Radiator Repair: How to Check if the Coolant Level is at the Proper Level

coolant being poured into a Radiator
  • 1-2 hours
  • Beginner
  • 15-25
What You'll Need
Coolant recovery jug
50/50 mixture of coolant
What You'll Need
Coolant recovery jug
50/50 mixture of coolant

A quick suggestion to avoid any radiator repair in the future is to maintain the proper engine coolant level of your car. The engine coolant dispels any excess heat that the engine generates while running. This prevents your engine from freezing during the winter and overheating during the summer. Keeping the suitable coolant level of your car can be done in some simple steps.

Step 1: Cool Down the Car

Turn off your car’s engine. If the car has been driven recently, let it sit for 15 to 20 minutes to cool down. The engine coolant expands once it is heated, so the liquid rises inside your engine’s coolant reservoir, providing an inexact reading if the engine is still warm. Next, open the car hood then secure it using the prop rod.

Step 2: Fill a Mixture of Coolant Fluid

Find the coolant recovery jug and then verify the coolant level. The coolant recovery jug is located at side of your car, right or left, depending on the model and manufacturer of your car. The top portion of the reservoir is often labeled "Engine Coolant Only" on it. Observe the line along the engine coolant reservoir’s side with the heading of "Full" or "Cold". There can also be the "Warm" level indicator, while the "Cold" indicator is the portion you will focus on.

Once the level falls under the minimum indicator at the "Cold" indicator line, you need to pour a 50/50 mixture of coolant fluid to make the level over the least indicator line. Short levels of engine coolant fluid might lead to car’s overheating, causing expensive and intense damage. The majority of coolants are available with a 50/50 mixture of coolant fluid, and will denote this on the packaging. When you decide to buy a concentrate, combine it with water in a 50/50 proportion.

Step 3: Examine the Engine Coolant Reservoir

Observe to see that your engine’s coolant reservoir is holding the added fluid. When it instantly or consistently falls under the "Cold Indicator,” you'll know there’s a leak, which must be repaired as soon as possible.

Step 4: Verify with the Radiator Filler Neck

You need to remove the radiator cap by pushing it down and then turning it counterclockwise. Check into the radiator’s filler neck. The coolant’s level should be positioned at the neck’s top portion. If needed, fill it up with a 50/50 mixture of coolant fluid. Put back the cap onto the radiator through turning it clockwise.

Step 5: Re-Check the Coolant Level While It’s Warm

Start and then idle your car’s engine. Allow your engine to warm to the standard operating temperature. Now, re-verify the coolant level within the recovery jug since the car is already warm. If the fluid heats up, it will expand and then its levels will alter. Pour in the fluid from the jug to bring the level just below the utmost level indicator. Never open the radiator cap while it is still hot. Take away the prop rod then close your car’s hood securely.