Learn how to check and fill coolant/antifreeze to winterize your car, extend its life, and improve safety in this free vehicle maintenance and safety video.
In this clip, we're going to talk about the proper way to fill your vehicle's antifreeze and a couple of the things you want to do in order to avoid a problem later on. Your overflow jug is located here and your washer solvent on this particular vehicle is located here. A lot of times, in order to save money and space, your manufacturer will have cast them in the mold injection process at the same pace. You can see this is where my washer fluid goes. And this is where my coolant goes. It is extremely important not to mix them up. If you mix the radiator fluid into your washer solvent and try and spray it on your windshield, your coolant is extremely viscous and it will fill them on your windshield, developing in a situation where you won't be able to see out of it. You have to pull over to the nearest place you can and actually wash it off. It's equally as bad to put washer solvent into your radiator system. Washer solvent contains a form of ethylene alcohol which will work against all the seals, gaskets and hoses on your cooling system. It will actually dissolve them from the inside-out, you'll get premature failure. When you fill your radiator fluid, what you're going to want to do is pull the vehicle in and look at the jug. You can see I have wiped off here. It says "cold fill". I'm not actually going to add coolant to my vehicle right now. I just pulled it in the shop and the engine is warm. Just do the fluid dynamics. What happens is, with everything else from the laws of physics, when it gets warm, it expands. You going to want to check your cold fill level after the vehicle has sat overnight. From there, if it is below the cold fill mark, it's okay to go ahead and add coolant to it. You can add straight coolant or a 50/50 mix. Odds are, the amount will be pretty miniscule and it won't matter if you add 50/50 or straight coolant. My advice would be to add just straight coolant. Unless you do it several times in a month, then you going to want to give it a shot of pure water. What you going to want to do in order to avoid spilling it on the ground is use a funnel. I have one right here. Coolant is extremely poisonous to pets, first and foremost. It tastes very good. It's sweet. It's sweeter than Kool-Aid. Your pets will drink it. If it's on the ground you let them outside, one of them will get a taste of it. It will shut down their digestive system and, eventually, kill them. There is no cure. Just make sure you use a funnel in order to avoid harming your animals. If you don't have any animals, you're going to want to use the funnel in order to avoid spilling it on some of the electrical components under the hood. That is the proper way to check your coolant, fill it up and make sure you got it at the right level. And it says stamped right on it, "never open hot". The radiator cap holds approximately 16 pounds of pressure depending upon the make and model. What happens when you release that pressure is your coolant is going to boil extremely rapidly. Every pound of pressure increases the boiling temperature 3 degrees. If you release 16 pounds, that's going to give you just about 50 pounds of less boiling protection. It will explode and scald you badly.