How to Top Off Car Coolant | YourMechanic Advice

How to Top Off Car Coolant

Schedule Cooling System Flush
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Average rating from 623 customers who received a Cooling System Flush.

Coolant, also known as anti-freeze, is vital to your car engine’s health. The cooling system is responsible for transferring the heat created within the engine during combustion to the atmosphere. Coolant mixed with water in typically a 50/50 mix, circulates through the engine, absorbs heat, and flows to the radiator via the water pump and cooling passages to shed the heat. Low coolant levels can lead to the engine running hotter than designed and even an overheat condition which can damage the engine.

Part 1 of 1: Check and top off coolant

Materials Needed

  • Coolant
  • Distilled water
  • Funnel - not required but keeps from spilling coolant
  • Rags

  • Tip: Be certain to use the approved coolant for your vehicle and not the “approved for all vehicle” types. Sometimes the chemical differences between coolants can lead to a “gelling” of the coolant and clogging of smaller coolant passages within the cooling system. Also, buy straight coolant and not the 50/50 “pre-mixed” versions. You will be paying nearly the same price for 50% water!!

Step 1: Check the coolant level. Start with a cool/cold engine. Some vehicles do not have a cap on the radiator. Checking and topping the coolant is done strictly from the coolant reservoir. Others may have both a radiator and coolant reservoir cap. If your vehicle has both, remove them both.

Step 2: Mix coolant and water. Using an empty container, pour a 50/50 mixture of coolant and distilled water into it. Use this mixture to top off the system.

Step 3: Top off the radiator. If your vehicle has a cap on the radiator and no coolant is visible in the radiator, top it off until you see coolant at the bottom of the filler neck. Give it a moment to “burp” as there may be air trapped below. If it “burps” and the level drops a bit, fill it again to the bottom of the neck. If the level remains the same, replace the cap.

Step 4: Top off the coolant reservoir. The reservoir will be marked with MIN and MAX level lines. Fill the reservoir to the MAX line. Do not overfill it. The coolant mixture expands as it heats up and needs room to do so. Replace the cap.

  • Note: Even without a leak in the system, coolant levels can drop over time simply from boiling off. check the coolant level after a day or two or driving to verify the level is still correct.

If your low coolant light comes on or your vehicle is leaking coolant, have a mobile technician from YourMechanic inspect your cooling system at your home or office today.


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Recent Cooling System Flush reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Cooling System Flush Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

623

Rating Summary
578
28
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4
12
578
28
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4
12

Walter

45 years of experience
118 reviews
Walter
45 years of experience
Toyota 4Runner - Cooling System Flush - Tulsa, Oklahoma
Walter has worked on a couple of my vehicles and has always done a great job. He gives good pointers/recommendations, and i have always learned something new when he services my vehicles. I would highly recommend him to anyone.
Chevrolet Equinox - Cooling System Flush - Tulsa, Oklahoma
Walter is great. He is knowledgeable, patient, honest and determined. He assured us he would get the job done an he did. Thank you Walter

Robert

39 years of experience
35 reviews
Robert
39 years of experience
Dodge Durango - Cooling System Flush - Scottsdale, Arizona
Robert showed up on time and he had everything done and ready in only a couple hours! The car runs great now!
Land Rover Range Rover - Cooling System Flush - Gilbert, Arizona
Excellent mechanic. Knows what he is working on and hard to believe but he is a very honest mechanic. Will tell you the truth about what need to be done on your vehicle. Nothing else.

Pardeep

20 years of experience
690 reviews
Pardeep
20 years of experience
Dodge B3500 - Cooling System Flush - Campbell, California
Pardeep did an excellent job installing a new water pump and bypass hose as well as an oil and filter change, on my 98 Dodge Utility Van. I recommend him highly!
Ford Escape - Cooling System Flush - San Jose, California
Pardeep called to see if he could come earlier than the scheduled time, which is always great, and was done before I knew it. He found that he drain plug o-ring was leaking a little and replaced it even though that was not on the service schedule. Another great service from him.

Luis

21 years of experience
72 reviews
Luis
21 years of experience
Chevrolet Cruze - Cooling System Flush - Austin, Texas
Luis was very informative to me about the situation. I like how he took the time to explain what was going on with my car and what to keep my eye out for. I will recommend my friends and family to him.
Ford Mustang - Cooling System Flush - Leander, Texas
Luis is very prompt when he shows up for the service and he is very personable and friendly. He doesn't talk down to you and explains what he will do on your vehicle in plain English. I'm for sure going to request Luis for future repairs on my car.

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