We all try our best to keep cool during hot summers like this. Your engine needs to keep cool, too, and it relies on coolant to perform safely and reliably. Coolant, also known as antifreeze, is essential to keeping your vehicle running, so follow these tips to ensure your engine always has what it needs.
Before you check anything under the hood, let your engine cool down first. The cooling system has to work with high temperatures under pressure, and it can be very volatile right after you’re done driving. Don’t try to check your coolant levels right after you park. To avoid touching any hot surfaces or bursting the coolant reservoir, just come back to it later.
Check Your Levels
When your cooling system is safe to work with, look for the reservoir, a clear or translucent tank with a cap on top. The tank should have lines on the side marking the minimum and maximum fill levels. If you see that the amount of coolant in your tank is below the minimum line, pour more coolant in to bring it to a safe level. Be sure to check to find out what kind of coolant is currently in your tank, and stick to that same coolant until your next fluid flush. It can be harmful to your engine to mix different kinds of coolant.
You shouldn’t have to refill your car’s coolant very often, so if you find yourself running low a lot, there might be an issue with your cooling system. If that’s the case, bring your vehicle to a trusted service center for an expert inspection. Coolant also needs to be flushed and replaced on occasion, and an auto shop can handle that service as well. Whenever it’s time to store any container of coolant, remember to secure it somewhere safe and out of reach of children and pets. Coolant is toxic, but animals are drawn to its sweet smell.
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