How to Check Fluid Levels in Your Bike

Modified On Oct 30, 2018 By Nabeel Khan

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Bikes in India go through all kinds of trouble. They not only have to withstand the punishment laid out by the rider, but also battle the bumpy roads and harsh climates. Because of all this, it becomes all the more important to maintain the bike properly.

One of the most important point in motorcycle maintenance is to keep a proper check of the bike fluids. Bike fluids play a number of vital roles like maintaining proper lubrication, cooling of the engine, preventing wear and tear and proper braking of the bike (Brake Fluid).

This article will guide you through the basics of how to check bike fluids and and keep your bike healthy.

1. ENGINE OIL: Engine oil is the most important fluid of the motorcycle. It is responsible for the lubrication in the bike’s engine.
    HOW TO CHECK: In most of the bikes, there is a glass window which is usually situated at the lower side of the engine and has MIN. and MAX. markings. The engine oil should be at the MAX level or at least more than half way between the markings.

Some old bikes still use oil sticks. They are located at the same place, i.e the lower side of the engine.
    HOW TO REFILL: The oil cap is situated slightly above the glass window. Open the cap and pour in the oil very carefully and slowly keeping a check on the level. DO NOT exceed the max. mark as this will result in overflow of the oil leading to a whole new set of problems.

    a) The bike engine should be cool while taking the reading
    b) The bike should be as level as possible
    c) Buy the oil carefully, stick to the specification given by the manufacturer

2. BRAKE FLUID: Brake fluid is responsible for the accuracy of the brakes. If the brake fluid level is low, it will result in loss of compression and eventually loss in braking.   
    HOW TO CHECK: Brake fluid reservoirs are usually found on the handlebars for the front brakes and near the rear tyre for the rear. Both of them have small glass windows marked with MAX and MIN level. The level of oil should be in between the MAX and MIN mark.

HOW TO REFILL: If the fluid is lower than half in the window, carefully open the two screws on the master cylinder and pour fluid carefully into the master cylinder. Keep a check on the level as overfilling can cause damage. After refilling, tightly seal the master cylinder back.

    a) Make a small opening using a screwdriver on the new fluid bottle
    b) Make sure the bottle is sealed as the fluid absorbs moisture
    c) Do not spill the fluid as it will eat away the paint on your bike

3. COOLANT: Coolant is the fluid responsible for keeping the engine cool in liquid cooled bikes.
    HOW TO CHECK: The coolant container is usually located below the seat. The container has MAX and MIN markings and the coolant should be in between those markings.

  HOW TO REFILL: Open the Coolant container cap. Use a funnel and pour in the coolant from the bottle into the tank carefully till the coolant reaches the MAX mark.
    a) Use a funnel to ensure no spill
    b) Close the coolant box tightly

4. CHAIN LUBE: Chain lube acts as a lubricant between the chain and the sprocket. It keeps a check on wear and tear of the chain
    HOW TO CHECK: Look at the chain and see if the it looks dry or rusty. If so, the chain needs chain lube
    HOW TO APPLY: Chain lube usually comes in the form of a spray, the easiest way to apply is to put the bike on a center stand and run the engine on first gear. while the chain is running apply the spray on the chain. Cover the entire chain with spray twice.

    a) Take help of a friend if the bike does not have a center stand
    b) Spray carefully only on the chain

5. BATTERY FLUID: Battery fluid is responsible for the functioning of the battery. A dry battery will not function properly or not function at all.
    HOW TO CHECK: Battery is located under the seat of most of the bikes. Open the battery chambers and check if the fluid level in all the chambers is in between the MIN and MAX mark.
    HOW TO REFILL : Carefully pour in Distilled water into all the chambers till the level reaches the max mark.
a) Use only distilled water
b) ensure the battery is disconnected before proceeding

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