How to check your cars coolant level

NOTE, serious injury may occur if the cooling system is opened when the engine or cooling system is hot.

Your cars cooling system is best checked with the engine switched off, at ambient temperature and on flat, level ground.

Firstly start by opening the bonnet, then locate the radiator or cooling system cap. In most cases, the cap will be yellow and found towards the upper portion of the engine. If you have difficulty locating your cars cooling system cap check your owners manual.

Once the cooling system cap has been located, first check if there is a clear sight window below or close by. If your car has a sight window, proceed to check that the coolant level is within the ‘Low to High’ or ‘Cold to Hot’ range. If your cars coolant/water is found to be at or below the halfway point between the two marks, it is advised to top up the system.

Topping up the cooling system can be done with water alone if a small amount is required. Please note that topping up your cars cooling system with incorrect coolant can lead to engine damage. If you’re unsure what coolant to add to your cars cooling system, please contact Green Bean Auto.

To top up the system first, ensure that the engine and cooling system is at ambient temperature. If you’re unsure of your engine temperature, it’s advised to check the cooling system some hours later after being switched off.

Once the engine is cold, slowly undo the cooling system cap and place it to the side. Proceed to top up the cooling system until you reach the ‘high mark’ if your car has a Low-High range. Or until it reaches the ‘Cold’ mark if your car has a ‘Cold-Hot’ range. If your car has a conventional radiator mounted cap, top up the radiator until it is full.

Once topped up, refit the cap ensuring that it is turned as far as possible by hand. Please note, some caps may only require 1/4 of a turn and others may need multiple revolutions before tight.

Once tight, start the engine and inspect for leaks. If no leaks are located, close the bonnet and proceed to drive the car. Only once the car has reached full operating temperature can you visually check the cooling system level if fitted with a clear sight window. Once again, never open the cooling system cap when the engine is hot or running.