Checking your car's engine coolant correctly

Even so some motorists particularly those less knowledgeable about car maintenance may still feel unsure about whether you can do it right or even question its necessity. However, according to the motoring service provider, the AA, around 60 per cent of engine failures in the UK can be associated with cooling system problems.

Your car’s engine coolant reservoir requires a certain level of both water and antifreeze. If these are not maintained or if there’s a leak in the reservoir then the engine can become overheated and suffer critical damage.

Maintaining a balance in concentration in the level of anti-freeze and water in the coolant reservoir is always critical and regular checks come highly recommended.

There are several different types of antifreeze on the market and mixing different types can reduce their effectiveness, if you have to add coolant, check your vehicle’s handbook first to find out which type of antifreeze additive you must use.

The antifreeze coolant fluid used at first fill is one chosen by the vehicle manufacturer as the most suitable. Subsequent service top ups or renewals should use a product meeting the original specification so the vehicle warranty is not affected.

When making a check for your current engine coolant level under the bonnet, it is not necessary to open the cap on the radiator itself. Rather you can just heck to see whether the liquid reaches the ‘Full’ line on the side of the coolant reservoir shown here. It’s part of the coolant recovery system. If the liquid doesn’t reach the target ‘Full’ line, open the bottle and add a 50/50 mix of water and coolant until it does.

Bear in mind when refilling that some coolant bottles sold are premixed, so check the bottle to see whether you need to add water or just use it as it is.

If you are short on anti-freeze, only in a critical emergency situation should you add only water to the coolant system. Most modern engines have aluminium cylinder heads, which require the protective anticorrosive properties of antifreeze to continue running for a prolonged period without damage.

There are some other simple but very important tips to remember if you are refilling your car’s coolant reservoir. One thing you should definitely avoid is adding coolant to a hot engine.

If you need to add more liquid, wait until the engine has cooled down to avoid the possibility of being burned or cracking your engine block. Avoid opening the caps on either of these systems when the engine is hot; if you do, hot coolant may be ejected which can harm the car as well as yourself.

Also a coolant liquid in the car’s reservoir container should usually be coloured red, green, blue or yellow. If the coolant in your car looks in any way out of ordinary, such as if it’s colourless, rusty, sludgy, or has things floating in it, then flush this liquid out and replace it with new coolant.

Keep an eye on the radiator hoses attach to your coolant reservoir as well. If these at any time look like they are leaking, bulgy or in any other way damage then arrange to have them replaced.

Following these steps can make a huge difference in prolonging the life of your current car and any future purchases of conventional powered models. Not only can it save the stress caused from a potential breakdown, these sorts of maintenance tips can save you a considerable amount of money which would otherwise go towards repair bills.

UK motorists looking for quick and reliable service and maintenance work on their car can access this through Perrys Services online, or by contacting their local Perrys Dealership.