It’s advised to regularly check your engine coolant level to avoid the engine overheating if a leak springs. Some cars have automatic warning lights that appear on your dashboard to inform you of a low coolant level but these aren’t always fail-safe. This brief article will show you how to check your coolant level and avoid overheating which could cause damage to your engine.*
Locate and check the expansion tank
First of all you ensure the engine is cold. This is a pressurised system and if opened when the engine’s hot, steam or hot water could scold you. Therefore, it’s best to check the levels before starting your journey. You will need to find out where the car’s radiator ‘expansion tank’ is. It is usually a semi-transparent plastic box so you can see the coolant level, along with clear marks to indicate the minimum and maximum levels. If you are in any doubt as to where the ‘expansion tank’ is, check your cars handbook. The manufacturer may also state the best type of antifreeze solution.
Next, look at the level marks on the side of the expansion tank. Hopefully you should see the level of the coolant already inside the tank. If it is in-between the minimum and maximum levels then you don’t need to add any more coolant. If however, the level is close to or below the minimum level, it’s time to prepare your antifreeze and coolant solution and get ready to top-up. Remember to book yourself into see a garage soon after, because low levels mean the coolant is escaping from somewhere and this will happen again.
Top-up the coolant
Making sure the engine is cold, find the coolant filler cap usually on the expansion tank and carefully remove it. Check your car handbook if you can’t find it or are unsure. Try and find a funnel and place it over the hole and then slowly pour a little coolant into the expansion tank, taking care not to spill it. Allow it to settle into the tank and then check the level again. Once the level is safely in-between the minimum and maximum levels on the tank, you can replace the filler cap and close the bonnet. You are then ready to start your journey.
*Please note these instructions vary from vehicle to vehicle, so always be sure to check your manufacturers manual for precise instructions to avoid warranty issues or damage to the car. We cannot be held responsible for any damage caused and these tips are only given as general advice.