All about Ford Mondeo

Fluid level checks
Routine maintenance and servicing / Fluid level checks


General
1 Fluids are an essential part of the lubrication, cooling, braking and other systems. Because these fluids gradually become depleted and/or contaminated during normal operation of the vehicle, they must be periodically replenished. See Lubricants and fluids and capacities at the beginning of this Chapter before adding fluid to any of the following components. Note: The vehicle must be on level ground before fluid levels can be checked.

Engine oil
2 The engine oil level is checked with a dipstick located at the front of the engine; it can be identified by its yellow/black plastic grip (see illustration). The dipstick extends through a metal tube, from which it protrudes down into the sump at the bottom of the engine.

3.2 The engine oil dipstick (arrowed) is located at the front of the engine -
3.2 The engine oil dipstick (arrowed) is located at the front of the engine - note yellow/black plastic grip

3 The oil level should be checked before the vehicle is driven, or about 5 minutes after the engine has been switched off.

4 Pull the dipstick from the tube, and wipe all the oil from the end with a clean rag or paper towel; note the dipsticks maximum and minimum levels, indicated by notches (see illustration). Insert the clean dipstick all the way back into its metal tube, and pull it out again.

Observe the oil on the end of the dipstick; its level should be between these two notches.

3.4 The oil level should be at or near the maximum level notch (A) - if not,
3.4 The oil level should be at or near the maximum level notch (A) - if not, add enough oil to correct the level. It takes approximately 0.5 to 1.0 litre of oil to raise the level from the minimum level notch (B) to the maximum

5 Do not allow the level to drop below the minimum level notch, or oil starvation may cause engine damage. Conversely, overfilling the engine (adding oil above the maximum level notch) may cause oil-fouled spark plugs, oil leaks or oil seal failures.

6 The yellow/black plastic oil filler cap is screwed into the left-hand front end of the cylinder head cover; unscrew it to add oil (see illustration). When topping-up, use only the correct grade and type of oil, as given in the Specifications Section of this Chapter; use a funnel if necessary to prevent spills. It takes approximately 0.5 to 1.0 litre of oil to raise the level from the dipsticks minimum level notch to its maximum level notch. After adding the oil, refit the filler cap hand-tight. Start the engine, and allow it to idle while the oil is redistributed around the engine - while you are waiting, look carefully for any oil leaks, particularly around the oil filter or drain plug.

Stop the engine; check the oil level again, after the oil has had enough time to drain from the upper block and cylinder head galleries.

3.6 The yellow/black oil filler cap is screwed into the cylinder head cover.
3.6 The yellow/black oil filler cap is screwed into the cylinder head cover. Always make sure the area around the opening is clean before unscrewing the cap, to prevent dirt from contaminating the engine

7 Checking the oil level is an important preventive maintenance step. A continuallydropping oil level indicates oil leakage through damaged seals and from loose connections, or oil consumption past worn piston rings or valve guides. If the oil looks milky in colour, or has water droplets in it, the cylinder head gasket may be blown - the engines compression pressure should be checked immediately (see Chapter 2A). The condition of the oil should also be checked. Each time you check the oil level, slide your thumb and index finger up the dipstick before wiping off the oil. If you see small dirt or metal particles clinging to the dipstick, the oil should be changed (Section 15).

Coolant
Warning: Do not allow antifreeze to come in contact with your skin or painted surfaces of the vehicle. Flush contaminated areas immediately with plenty of water. Dont store new coolant, or leave old coolant lying around, where its accessible to children or pets - theyre attracted by its sweet smell. Ingestion of even a small amount of coolant can be fatal! Wipe up garage-floor and drip-pan spills immediately. Keep antifreeze containers covered, and repair cooling system leaks as soon as theyre noticed.

