battery’s fluids if you have an unsealed, top-up battery. Checking this is unnecessary if you have a sealed-for-life battery in your vehicle. Be careful when checking the fluids as it contains sulphuric acid.
- Remove the terminal cables from the battery. Clean the terminals of any acid or corrosive build-up before reattaching the cables.
- Using a screwdriver, pry open the removable caps on the top of your battery.
- Inspect the fluid levels in the cells – it should be level with the filler ring.
- If the fluid levels are low, top up the cells with distilled water. Use a funnel to avoid spilling.
- Once you have topped up the fluids to the filler ring, replace the caps, ensuring that they are tightly sealed.