Each day is getting warmer and warmer as summer approaches. It is sometimes hard for us to adjust to the heat and temperature changes. It is important to remember that our vehicles have to adjust too. Now is the time to prepare your vehicle for the summer. A good start for preparing your vehicle for the summer is to check and maintain you Antifreeze and Coolant Levels for your radiator. You can do it yourself or take it to your Automotive Expert to be done. The best deal and service should be offered. Learn the easy and correct way of doing it yourself.
A common cause for automobile breakdowns is due to a Coolant System Failure. If you plan on servicing your coolant yourself there are some things that you need to check first.
Check the label on the coolant bottle. It has to be the correct type of coolant for your type of vehicle. Read the radiator section of your vehicles Owners Manual.
Use 50/50 percent of antifreeze and water.
If you no longer have your vehicles Owners Manual…You can find the information for your vehicle here:
Coolant or Antifreeze Performs Two Critical Functions:
1. It keeps the radiator fluid from freezing in the winter.
2. It keeps the engine from overheating in the summer.
Coolant is composed of 50 percent ethylene glycol and 50 percent water, which helps raise its boiling point and lower its freezing point. Corrosion inhibitors protect vital metallic cooling system components from corroding, and silicates lubricate seals.
If you have to add coolant there may be a leak. Have your vehicle inspected for coolant leaks. An over heated engine is the one of the Worst Problems for your vehicle. It would save you more money to have it inspected rather then risk it over heating. Your Personal Mechanic should be able to check this out for you at little to no cost. Service may be required after inspection.
Radiator or Coolant Reservoir holds the coolant overflow from the radiator. This is also where you should fill the cooling system. It’s normally a white tank mounted under the hood on the passenger’s side. If the radiator fluid does become low then, it will begin to siphon from the reservoir and back into the radiator. So it is important to keep the reservoir fluid checked too.
Do-It-Yourself Radiator Coolant Check and Maintenance
First things first: Warning! You must make sure that your engine is Cool. Your engine is Hot and so are the fluids with in. That heat also causes pressure. You can get badly burned. Let your car sit for a while.
Check to see how warm it is before you begin anything.
Put your hand on the upper radiator hose to make sure that it is not to hot. It should be cool.
Squeeze the hose or hold it to see if there is any pressure in it what so ever. If there is pressure in it then, coolant will spill everywhere and even on you. Blistery type of burns. The radiator hose should be cool.
You can also touch the Radiator Cap. You can feel pressure or heat. It should be cool. There is a Warning Label on your radiator cap as well.
After you know that everything is Cool…Twist the Radiator Cap and remove it. You can use gloves or a paper towel to help remove the cap. Press down and start to twist (lefty loosy). Listen and feel for pressure.
You will then look at the fluid level. The fluid should be right at the top. If the fluid is at the top then your fluid is fine. You can just put your cap back on, push down and twist (righty tighty). Pay attention to the notches and the tabs that are on the cap, and line them up with the corresponding notches and tabs that are on the top of the radiator. Make sure that the cap is locked in place. That is very important because, when the fluid gets hot it will build pressure, pop off the radiator top, and you will have a MESS.
Another Safety Precaution: If you do spill any antifreeze on the ground or anywhere, make sure and clean it up well. It is very Harmful and Deadly to pets. Animals will try and drink it. It tastes real yummy and sweet to them. Don’t let this happen or you just might be a cryin.
Here is a picture of where the Radiator Cap is on your car.
If your fluid level is low and not right at the top, then just use the correct fluid and top it off.
- Remember, your fluid should be 50/50 percent of antifreeze and water.
- Some of the antifreeze on the market will already be 50/50 pre-diluted and Ready for Use. With this type of antifreeze you can just poor it right in to the radiator or the radiator reservoir.
- There is also coolant that is Not diluted. You will have to mix this your self and use the correct ratios of water to coolant. The instructions will be on the back. Use distilled water as tap water can build up mineral deposits in your cooling system.
- Tip: If you have to mix your one coolant to water ratio, mix it in a separate container outside and away from the vehicle. Once you get your proper mixture, and then add it to your radiator or radiator reservoir.
To Fill the Radiator Reservoir:
- Unscrew the cap that is on top of the white tank.
- Pour the fluid inside until you see the fluid level rise between the minimum and maximum lines on the side of the reservoir.
This is a picture of the Radiator Reservoir.It is located under the hood on the passenger’s side.
Check your Radiator Hoses: There are 2 hoses to check.One connects at the top of the radiator and one is at the bottom.
- Visually inspect your hoses.
- Check the clamps that clam from the radiator to the engine are secure and that there are No leaks.
- Make sure that the hose itself is Not Cracked.
- If your radiator hoses are cracked or there is any leaking: The hose or clamps will need to be replaced.
Here is a picture of the Upper Radiator Hose and the Radiator lid.
Here is a picture of the Lower Radiator Hose:Remember, each vehicle is slightly different.
There is a way for you to Do-it-Yourself. You can repair or at least maintain your vehicle yourself and save yourself a lot of money. You can find the right Do-it-Yourself Repair and Maintenance Manual for your particular vehicle by clicking the link below.
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