8 All vehicles covered by this manual are equipped with a sealed, pressurised cooling system. A translucent plastic expansion tank, located on the right-hand side of the engine compartment, is connected by a hose to the thermostat housing. As the coolant heats up during engine operation, surplus coolant passes through the connecting hose into the expansion tank; a connection to the radiator bottom hose union allows coolant to circulate through the tank and back to the water pump, thus purging any air from the system. As the engine cools, the coolant is automatically drawn back into the cooling systems main components, to maintain the correct level.

9 While the coolant level must be checked regularly, remember therefore that it will vary with the temperature of the engine. When the engine is cold, the coolant level should be between the MAX and MIN level lines on the tank, but once the engine has warmed up, the level may rise to above the MAX level line.

10 For an accurate check of the coolant level, the engine must be cold. The level must be between the MAX and MIN level lines on the tank (see illustration). If it is below the MIN level line, the coolant must be toppedup as follows.

3.10 The cooling system expansion tank is located on the right-hand side of
3.10 The cooling system expansion tank is located on the right-hand side of the engine compartment. The coolant level must be between the tank MAX and MIN level lines (arrowed) when the engine is cold

11 First prepare a sufficient quantity of coolant mixture, using clean, soft water and antifreeze of the recommended type, in the specified mixture ratio. If you are using antifreeze to Fords specification or equivalent (see the note at the beginning of Section 2 of this Chapter), mix equal quantities of water and antifreeze to produce the 50/50 mixture ratio specified when topping-up; if using any other type of antifreeze, follow its manufacturers instructions to achieve the correct ratio. If only a small amount of coolant is required to bring the system up to the proper level, plain water can be used, but repeatedly doing this will dilute the antifreeze/water solution in the system, reducing the protection it should provide against freezing and corrosion. To maintain the specified antifreeze/water ratio, it is essential to top-up the coolant level with the correct mixture, as described here. Use only ethylene/glycol type antifreeze, and do not use supplementary inhibitors or additives.

Warning: Never remove the expansion tank filler cap when the engine is running, or has just been switched off, as the cooling system will be hot, and the consequent escaping steam and scalding coolant could cause serious injury.

12 If topping-up is necessary, wait until the system has cooled completely (or at least 10 minutes after switching off the engine, if lack of time means it is absolutely necessary to top-up while the engine may still be warm).

Wrap a thick cloth around the expansion tank filler cap, and unscrew it one full turn. If any hissing is heard as steam escapes, wait until the hissing ceases, indicating that pressure is released, then slowly unscrew the filler cap until it can be removed. If more hissing sounds are heard, wait until they have stopped before unscrewing the filler cap completely. At all times, keep your face, hands and other exposed skin well away from the filler opening.

13 When the filler cap has been removed, add coolant to bring the level up to the MAX level line (see illustration). Refit the cap, tightening it securely.

3.13 Remove the cap to add coolant only when the engine is cold - top-up to
3.13 Remove the cap to add coolant only when the engine is cold - top-up to the MAX level line using the specified coolant mixture

14 With this type of cooling system, the addition of coolant should only be necessary at very infrequent intervals. If topping-up is regularly required, or if the coolant level drops within a short time after replenishment, there may be a leak in the system. Inspect the radiator, hoses, expansion tank filler cap, radiator drain plug and water pump. If no leak is evident, have the filler cap and the entire system pressure-tested by your dealer or suitably-equipped garage; this will usually show up a small leak not otherwise visible. If significant leakage is found at any time, use an antifreeze hydrometer to check the concentration of antifreeze remaining in the coolant.

15 Coolant hydrometers are available at most automotive accessory shops. If the specific gravity of a sample taken from the expansion tank (when the engine is switched off and fully cooled down) is less than that specified, the coolant mixture strength has fallen below the minimum. If this is found, either the coolant strength must be restored by adding neat antifreeze to Fords specification (if that is what is in the system) or by draining and flushing the system, then refilling it with fresh coolant mixture of the correct ratio (if any other type of antifreeze is being used).

