- Shopping Tools
“When the engine is cool, open your hood, and locate the coolant reservoir. The coolant level should be between the F(full) and L(low) marks on the side of the coolant reservoir.”
Importance of checking your coolant level
Coolant circulates through the engine, taking the heat and transferring it to the air via a radiator. While coolant repeats the process through your cooling system, your coolant can evaporate and, its level can get lower and lower over time. As coolant is vital to keep your engine running at the optimum temperatures, it is always a good idea to check your coolant level regularly.
What happens if my coolant reservoir is empty?
A low coolant level in your coolant reservoir can lead to overheating and, if your engine becomes too overheated, it can cause serious damage such as blowing your water pump, head gasket, and cylinder head. Cars often can have coolant leakage issues due to faulty radiator hoses or thermostat housing, so look for any physical signs of leaking coolant once a week. It will help you greatly in keeping your car from overheating problems.
Before you go to check your coolant level
When checking your coolant level, the first thing you need to know is you shouldn't check it if the engine is still hot. If your car has been running in a while, your engine, radiator, and reservoir become very hot and, you do not want to touch the reservoir cap or radiator hoses before they're completely cooled down. If the automobile is hot, that means it's under high pressure, and opening the reservoir cap can be extremely dangerous. If you do it while it's hot, hot coolant can shoot out of it, and that can lead to a bad burn. So always make sure your cooling system is cold before you start inspecting your coolant level.
How to check your coolant level
Once you open your hood, locate the coolant reservoir. As the reservoir cap is labeled as coolant, it's easy to find it. If you can't find it, consult your owner's manual as it should explain where it is located. The owner's manual also specifies the proper coolant for your vehicle to protect against freezing and corrosion.
On the side of the reservoir, it has an L(low) and F(full) markings, and as the tank is translucent, you can see your coolant level without opening the cap. If the fluid is close to or below the L marking then you need to add more coolant to the reservoir. Again, before you do that, you need to make sure the engine is cold, and there isn't too much pressure built up inside. Bring the level to F, but do not overfill.
Or, if you see your engine coolant warning light lit on the dashboard, this also indicates either your coolant level is low, or your vehicle overheats due to some error in your cooling system. In that case, you may either take a look at the coolant reservoir as explained above and add some coolant to it or have it brought into an auto maintenance shop if you are not sure how to refill the coolant.