Topping up vehicle coolant levels

As part of your regular maintenance, and to keep your car’s radiator in great condition, the coolant levels of the vehicle will need to be checked. But how can the car’s coolant levels be topped up? And what are the important things to remember when topping up your vehicle’s coolant levels?

What are the important steps for topping up vehicle coolant levels?

There are a number of important steps to follow when topping up your vehicle’s coolant level. These include:

  1. Making sure the vehicle is cool and not running- the very first step is to make sure that your car engine is cool and that the vehicle is not running. This is because attempting to top up the coolant levels while the engine is still hot can result in serious burns. If you have just used your vehicle you will need to let it cool for several hours before topping up.
  2. Finding the coolant reservoir- it should be quite simple to find the coolant reservoir. You will first need to lift the bonnet. Usually a small catch behind the dashboard will need to be undone, or you will find specific instructions in the vehicle handbook. Once the bonnet is raised and fully supported you should see the coolant reservoir. This is typically located near the front of the engine, and is usually a translucent plastic container with “coolant” or “antifreeze” written on it. In some cars, the coolant reservoir is located in the engine compartment. 
  3. Check the coolant level- on the coolant container, the words ‘min’ and ‘max’ will be embellished on the side, and you should be able to see some of the existing fluid in the reservoir. If the level is below the minimum line, you’ll need to add more coolant.
  4. Determine the correct coolant type- you should at this point already have your new coolant to hand. Some vehicles will use a specific type of coolant, while others will use a mix of coolant and water in the correct ratio. It’s important to use the correct type and combination of coolant to ensure maximum efficiency and performance of the radiator.
  5. Top up the coolant levels- now you can slowly add the coolant. You should consider using a funnel to pour your chosen solution into the container to maintain a slow speed and to prevent spills or overfilling. Coolant and antifreeze is highly poisonous to animals ao avoiding spills is crucial. You should continue to pour until the fluid reaches the ‘max’ line, then replace and tighten the radiator cap. 
  6. Let the vehicle idle- once the coolant levels have been topped up you should start the engine and let the vehicle idle for 10 minutes. During this time you should observe the temperature gauge in your vehicle which should rest at the midpoint of the dial. You should also check under the car for any leaks, which will need to be addressed by a professional. 

For more information or for professional car radiator or auto air conditioning repair, get in touch with the team today, here at MRS Heat Transfer.