How To Check Your Car’s Coolant Level

How To Check Your Car’s Coolant Level

Car ownership is more than just having a machine that can transport you from one destination to another. It involves regular maintenance to ensure that your car remains in tip top shape and will always be your reliable means of transportation. One of the things you need to regularly check is your car's coolant level as this prevents your vehicle's engine from overheating.

Your car's engine works extensively as you drive and generates heat in the process. If your car doesn’t have enough coolant, it will result into engine overheat that will surely cause you hassle. Other than overheating, your car's engine may have several other problems if there's not enough coolant to control the engine temperature. This is why an engine coolant is a crucial component in your car and should be checked regularly.

The engine coolant's main responsibility is to keep your car's engine at an optimal running temperature. The engine coolant is a mixture of water and antifreeze. It comes in several colors including green, yellow, pink, red, or orange.

In case you're wondering, antifreeze is a combination of distilled water and a certain type of alcohol. Antifreeze does a number of ways in protecting your car's engine such as (1) prevent engine water from boiling, (2) prevent rust and corrosion of metal parts, and (3) prevent corrosion of rubber and plastic parts, among others.

With that in mind, your car's radiator cools your engine and needs water and coolant to execute its job properly. Before you check your car's coolant system, it is best if your engine is not hot. As such, you should check the coolant level before you set off and drive to your destination.

It's easy to check your car’s coolant level and you don't need to be a mechanic to do it. The first thing you need to do is open your car's hood. Then, look for the engine coolant reservoir, which is usually whitish or grayish in color and has a brightly colored cap. However, in the photo shown below, the coolant reservoir is in black. You can also consult the owner's manual to be able to spot where the coolant reservoir is located.

Photo: Martin Aguilar

The next thing you need to do is to look at the coolant reservoir markings. It has a Low and Full / Min and Max markings on the side of the reservoir. The markings will indicate if your car has enough coolant. If the coolant reaches the "Full" line or if it is between the two marks, then you're good to go as your car has enough engine coolant. However, if it falls in the "Low" or it is near the "Low" line, then you should add coolant into the reservoir. Make sure that you fill only until the “Full” or “Max” marking. Use a funnel to make it easier for you to fill in the additional coolant.

Yes, it’s that simple. Check your car's manual to know what type of coolant is recommended to use. Checking your car's coolant regularly--such as before you drive off--can help your car's engine from overheating. Moreover, checking your car's coolant level regularly will allow you to prevent costly engine damage or other car problems.

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