10 November, 2018

How to check your coolant level

When you’re in a rush and your cars coolant level is low, it can be tempting just to top it up with plain old tap water, but you really should use engine coolant.

So I won’t disagree that most coolants have an element of water in them, but they also contain anti-freeze which prevents the coolant from freezing during colder climates, particularly now as we gets closer to winter.

EuroCarParts are one of the UK largest distributors of car parts and accessories. Using there website (click here) you can simply enter your registration number and find the best engine coolant for your car.

But, why buy when you don’t yet know if your vehicle needs it?

How to check your coolant?

First of all, identify your expansion tank. If you look under the bonnet and are unsure which is the expansion tank, you can simply look in your owners manual and it’ll identify it for you.

When looking at the expansion tank, on the side you will see ‘Min’ and ‘Max’. You need to check the level of fluid in the tank is between these two marks, closer to max than to min. You shouldn’t need to remove the cap for this as most expansion tanks are clear plastic.

Whilst checking the fluid level, it’s always a good idea to check the pipes coming to and from the expansion tank to make sure they’re not leaking or have any cuts in them. Spotting a problem now could help prevent your engine from overheating and in turn preventing some serious engine trouble down the line.

If you need to top up your coolant?

Make sure you have the right mixture first of all.

When the engine is cold and only then, remove the lid from the top of the expansion tank. You have to remember that the cooling system is pressurised so if you were to take the lid of when the engine is warm you could be burnt by the pressure that’s released.

Pour your coolant in to the expansion tank making sure its between the ‘Min’ and ‘Max’ levels.

Word of warning – Coolants don’t often need topping up too often, so if you notice your cars coolant does need topping up or you need to continually keep topping it up, it might be worth taking your car to the garage to have it checked.

Losing coolant through an external pipe isn’t a massive problem, the real problem comes when the coolant is being lost in the engine and this can lead to a pricey repair bill.