How to Check the Coolant Level

Coolant Car Check

 

First off, you may be wondering, “What is coolant?” Coolant is a fluid that transfers heat and regulates the temperature of the engine block and parts. Whether you drive a new or used car, engine coolant is crucial. Engine coolant contains an additive that ensures that it won’t freeze below 32 degrees Fahrenheit and that it won’t overheat above 212 degrees Fahrenheit. Read on to learn more about how to check coolant levels and when to change them! 

What to Look for 

You don’t have to open the radiator cap to check the level. Instead, check the markings on the side of the reservoir. If the liquid reaches the “full” marking line, you’re good to go. If it doesn’t, remove the radiator cap and add the coolant or a 50/50 mix of coolant/water. Read the bottle to see if it’s premixed. It’s also a good idea to inspect the hoses connected to the radiator for any leaks or damage. 

Note: If you’re adding more liquid to the cooling system, be sure the engine has cooled. Also, don’t attempt to open the radiator cap while the engine is hot. 

When to See a Service Technician 

Coolant is thinner than oil but thicker than water. If you notice a sludgy appearance to the liquid, schedule service ASAP. There’s a good chance your car has an internal gasket leak. Driving is possible, but a leaking gasket will drain the coolant quickly. This means the engine is at risk of overheating and being severely damaged. 

When to Change Coolant

Coolant levels deplete over time, so it’s a good idea to check up on the cooling system every three to six months. Usually, the liquid is blue, green, yellow, or red. If it’s brownish or even colorless, flush the system and replace the fluid. 

Get More Service Tips from Don Ayres Honda in Fort Wayne! 

If you have questions about checking your car’s coolant system or encounter any issues, contact us at Don Ayres Honda. You’re also welcome to visit us for in-person assistance. We’re located near Warsaw and Indianapolis! Be sure to check out our current service specials and parts offers! 

 

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