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If you don’t know about the intricacies of how a car engine works—and we don’t blame you!—then you might not be sure what coolant is. In short, it’s a fluid that’s designed to regulate the temperature of the engine block, and transfer heat away from the engine so it doesn’t overheat. It contains an additive that keeps its temperature stable above 32 degrees and below 212 degrees Fahrenheit.
Checking your coolant levels is a straightforward process that you should do relatively regularly, since your car won’t run smoothly on the Joliet and Shorewood roads if the coolant is at the improper level. You also want to check to make sure that the coolant doesn’t need replacing, which you can quickly identify by looking at its color. The service team at Tyson Motor Chrysler Jeep Dodge Ram has put together a guide with everything you need to know about how to check the coolant level in your car. Read on, and be sure to keep an eye on our service how-to videos for more ways to keep your car in top condition!
The first thing you should do when checking your coolant level is make sure the engine is cool. This means that the engine is off and has been for a while. It can be very dangerous to inspect the coolant reservoir or open the radiator cap when the engine is hot.
Your coolant levels can be checked by looking at the side of the coolant reservoir—you don’t even have to open the radiator cap! There will be markings on the side of the reservoir, and you’ll be able to see the coolant level through the plastic. If the liquid is at the “full” level, there’s nothing you have to do. If it’s below full, then you should remove the radiator cap and add enough coolant (or a mix of coolant and water) until it’s topped off. When you inspect the coolant level, you should also take the time to check out the hoses connected to the radiator to make sure there’s no visible damage.
There are a few warning signs that there’s a problem with your coolant. The main warning sign is if it appears to have a sludgy consistency—this means that your car very likely has an internal gasket leak. It’s not impossible to drive your car in this condition, but it means your coolant will leak out very quickly, which in turn will overheat your engine and put you and your car in danger. If you notice that your coolant is thicker and sludgier than usual, go ahead and schedule a service appointment so we can take care of it.
Like any of your car’s fluids, your coolant levels will deplete as time goes by and need to be replaced. You should check up on the system every three to six months to make sure everything is the way it’s supposed to be. Healthy coolant will be green, blue, yellow, or red—if you see that it’s brownish or colorless, then you should flush the liquid and get it replaced as soon as possible.
If you have any questions about what we’ve discussed above, or want to learn more about the services we offer, contact our service center! You can also bring your car by the dealership to talk to a service expert and have your car inspected in person—we’re easy to reach from Naperville or Yorkville! And be sure to check out our service specials if you’re interested in saving on your next appointment.
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