How do I check the engine coolant level?
While oil is essential to an operating engine, coolant is just as important. It helps to wick away the heat generated by your engine running. If the coolant level drops too low, you’ll notice the temperature gauge start to climb. If it makes it into the red zone, serious damage can result (up to and including destroying the engine). Obviously, you need to keep an eye on the coolant level. Here’s how:
Park the car on a level surface.
Engage the parking brake.
Turn off the engine.
Open the hood. Be careful not to touch the radiator, radiator hoses or any other part
of the engine – they can burn you badly.
Locate the coolant reservoir to the left of the engine compartment.
Check the level of coolant in the reservoir. It should be between the full and low lines on the side. As long as it’s between these two lines, you don’t need to take action. If it’s below the low line, you need to top off the coolant.
NEVER remove the coolant reservoir cap or the radiator cap when the engine is hot. Engine coolant is under pressure, and opening either cap could spray you with super-hot coolant, causing very serious burns.
If the coolant level drops shortly after topping it off, check for leaks.