How to Properly Check your Car’s Coolant Level

by / Thursday, 24 April 2014 / Published in Automotive Maintenance

Coolant Level

Radiator coolant is an important part of the car. Without it, the car’s internal temperature would go haywire, causing it to overheat.

That being said, it’s very important to check your coolant level every once in a while to see if everything is all right. If you’re a novice on all things mechanical, that’s okay. Here are some tips on how to check your coolant level the right way.

First, you’ve got to locate the coolant tank. It’s usually near the radiator itself. For older car models, it’s hard to do this because the tank is opaque. On the other hand, it’s a lot easier for newer car models because they come with translucent tanks with level descriptions like “full” or “low”. These make checking the coolant levels much simpler and convenient.

Next is to check if the coolant reservoir is full. For those with older car models, just remove the radiator cap and look inside to see the capacity. If you can see the fluid surface, then you’re still good to go. If you barely can see anything, then maybe it’s time to fill ‘er up.

Coolant Level Icon

Coolant Level Icon

For those with newer car models, all you need to do is open the hood and look at the coolant level through the opaque casing. If it’s near a level like “MAX” or “FULL”, you can close the hood. If not, this is a sign to re-fill with coolant.

As a tip, do not check coolant levels if the car is still hot. Doing so will cause the pressure from inside to burst forth, which could cause scorching injuries. Do this when the vehicle has cooled down.

In changing your radiator’s coolant (solutions today are already pre-made with 50% water and 50% coolant), what you should do first is drain the old coolant and pour in the new batch until it reaches the “FULL” bar. Now you can drive your car without having to worry about engine combustion or overheating.

Here are several more tips for checking and replacing radiator coolant:

  • If coolant is any other color than red, yellow, green, or blue, drain the coolant from the reservoir and replace with new coolant.
  • If the surface of your coolant looks shiny or oily, go to your mechanic immediately. Only he has the tools and expertise to check for a possible head gasket internal leakage. And since you’re going there anyways, ask him to give you substantial radiator wisdom while he works his magic with your car.

With these quick and easy tips, we hope that you’re able to take good care of your ever-important radiator.

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