Cleaning Your Vehicle’s Coolant/Antifreeze

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How to Check a Vehicle’s Coolant/AntifreezeThe radiator in your vehicle cools your engine and needs water and coolant (antifreeze) to perform. Keep the following points under consideration as you check the level of the liquid in your cooling system and add more, if needed:

Rather than open the cap on the radiator, just check to see whether the liquid reaches the “Full” line on the side of the coolant reservoir shown here. It’s part of the coolant recovery system. Open the bottle and add a 50/50 mix of coolant and water until it does in the event the liquid doesn’t reach the “Full” line. Some coolants are premixed, so check the bottle to see whether you need to add water or maybe use it as-is.

Check the coolant stored in the plastic bottle connected to the radiator.

Check the coolant stored in the plastic bottle connected to the radiator.

Only in an emergency should you add only water to the coolant system. Most modern engines have aluminum cylinder heads, which require protective anticorrosive properties of antifreeze. A 50/50 mix of liquid or coolant is often sufficient.

Some coolant recovery systems are pressurized and get a radiator pressure cap as opposed to a normal cap. Some older vehicles have zero coolant reservoir, so to check and add coolant, you need to open the cap on the radiator.

Never add coolant to a hot engine! Wait until the engine has cooled down to protect yourself from the possibility of being burned or cracking your engine block if you need to increase the amount of liquid. If you do, hot coolant could be ejected, Don’t open the caps on either of these systems if the engine is hot;.

Coolant is usually blue, green and red or yellow. If this looks colorless, looks rusty, or has things floating around within it, flush your cooling system and add new coolant.

Oily surface, immediately go ahead and take vehicle to your mechanic to examine for internal head gasket leakage, in case the coolant includes a sludgy. The service facility has special equipment for performing this check.

While you’re messing around along with your cooling system, notice the radiator hoses, too. They’re the big hoses that go into the top and come out of the base of the radiator. If they’re cracked, bulgy and leaking or squishy, they should be replaced.