How To Check Your Vehicle’s Antifreeze

Pouring antifreeze. Filling a windshield washer tank with an antifreeze in winter cold weather.

You need to maintain the proper antifreeze level in your car to protect your engine. It keeps your engine from overheating and also prevents the water in the engine from freezing up, leading to catastrophic damage. Thus, find out how to check your vehicle’s antifreeze so you can monitor the levels. Also, learn how to refill it if you’re low, as well as some signs that you have a problem with your cooling system.

Checking Your Antifreeze

Start by placing your vehicle on level ground so you can get an accurate reading. Then, let your car cool down so you don’t get burned. Next, open the car’s hood and find the clear plastic coolant reservoir. You can look through the clear plastic to see how much antifreeze you have, so you’ll know after a quick glance.

After checking the level, take a moment to inspect the color and look for contaminants. See if it’s rusty, colorless, sludgy, or has floating debris. These are all signs that you might have a head gasket leak or another significant problem. Other signs of serious issues include extremely low coolant levels and cracked hoses. Go to a mechanic if you have any of these problems.

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Topping Off Your Coolant

As long as everything looks fine, you can top off your coolant at home. You’ll want to top it off with the same type of coolant that’s already in your car. If you aren’t sure what that is, you can find the information in your owner’s manual.

Before adding it, see if it’s premixed or needs to be mixed with water. If you add water to premixed antifreeze, it might not protect the engine if it gets too hot or cold outside. On the other hand, if you don’t add water to a solution that needs to be mixed, the antifreeze could damage your radiator. Thus, it’s essential to know what kind you have and mix it with water if needed.

Once your coolant is ready, remove the cap and pour it into the reservoir until it reaches the fill line. Ensure that nothing falls into the coolant while you’re pouring, and then put the cap back on to seal the reservoir.

If you’re having trouble with your coolant, Berglund Automotive in Roanoke, Virginia, can help. You can schedule a service for us to change your coolant and inspect your vehicle. Additionally, you can find a new car when visiting us. Then, you can start fresh with a new vehicle from a top manufacturer.