What Is Coolant?


Every driver should know how to check the coolant level in their vehicle, but before you take a closer look at your radiator reservoir, you may want to find out what this essential fluid is made of! So, what is coolant, exactly? Coolant is a fluid that transfers heat away from core components in your vehicle, and prevents freezing when the temperature drops.  The word coolant is often used interchangeably with “antifreeze,” but some coolant is actually a mixture of antifreeze and water. Check the bottle that you pick up at our parts department if you’re unsure.

How to Check Your Coolant Level

Don’t wait until your car is overheating to learn how to check your coolant level. It’s quick and easy to take a peek under the hood when you’re getting ready to hit the road in South Riding or Ashburn:

  • All you need to do is locate the coolant reservoir next to your radiator.
  • Although the color of your coolant will vary, you just need to make sure that you’re at or near the “full” line, which should be visible on the side.
  • Adding coolant is easy, too. As long as you’ve given the radiator plenty of time to cool, you simply remove the cap and pour fresh coolant into the reservoir.

When should you check your coolant level? How often do you need to do so? Since it can be dangerous to open up the hood when your vehicle is overheating, check your coolant level every three to six months to prevent issues from occurring in the first place.

When to See a Service Technician

If your vehicle is already overheating, you’ll want to get to a service center near Chantilly as soon as possible! Pulling over and calling a tow is usually the safest way to do so. If you’re learning how to check your coolant level at home, there are just a couple of things that you want to watch out for:

  • Coolant may be blue, green, red, or yellow. If it’s brownish, colorless, or rusty in tone, your coolant may be worn down. It could also point to some problem with your radiator.
  • Coolant is a little thicker than water, but it shouldn’t be thicker than oil. If it is, you may be dealing with a gasket leak. This problem will drain your coolant, so schedule service as soon as possible.

Tackle Even More Complex Tasks with Our Team

If you decide that you need someone to take a look at your radiator or your coolant level, schedule service online! Of course, if you’re eager to tackle larger service tasks at home in Centerville or Ashburn, we can help with that, too. Explore more of our DIY service tips today.

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