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Q: How do you check the level of coolant in the radiator?

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How do you check the level of coolant in the radiator?

A: In most situations, you shouldn’t have to c...

In most situations, you shouldn’t have to check the radiator itself. You should be able to inspect the level of coolant in the reservoir/reserve tank instead. However, if the there is no coolant in the reserve tank, you’ll need to check the radiator and top it off if needed. Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Park on a level surface.

  2. Wait until the engine has cooled completely. NEVER open the radiator when the engine is hot.

  3. Pull the hood release.

  4. Open the hood and secure it with the prop.

  5. Locate the radiator in the very front of the car.

  6. Touch the radiator very lightly to make sure it’s cool enough. If you can't touch it continuously for more than 20 seconds, then it's too hot.

  7. If it is cool, turn the radiator cap counterclockwise to release the pressure in the system.

  8. When the pressure is released, press down and turn the cap counterclockwise.

  9. Remove the cap and set it aside.

  10. Check the level of coolant inside the radiator. It should come to the bottom of the neck. If it is low, top it off.

  11. Replace the radiator cap.

  12. Fill the reservoir with coolant (stop at the maximum line).


Check your hoses, reservoir and radiator for signs of leaks.

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