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How To: Check engine coolant and top it up

Lift bonnet

Explanation that the system is sealed/pressurised so it shouldn’t need to be to be topped up

Only check the level when the engine is cold

If you have used the car allow a few hours for it to cool down

Identify the expansion tank, the position in the engine bay will vary from car to car

If you’re unsure refer to the handbook

The tank has a ‘min’ and ‘max’ mark on the outside and the tank is made of a see through plastic so you can look from the outside to check the level

The level should be checked weekly although as the system is sealed there is a tendency to forget to do it. However, it is better to identify any change before it becomes a more serious problem and the car overheats

Should you need to top up, make sure you use the correct coolant and mix refer to manufacturers specification. Only top up when the engine is cold. Again if you are unsure check with the handbook

Gently remove the cap (the system may be pressurised), mix the coolant in a suitable container and top up to the ‘max’ mark

Don’t over fill as there must be room for the coolant to expand

Refit the cap

Recap – only do this when the engine is cold, use the correct coolant and in an emergency, water would be better than nothing


Copyright – RAC, http://www.rac.co.uk/




You comment will be published within 24 hours.


  • Albert Ball
    December 2, 2017, 11:43 am REPLY

    Many engine breakdowns are caused by overlooking the vehicle’s cooling system. An engine coolant is nothing but the mixture(50:50) of glycol and water. The presence of the glycol guarantees that the fluid will never turn into ice under the freezing winter conditions. In addition to that, it maintains a stability in the engine temperature under all the climatic condition. But do you know why adding coolant is so important? I would like to tell that low coolant level affects the performance of the automobile’s cooling system and causes the engine to overheat. A small malfunction in the cooling system and the overheating issue is always a costly hassle. Thus, coolant inspection should be a part of routine aftercare, and you have to do it either on your own or by appointing an auto technician to keep your vehicle running at its best.

  • Loris winstone
    April 7, 2018, 10:36 am REPLY

    Coolant plays important role by optimizing the temperature of the engine. In the absence of such fluid, the engine could get damaged due to the overheating. So, the quantity and quality of different types of fluids used in the vehicle including the coolant needs to be inspected properly and if necessary should be replaced with suitable alternatives. Leakage of such fluid could be vital for the engine. So, the source of such leakage needs to be identified and repaired in the first place by professionals( You may like to visit: http://www.beachhouseimports.com/services.html )

  • Penny Albritton
    September 7, 2018, 11:32 am REPLY

    It is essential to regularly check and top up your engine coolant level it helps to cool the engine and prevents overheating of the engine. The coolant level should be between the “low” and “full” marks on the expansion tank. If it is below the “low” mark then we should top it up. If there is no coolant in the expansion tank at all, we should add coolant into the radiator also. To check the coolant level and top up the coolant of Jaguar, we need an automotive technician from a certified auto repair shop. Please visit:

  • Riya Blunt
    February 19, 2019, 11:00 am REPLY

    The engine of a car generates a huge amount of heat energy due to the internal combustion which could jeopardize the performance of the engine. The cooling system of the vehicle absorbs such an extreme amount of heat energy generated by the engine and prevents the engine overheating. An abnormal cooling system couldn’t optimize the temperature of the vehicle and could bring the vehicle to a halt in the middle of nowhere. So, any sign which indicates that the cooling system has some sort of mechanical errors shouldn’t be ignored and the reason behind the appearance of such sign should be identified and fixed in time to keep the vehicle in working order. For more assistance, visit

  • Kate Adams
    March 11, 2019, 10:43 am REPLY

    Different types of fluids used in the vehicle including the quality of the coolant should be inspected regularly. The cooling system of the vehicle plays an important role in the performance of the vehicle and needs special attention to work efficiently. The appearance of a warning sign which indicates that the cooling system is not working efficiently shouldn’t be ignored as ignoring such a sign could have disastrous impacts on the performance of the vehicle. So, the reason behind the appearance of such a warning sign should be identified and fixed in time to keep the vehicle in working order. To fix mechanical errors in German vehicles, visit https://www.germanmotorspb.com/bmw-repair-san-diego/


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