If you are unsure of what should be checked on your car regularly look no further......

Prevention is better than cure and taking a 5 mins out a week to spend with your car can save you time and money along with inconvenience...........

Ok then hands up who has never lifted the bonnet?

Its not a black art........

First turn the engine off

(These checks should be done with the car cold on a level surface anyhow) but once the bonnet is open there are moving parts exposed along with some very hot parts which can cause burns.......

1) find the bonnet release lever in the passenger footwell (Uk left) and pull it till you hear the bonnet spring up....


2) go to the front of the car and feel in the gap above the fiat badge for the metal release catch


If this is stiff or sticks open ensure its repaired as this stops the bonnet from flying open whilst driving...

once you have found it press it up slightly and at the same time raise the bonnet....


Once you have it open look for the bonnet stay and prop it open.....

Now stare in wonder at the bits and pieces under there have a quick look about see any fluids leaking? or bits hanging loose... Sort them out


(This is a 1.2 engine the 1.4 is similar the larger engines will look slightly different but the checks you do are the same)

There are a few bits that need a closer look....

Brake fluid.. (yellow cap)

(bottle above drivers side (uk) wheel)

if you look closely the bottle and you will see its embossed with Max and Min see that the fluid is sat between them... If not it will need more attention...

Low levels can be caused by Leaks in the braking system, Leaks in the Clutch systems and excessive Brake pad wear,

If its below Minimum DO NOT drive the car till you know exactly what has caused the fluid loss and have topped it up correctly. (With the correct fluid check your handbook) Be warned brake fluid can remove car paint so dont spill it on the bodywork
Brake 1.JPG
Brake 2.JPG

(I have highlighted the markings in the above pic)

Next move on to the coolant look at the bottle it should be sat between Max and MIN

If its low look for leaks and top up with the correct antifreeze and water mix do not just use water (check handbook again for more info)

If it keeps going down there is likely a problem as the car shouldn't loose any water...


Next onto the Engine oil....

Locate the Dipstick

and pull it out and wipe with a bit of clean rag or kitchen roll

dipstick 1.JPG

Dipstic 3.JPG

then put the dipstick back in the hole and leave for 5 seconds or so then pull out slowly and check the oil is within the hatched area then re insert and ensure its sat snugly in the dipstick hole

Then whilst your in there top up the screen wash bottle mixing your screen wash solution with the correct amount of water

Finally remove the support from the bonnet lid and lower the bonnet till its about 6" above closed and drop it so it latches closed (double check its secure by pulling it up lightly)

like this:

Then get a pressure gauge and check the tyre pressures match those in the handbook

Checking all the lights is a good idea too (with a friend to help check the brake lights)

To be continued.. when i get time ;)