Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls
  1. Home
  2. Articles
  3. How Often Do I Need to Top Off My Coolant?

How Often Do I Need to Top Off My Coolant?

coolant top off

"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.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

More related articles

How to Transfer a Car Title in Idaho
In order to prove ownership of a car, you must have the title. However, when a car is sold, given away or inherited, the title needs...
P2422 OBD-II Trouble Code: Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP) Vent Valve Stuck Closed
Diagnostic Trouble Code (DTC): P2422 P2422 code definition Evaporative Emissions Control System (EVAP)...
What are the Car Pool Rules in Hawaii?
Hawaii is widely regarded as a land of vacation and relaxation, and as such, its scenic roads and routes are far better known than the state’s freeways. But, as with all...


Related questions

Q: Over heating problems

Based on what you are describing, typically a Mechanic would look for a faulty water pump, faulty radiator cap, plugged up, or externally obstructed, radiator, and/or non functioning electric cooling fans. However, your description of erratic operation of the temperature...

Q: Busted radiator

Hello and thanks for taking some time to talk about your Toyota. This situation seems to be a problem with the shop. If your vehicle has the platinum warranty and has 37, 000 miles on it, your vehicle should be...

Q: power steering not working, hydraulic fluid overflowing

Hello there. A few different faults can cause the power steering fluid to overflow. You are correct that a blockage of some sort could cause the system to overflow. The most likely cause would be either a blocked line, a...