DIY Tips: How to Check Coolant Levels

Coolant Car Check

If you don’t consider yourself the most mechanically savvy person around Livingston, not to worry! The team at Acura of Baton Rouge is here with another DIY tips post to help you learn more about caring for your vehicle and getting the most out of your investment! In today’s reading, we’ll talk about coolant and how to check your coolant levels!

So what is coolant? Engine coolant is a fluid that efficiently transfers heat and helps regulate the temperature of the engine block and other parts under the hood that see excessive heat. No matter if you find yourself driving a new or used car, engine coolant is 100% critical. It also contains an additive that keeps it from freezing in conditions below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. (That’s why it’s also known as antifreeze!) Learn more when you read below – and don’t forget to reach out to us online if you have any questions!

What to Look For

Under the hood of your vehicle, you should be able to spot a reservoir for the coolant with markings on the top/side indicating it as such. Further markings will also save you from having to even open the radiator cap, as they’ll show you where the “full” level is on the reservoir from the outside.

Note: If you’re adding more coolant, be sure the engine has cooled off! Do NOT attempt to open the radiator cap while the engine is hot, as this could result in injury. 

If the reservoir shows a fluid level significantly below the fill line, remove the radiator cap and add coolant. It’s also a good idea, if your coolant level is low, to check the hoses and lines supplying coolant, to ensure there’s no excessive wear or damage causing a leak.

When to See a Service Technician

If when inspecting your vehicle’s coolant, you find that it has a sludgy or oily appearance, be sure to schedule service as soon as possible. Coolant is thinner than oil but thicker than water, so if you notice the sludgyness we mentioned, there’s a good chance your vehicle has an internal gasket leak. Try to limit the amount you drive the vehicle in this condition, and see your local brand certified Service Center immediately. Usually, the liquid is blue, green, yellow, or red. If it’s brownish or even colorless, it’s time to flush the system and replace the fluid.

NOTE: How Often to Change Coolant

As with any fluid in your vehicle, coolant levels will deplete over time, so it’s a good idea to set reminders to check your vehicle’s coolant level and condition every three to six months!

Service Tips and More! | Acura of Baton Rouge

If you want to further expand your automotive knowledge, or are just looking to make sure you stay as safe on the roads of East Baton Rouge as possible, be sure to connect with our Service Center experts! They’re happy to help. Looking for extra savings on automotive repair and service? Check out our rotating cycle of money saving service specials!


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