Select Page

Check the Coolant

Check the Coolant

WARNING: The safest and best way to check the coolant is when the automobile is COLD.  Failure to do this can result in severe steam burns, scalding, and other serious personal injury.  We do not recommend adding coolant when your engine is warm or hot.  If you are in an emergency situation, go to our page how to deal with an overheating car.

NOTE: If you need to add coolant (also known as antifreeze) make sure that you are adding the correct type for your vehicle. You should be able this information in your owner’s manual. Then visually inspect your radiator, hoses, and coolant reservoir for leaks. You should purchase a coolant mixture of 50 percent anti-freeze to 50 percent water.

If you are concerned that your anti-freeze is not pre-mixed, anti-freeze testers can be purchased at any auto parts store and typically cost about $5.00. It is probably a better idea to just replace your current anti-freeze with a pre-mixed version, but if you would like to test it, here is some more information.

TIP: Check the coolant once per year in the fall or before traveling to a colder climate.


Before you start you will need to open the hood.

locate the coolant cap - check the coolant

1. Locate the coolant cap. Your cap may look different, if you are not sure, check your user manual.

Check the coolant level

2. There should be a line or bump that indicates the desired level of coolant. Check the side of your tank and make sure that your coolant is at the correct level. This is all you need to do to check your coolant level. You do not need to open the lid if you do not need to add coolant.

add coolant if needed - check the coolant

3. If you need to add coolant, open the top and pour the coolant in. You might want to use a funnel to help contain spillage.

funnels - check the coolant

Here is a funnel set. It is handy and stackable!



About The Author

Pedals and Pumps

PedalsandPumps provides direct, honest information about car maintenance and repair. We provide money and time saving tips for readers who want to maximize their dollar and simplify their auto owning experience.


If you have lost a cap on your tire inflation valve, mention it at your next oil change and the technician will probably replace it for your for free. More ways to tell if you have a tire pressure issue.