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How to Check your Engine Fluids 98-12 Ford Crown Victoria

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  1. step : Checking the Washer Fluid (0:58)
    • Pull off the washer fluid reservoir cap
    • Fill the reservoir with washer fluid
    • Snap on the washer fluid reservoir cap
  2. step : Checking the Brake Fluid (1:06)
    • Twist the brake fluid reservoir cap off counterclockwise
    • Check the brake fluid level, using a flashlight if necessary
    • Check that the brake fluid is between the minimum and maximum lines
    • Check that the brake fluid is clear
    • If the brake fluid is murky or dark, drain and refill it
    • Twist the brake fluid reservoir cap on clockwise
  3. step : Checking the Oil (2:04)
    • Pull out the oil dipstick
    • Clean off the oil dipstick
    • Insert the oil dipstick
    • Pull out the oil dipstick
    • Check that the oil level is between the low and full marks
    • Insert the oil dipstick
    • Twist the oil fill cap off counterclockwise, to add oil
    • Add oil as necessary
    • Twist the oil cap on clockwise
  4. step : Checking the Power Steering (2:47)
    • Twist off the cap and check the level with a flashlight
    • If the power steering fluid smells burnt, is murky or dark, drain and refill it
  5. step : Checking the Coolant (3:31)
    • Twist the coolant reservoir cap off counterclockwise
    • Check the coolant level, using a flashlight if necessary
    • Add coolant to the reservoir up to the cold fill line
    • Twist the coolant reservoir cap on tight clockwise
  6. step : Checking the Transmission Fluid (4:15)
    • Let the engine reach operating temperature
    • Keeping a foot on the brake, engage each gear for a few seconds to cycle the transmission fluid fully
    • Place the vehicle in park
    • With the vehicle running, remove the transmission dipstick
    • Reinstall and check that the fluid level is near the fill line

Hi, I'm Mike from 1AAuto. We've been selling auto parts for over 30 years! We're dedicated to delivering quality auto parts, expert customer service, and fast and free shipping, all backed by our 100% satisfaction guarantee. So visit us at 1AAuto.com, your trusted source for quality auto parts.

Under the hood of your 2004 Crown Victoria 4.6 liter V8, you'll find your washer fluid in the driver's front corner of the engine bay, your brake fluid reservoir up against the firewall, and your power steering reservoir bolted to the back of the radiator over here. You can't see it from there, but your oil dipstick is down here on the driver's side. We'll show you that up close in a second. You also have your radiator overflow or coolant reservoir bottle here bolted to the passenger side of the back of the radiator, and your oil fill cap here at the passenger side front of the valve cover with the transmission fluid dipstick way back here. Our washer fluid is nice and full, but normally you would just fill this to capacity just about where we have it now.

Before removing the cap on your brake fluid reservoir, you'll want to use a paper towel and remove any dirt and debris that are on there to keep it from falling in and contaminating your brake fluid. Remove the cap, and it's best to use a flashlight here because it can be kind of difficult. Now our level is not exactly at the max line, but that's okay. That could just mean that the disc brakes on this have worn down and more fluid is needed to fill the back of the caliper. The other thing you'll want to check is the color and condition of your fluid. Your fluid should look kind of like green tea does. Now this is just a little bit darker than I like to see, but it's not burnt and isn't full of particles and contaminants, so it should be just fine. Never top off your brake fluid unless you've just done all four brakes so the calipers are completely compressed and you know what your full fluid level is.

Remove your engine oil dipstick and wipe it off. Reinstall it fully and remove it again and check the level. Now your fluid's probably going to look darker than this because ours was just changed moments ago. However, you can still see that it's right at the top of the hash marks which is exactly where we want it to be. These two lines designate one quart of oil, so if it's halfway down here, you need to add a half a quart of oil. If it's at the bottom line or below, you need to add at least a quart. Anything below that, you're going to need a quart or more. Our oil level was right where it needed to be, but if you needed to fill yours up, simply remove the cap on the passenger side of the valve cover.

Wipe off the power steering reservoir a little bit to keep any debris out of there. Remove the cap and use a flashlight again to check the level, which we can see over here looks pretty good. Now this fluid is a little dark, however this particular vehicle uses red automatic transmission fluid as power steering fluid and not the clear stuff that some vehicles use, so it doesn't smell burnt. I don't see a lot of dirt and particulate in there. The level's up where it needs to be, so that one's just fine.

Make sure your vehicle is cool before slowly cracking open. Check the condition of your coolant. It should be a nice clear green color like we have in there now. If it's any other color, your vehicle may have the wrong coolant in it, or if there's any kind of rust color or build up and debris in there, you're going to want to flush it out. The other thing to check is the coolant fill level which can be found on the side here. Again, putting a flashlight in there makes it a little easier to see, and ours is right up top. Make sure to install your cap straight and tight as this vehicle does not have a radiator cap and this is what keeps pressure in the system.

When checking your transmission fluid, make sure your vehicle is at operating temperature or start it and let it get up to operating temperature. Ours is a little cold right now, but we're just going to show you anyway. The process will be the same. Keep your foot firmly on the brake and engage each gear and hold it there for a few seconds to make sure that the transmission fluid cycles fully. We'll do the same thing on the way back into park.

Now, a lot of times you'll see that they recommend you check your transmission fluid in neutral. It's perfectly acceptable to put the vehicle in park when you do this because park is neutral with a parking pawl engaged and doesn't affect what position the transmission's in at all. With the vehicle still running, remove the transmission dipstick, wipe it off, reinstall it, and check it just like you did with your oil dipstick. Same thing, you can see the hash marks here. These work the same way as your oil does. That's one quart. That's another quart between these two dots here. Ours was about a half a quart low. To refill it, you simply put a funnel in the end of the filler neck here where your dipstick tube and fill the fluid through there. Every time you add fluid, be sure to cycle through again and check with the dipstick.

Thanks for watching. Visit us at 1AAuto.com for quality auto parts, fast and free shipping, and the best customer service in the industry.

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