Weekly engine bay checks

In the style of the good old Haynes Manuals, here’s an illustrated list of things which should be checked weekly under your bonnet.

Service checks



A. Battery
Once a week check the battery is securely held down, and the connections on the terminals are secure. Look for any obvious signs of leaks or corrosion.

B. Screen wash fluid reservoir
The front windscreen washer fluid bottle has a low level sensor which illuminates a warning light on the dashboard. When it is low re-fill with a suitable mix of screen wash fluid. On UK model 3000GTs there is an additional headlight washer system, the reservoir for this is located at the front of the engine bay, next to the bonnet release catch. The rear windscreen washer bottle is located above the rear driver side light cluster.

C. Clutch fluid reservoir
The clutch fluid level should be between the MIN and MAX level markers. If the level is low, check the cap is fitted securely, and inspect the pipes/hoses/cylinders for signs of fluid leaks. If it requires topping up, use DOT 3 or DOT 4 brake and clutch fluid.

D. Brake fluid reservoir
The brake fluid level should be between the MIN and MAX level markers. The reservoir is equipped with a low level sensor which will illuminate a warning light on the dashboard (the same warning light as the handbrake). The usual reason for a low brake fluid level is worn brake pads, although you should also be vigilant for brake fluid leaks if you get a low fluid level.

E. Power steering fluid reservoir
The power steering reservoir has a low level sensor fitted to the cap which will illuminate the 4WS OIL warning light if the level drops on cars with 4 wheel steering. On cars without 4 wheel steering (GTO MRs and GTO SRs), the reservoir needs to be checked for adequate level by sight. If the level is low, top the reservoir up with DEXRON II automatic transmission fluid and check the steering system for leaks.

F. Engine oil filler cap
The oil filler cap should be on securely to prevent oil leaking from the engine. If the seal is old and leaky, new ones can be purchased to prevent unsightly oil stains on the engine.

G. Engine oil level dipstick
Check the oil level regularly to prevent damage to the engine. Park the car on a level surface and turn off the engine. Remove the dipstick and wipe clean with a clean rag or paper towel. Insert the dipstick all the way in, then withdraw it again. The oil level should be between the 2 notches on the dipstick. If it is on or below the lower sipstick notch, then top up with the correct grade engine oil through the engine oil filler cap (F). Add oil slowly, checking the level on the dipstick often, allowing time for the oil to run through the inside of the engine. Don’t overfill the engine oil.

H. Engine coolant expansion tank
The engine coolant expansion tank level will vary with engine temperature. A hot engine will have a higher level than a cold engine. Looking at the side of the bottle, check the coolant is between the FULL and LOW marks. The expansion tank has a low level sensor which will illuminate a warning light on the dashboard. If the coolant level is low, top up the expansion bottle with a water and antifreeze mix until the level is between the marks.

I. Engine coolant cap
The coolant cap on the engine is for use when draining, flushing and filling the coolant during services. It isn’t normally required to top-up the fluid at this point, and it should never be removed when the engine is hot.

Steve - with thanks to Simon (Profuminif) for additional comments