16 When checking the coolant level, always note its condition; it should be relatively clear.

If it is brown or rust-coloured, the system should be drained, flushed and refilled. If antifreeze has been used which does not meet Fords specification, its corrosion inhibitors will lose their effectiveness with time; such coolant must be renewed regularly, even if it appears to be in good condition, usually at the intervals suggested at the beginning of Section 2 of this Chapter.

Windscreen/tailgate and
headlight washer fluid
17 Fluid for the windscreen/tailgate washer system (and where applicable the headlight washer system) is stored in a plastic reservoir, which is located at the right front corner of the engine compartment. In milder climates, plain water can be used to top-up the reservoir, but the reservoir should be kept no more than two-thirds full, to allow for expansion should the water freeze. In colder climates, the use of a specially-formulated windscreen washer fluid, available at your dealer or any car accessory shop, will help lower the freezing point of the fluid (see illustration). Do not use regular (engine) antifreeze - it will damage the vehicles paintwork.

3.17 Topping-up the windscreen washer reservoir
3.17 Topping-up the windscreen washer reservoir

Battery electrolyte
18 On models not equipped with a sealed battery (see Section 9), check the electrolyte level of all six battery cells. The level must be approximately 10 mm above the plates; this may be shown by maximum and minimum level lines marked on the batterys casing (see illustration). If the level is low, use a coin to release the filler/vent cap, and add distilled water. Install and securely retighten the cap.

3.18 On non-sealed batteries, keep the lectrolyte level of all the cells in
3.18 On non-sealed batteries, keep the lectrolyte level of all the cells in the battery between the maximum and minimum levels (arrowed) - ie, 10 mm above the plates. Use only distilled water, and never overfill

Caution: Overfilling the cells may cause electrolyte to spill over during periods of heavy charging, causing corrosion or damage.

Refer also to the warning at the beginning of Section 9.

Brake fluid
19 The brake fluid reservoir is located on the top of the brake master cylinder, which is attached to the front of the vacuum servo unit.

The MAX and MIN marks are indicated on the side of the translucent reservoir, and the fluid level should be maintained between these marks at all times (see illustration).

3.19 Brake fluid reservoir, showing MAX and MIN marks
3.19 Brake fluid reservoir, showing MAX and MIN marks

20 The brake fluid inside the reservoir is readily visible. With the vehicle on level ground, the level should normally be on or just below the MAX mark.

21 Progressive wear of the brake pads and brake shoe linings causes the level of the brake fluid to gradually fall; however, when the brake pads are renewed, the original level of the fluid is restored. It is not therefore necessary to top-up the level to compensate for this minimal drop, but the level must never be allowed to fall below the minimum mark.

22 If topping-up is necessary, first wipe the area around the filler cap with a clean rag before removing the cap. When adding fluid, pour it carefully into the reservoir, to avoid spilling it on surrounding painted surfaces (see illustration). Be sure to use only the specified hydraulic fluid (see Lubricants, fluids and capacities at the start of this Chapter) since mixing different types of fluid can cause damage to the system.

3.22 Topping-up the brake fluid reservoir
3.22 Topping-up the brake fluid reservoir

Warning: Brake hydraulic fluid can harm your eyes and damage painted surfaces, so use extreme caution when handling and pouring it. Wash off spills immediately with plenty of water. Do not use fluid that has been standing open for some time, as it absorbs moisture from the air. Excess moisture can cause corrosion and a dangerous loss of braking effectiveness.

23 When adding fluid, it is a good idea to inspect the reservoir for contamination. The system should be drained and refilled if deposits, dirt particles or contamination are seen in the fluid.

24 After filling the reservoir to the correct level, make sure that the cap is refitted securely, to avoid leaks and the entry of foreign matter.

25 If the reservoir requires repeated replenishing to maintain the correct level, this is an indication of an hydraulic leak somewhere in the system, which should be investigated immediately.

Power steering fluid
26 See Section 5 of this Chapter.


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