Checking your engine’s coolant is a simple process that you can do in just a few minutes. This article will explain how to check engine coolant level, and also cover some common warning signs of low coolant levels.
How to Check Engine Coolant Level
When you drive your car, the engine heats up. The coolant is used to bring the temperature back down before it reaches dangerous levels. Coolant can also leak from a number of places in an engine which may need attention. Mechanics suggest checking coolant level by checking your dashboard gauges or looking at the radiator hoses and reservoir tank.
Check Dashboard Gauges
You can check the engine coolant level by looking at the dashboard gauges. If all of them are in a safe range, it is not necessary to check anything further.
Check Radiator Hoses and Reservoir Tank
- Remove the radiator cap
- Check for coolant at the top of the reservoir tank, the coolant level should fall between MIN & MAX lines.
If the coolant is not visible at the top of the reservoir tank, stop reading and get in touch with a mechanic immediately. If it looks like there’s too much or too little coolant in your car, you should contact a trusted professional for help. A qualified technician can also check to see if any leaks have been detected in the tank.
- Check the hoses connected to the reservoir tank.
- The coolant should be at least an inch from any of these hoses, and they’re not supposed to be warm or cold.
- Top up the coolant, if needed.
Common Warning Signs of Low Coolant Levels
Here are some common signs of low coolant levels in a car:
- The temperature gauge is in the red zone
- Oil light flashes and stays on
If you notice these warning signs, have your coolant levels checked immediately. The radiator pressure should be between 12-14 lbs/sq in.
Problems with Low Coolant Levels
When the coolant lowers in levels, it can lead to a number of problems. Some of these are:
- The engine will overheat
- Poor gas mileage
- Pressure on the radiator cap may increase and cause damage or rupture the system completely (this is an emergency situation)
- If your engine is overheating, it can be a sign of low coolant levels or an electrical issue. If this is the case, you will need to take your car in for service as soon as possible. You should also have the radiator pressure checked and make sure that there are no leaks in the system.
If you notice any signs that your car coolant level is low, have it checked immediately.
1.Do You Check the Coolant Level With the Car on or Off?
It is best to check the coolant level with the car off. Park your car in a flat level area, let it cool down and open the hood.
On most vehicles, there will be a cap on top of your radiator that can be removed to check for coolant levels or add more if it is necessary.
If you have any questions about how to do this, consult your user manual.
2. How Do You Know if You Need More Coolant in Your Car?
There are a few signs that your car may need more coolant, but it is always best to have the level checked by a professional.
- It will take longer for heat to warm up when you start driving
- The engine temperature gauge stays high or goes higher than normal during operation
3. Do You Check Coolant Level Hot or Cold?
Checking the coolant level when your car is cold will give you a more accurate reading. Besides, checking the coolant level when the car is hot poses a danger for you.
Checking your coolant levels is not difficult in modern vehicles. Simply look to see how much fluid is available, and if the level appears appropriate for the temperature of what fluids you are running.