How to check the fluid levels in your car

In order to keep your engine in good condition, you need to regularly check the fluid levels. Here we will show you how to check the fluid levels in your car.




  • Regular fluid checks are best
  • Older vehicle models need closer attention
  • Transmission oil keeps engines running smoothly
  • Radiators must always have enough water
  • Brake fluid is essential to your safety


How do I check my car’s fluid levels?

Checking the fluid levels of your vehicle on a regular basis will keep it in good running condition for many years. This exercise is particularly important in older-model vehicles, such as those manufactured before 2010.

How To Check The Fluid Levels in Your Car

We’ve all know or heard of someone whose “blown the head gasket” on their engine. Well, that’s usually caused by neglecting to check and/or maintain fluid levels such as allowing the radiator to run dry which will cause the engine to overheat.

How to check the fluid levels in your car

Once a month, you should do a routine check of your vehicle’s fluid levels and top-up whatever is necessary. So how to check the fluid levels in your car? You can do this on your own at home, or at your local garage but then make sure that your petrol attendant checks all of the following:


It’s best to check the oil after taking your vehicle for a short drive and then allowing the engine to cool down. Check the oil by locating the dipstick which can usually be found near the front of the engine. The dipstick handle is loop-shaped and is often brightly coloured in yellow or red. Remove the dipstick, wipe it with a lint-free cloth and re-insert it to gauge the oil level. When you remove the dipstick the second time, the level of the oil will be clearly visible and will indicate whether or not you need to top-up the oil.


The water in the radiator keeps the engine running cool, so it is vitally important to check this level at least once a month. Overheating can cause serious and costly damage to the engine. Never open the radiator cap when the engine is hot as it is pressurised and when opened can release extremely hot steam. The radiator cap is usually located in the front/middle of the engine compartment.

Brake Fluid

Maintaining the right level of brake fluid is essential to your safety, so do this task on a regular basis. The reservoir for the fluid is usually situated towards the rear of the engine compartment. Using a rag, clean the brake fluid cap before unscrewing to avoid any loose dirt from entering the reservoir. The cap of the reservoir often has its own dipstick which will indicate the level of the fluid. Otherwise, this can usually be found on the reservoir itself. If the brake fluid appears dark or murky in colour, it’s probably time for an engine service overhaul.

Power-steering fluid

The power-steering fluid should always lie between the minimum/maximum-mark indicated on the fluid reservoir. This fluid maintains the smooth operation of your vehicle’s power steering. The reservoir is normally located on the passenger’s side of the engine compartment and will probably be indicated with the word, “steering”. You should be able to ascertain the level without opening the container because these are usually made of a clear or slightly opaque plastic. If you need to top up the power steering level, make sure to clean the cap first to avoid any dirt from entering the reservoir.

Washer Fluid – How To Check The Fluid Levels in Your Car

Never overlook the water level in your windshield-washer reservoir. This may not have anything to do with operating the engine of your vehicle. But keeping your visibility sharp could prevent an accident. This is a simple check as most reservoirs are clearly marked with “windshield” or “washer.” These reservoirs are also usually see-through for quick assessment of water levels. It’s best to add washer fluid to this tank as it is formulated to clean away bugs and dirt.


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All info was correct at time of publishing June 21, 2018