Having the right level of coolant in your car engine is a lot more important than you might think. Coolant stops your car from getting too hot and overheating. That's why it's really important to make sure that your coolant levels are correct at regular intervals – make it part of your weekly vehicle checks and you can’t go far wrong.
High pressure and high temperatures can make it extremely dangerous to open the radiator when the engine is hot. With this in mind, always make sure that the car has been standing for around half an hour so that the temperature can cool down before you even think about checking your radiator and adding coolant.
Having opened up the bonnet and secured it, take a minute out to have a good look at your radiator. Check it over and make sure that there is no dust or debris covering the radiator top or sides and restricting the flow of air - this is one of the most common reasons that engines overheat! If there is any dust or debris, clean it off and make sure that the air flow is clear.
If there is enough coolant in the reservoir, have a look at the colour. They tend to be brightly coloured fluids; green, red, yellow, blue - and usually thin and transparent. The coolant should be clean and free of debris. If you see something else in the coolant reservoir, such as oil, then you may have an engine defect somewhere that will need checking out by a professional.If it appears to be brown or a reddy-brown rusty colour, your vehicle may need a radiator flush. You can do this yourself but you should only attempt this if you are confident enough to do so as it is quite a complicated procedure. To drain the system, follow these steps:
Disclaimer: The information in the article is for general purpose information only and should not be constituted as legal advice. This article has been produced by a third party and Jardine Motors does not take any responsibility for the completeness, accuracy, or reliability with respect to the website or the information provided. Article last updated April 2018.