How Often Do I Need to Top Off My Coolant?

"Coolant" is a term used to refer to radiator fluid. The purpose of coolant is to circulate through the engine compartment of a vehicle to dispel some of the heat that’s manufactured through the combustion process. It flows through tubes or hoses into the radiator.

What does the radiator do?

A radiator is the cooling system in a vehicle. It is designed to transfer heat from the hot coolant that flows through it to the air blown through it by the fan. Radiators operate by pushing hot water from the engine block through hoses that allow the heat from the water coolant to dispel. Once the liquid is cooled down, it is returned to the engine block to absorb more heat.

The radiator is usually mounted in the front of a vehicle, behind the grill, which allows it to take advantage of the air intake that happens as the vehicle is being driven.

How often should I top off my coolant?

Anytime coolant loss happens, it is important to replace the coolant as soon as possible. If the radiator does not have enough coolant, it may not be cooling the engine down properly, and engine damage could result from overheating. Coolant loss is often first noticed when the vehicle’s thermometer registers a hotter than average reading. Typically, coolant loss is caused by a leak. A leak can be either internal, such as a leaky gasket, or external, such as a hose failure or crack in the radiator. An external leak is usually determined by a puddle of coolant underneath the vehicle. Coolant loss can also be caused by a leaky or improperly sealed radiator cap allowing the super-heated coolant to evaporate.

Failure to top off the coolant could result in catastrophic damage to a vehicle. If you’re noticing that you have to keep refilling the coolant, it’s important to have a licensed mechanic inspect the cooling system to figure out why the coolant loss keeps occurring.


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Matthew

9 years of experience
38 reviews
Matthew
9 years of experience
Mitsubishi Montero Sport V6-3.0L - Coolant is leaking - Denver, Colorado
As always. Matt is thorough and honest!! I hate it when I need him, but Matt is the ONLY mechanic I want messing with my car.
Mitsubishi Montero Sport - Coolant is leaking - Denver, Colorado
Matt is so awesome!! He came, pressure tested the cooling system, and found the leak, then fixed it. I was in a bind, and he really saved me. I would HIGHLY recommend MATT!!!!!!

Collins

12 years of experience
488 reviews
Collins
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Equinox V6-3.0L - Coolant is leaking Inspection - Atlanta, Georgia
He was great. He informed me about the issues I had with my car even giving me suggests about what to do with it.
BMW 650i - Coolant is leaking - Woodstock, Georgia
Collins showed up as expected and accessed the issue I had with my car. I initially assumed it was my radiator, but after an inspection of my car is was found to be a hose that needed to be replaced. He was very thorough with his diagnosis and pinpointing the exact issue. I am fully pleased with his service and professionalism.

Raymond

27 years of experience
223 reviews
Raymond
27 years of experience
Mini Cooper L4-1.6L - Coolant is leaking - Victorville, California
Raymond was great! I didn't feel like his recommendations for other services are forced which I really appreciate. Will definitely use his services again!

Jose

12 years of experience
49 reviews
Jose
12 years of experience
Chevrolet Classic L4-2.2L - Coolant is leaking - Riverside, California
Jose provided extraordinary customer service. He explained the issues with my vehicle and was professional and polite.

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