How to Check Coolant Levels

car coolant service in engine

What is coolant? Coolant is a fluid that transfers heat and regulates the temperature of the engine block and parts. Engine coolant is an important part of your vehicle, regardless of whether you drive a brand new car or one that is a few years old. Coolant contains additives to ensure it stays below 32 degrees F. It also does not evaporate above 212 degrees F. If you are wondering how to check coolant levels, Lindsay Volkswagen of Dulles is here to show you how to perform this simple maintenance task.

What to Look for

Opening the radiator cap is not necessary for you to inspect the coolant level. All you need to do is look at the markings on the side of the reservoir. If the level reaches the full line, you are all set to hit the Tysons Corner streets. If it falls below the line, you will need to remove the radiator cap to put in more coolant. You also have the option of adding a 50/50 mix of coolant and water. Be sure to check the bottle so you can see if your coolant is premixed. When you are adding coolant, it is a perfect time to ensure the hoses connected to the radiator are free of damage.

Keep in mind: If you have to add more coolant, you will need to wait until the engine cools. Be careful not to open the radiator cap if the engine has not cooled yet.

Does My Vehicle Need Service?

Coolant is thinner than oil but thicker than water. If the coolant is starting to look a little sludgy, it could signal an issue that needs to be addressed by a service professional. It could mean that there is an internal gasket leak. You can still drive if this happens, but remember that your coolant will be leaking out rapidly. When there is not enough coolant, it can cause your engine to overheat.

When to Change Coolant

You will want to inspect your coolant level every three to six months. What does coolant look like? It can be a green, yellow, red, or blue liquid. If you see that the liquid has a brownish appearance or it is now colorless the system will need to be flushed. You will also need to replace the coolant.

Get More Service Tips from Lindsay Volkswagen of Dulles in Sterling!

If you are still a bit unsure about checking your car’s coolant system, do not hesitate to reach out to the team at Lindsay Volkswagen of Dulles. We can help you if you encounter any problems along the way. We want to help you keep your car in pristine condition for many years to come. Be sure to check out our service specials.


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22455 Lindsay Cars Court, Sterling, VA, 20166

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Lindsay Volkswagen of Dulles 38.9978364, -77.4331695.