How To Check Antifreeze Levels In A Vehicle

Thom W. Conroy By Thom W. Conroy, 27th Sep 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Guides>Transport>Cars

Weak antifreeze can cause your car's coolant system to fail

It only takes a few minutes

Car ownership requires that a number of regular maintenance items be tended to in a timely fashion, and among these checking antifreeze levels in your car regularly is an important task. Old or ineffective antifreeze will not cool your engine properly in critical situations and will negatively impact the life of the components of your car's cooling system. Checking your car's antifreeze levels only takes a few minutes to accomplish and correct, ensuring that you will have one less thing to worry about in terms of possible breakdowns. Weak antifreeze can cause car troubles ranging from simple engine overheating to serious and costly engine damage such as a blown motor head, and a few minutes of attention can literally save a driver thousands of dollars.

The first step to check antifreeze in a vehicle is to make certain that your car engine is cool - never check antifreeze when the engine is hot. Your car's cooling system is under pressure and if the radiator cap is removed when the engine is hot you risk receiving severe burns. Newer cars have both a radiator and a coolant reservoir, older models only have a radiator by which to check the antifreeze levels.

Look at the coolant reservoir which is usually made of clear white plastic and has a mark on the side to which it should be filled. When the engine is cool and the level requires an addition of antifreeze you must discover which type of antifreeze is recommended by the car's manufacturer, usually spelled out in the owner's manual. After obtaining the proper antifreeze fill the reservoir to the proper level and then remove the car's radiator cap. You should be able to see coolant close to the top of the radiator, if not fill the radiator with a mixture of 50% coolant and 50% water and then replace the cap tightly. While checking or adding antifreeze it is a good time to check the tightness and wear on the hoses associated with your car's cooling system to discover and prevent possible future problems on the road.

Finally, most car antifreeze contains a chemical known as Ethylene Glycol which is an extremely toxic chemical. Always make certain to clean any spills of antifreeze and dispose of old antifreeze properly to avoid any negative impact on the environment and to prevent harming wildlife and domestic animals. Most localities offer disposal of such chemicals free of cost to residents, so take advantage of such programs frequently and help the environment.


Cars, Driving A Car, Driving Tips, Travel Budget, Travel Desination, Travel Guide, Travel Tip, Travel Tips, Travelling

Meet the author

author avatar Thom W. Conroy
A freelance writer living in Ohio, USA, writing on whatever topics catch my fancy.

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