Knowing how to check the engine coolant level is very important. 

It’s also a very simple task to do, so making a regular check up shouldn’t be a problem for you.

Do not touch or open the engine coolant reservoir when the engine is hot!!!

If you do, you can get severely burned. Not so much for touching as it would be for opening the reservoir.

Lots of people tend to open the coolant reservoir while the engine is still hot. Especially when the coolant level is low.

At that time,the coolant system is under pressure and suddenly opening the coolant reservoir can create a “geyser” effect.

This can lead to coolant bursting out of the reservoir and, as mentioned, can cause severe burns to your body.

Best to check and add engine coolant when the engine is cold. 

How often to check the coolant level?

Mostly depends on your cars condition and age.

If the car is older, you should check the coolant at least once a month. Especially during summer season when the temperatures are high.

If the car is newer there should be no problem from one regular service to another.

In any case, making a short inspection under the hood (bonnet) should become second nature to any driver, especially before long trips.

What should you check the engine coolant for?

Two things :

  • level in the engine coolant reservoir (do it on a regular basis)
  • freezing resistance temperature (do it before the winter season)

First one is done visually, by taking a look at the coolant reservoir. The other one is done with a coolant tester.

Freezing resistance test should be done before winter and low temperatures. When testing the engine should be cold (to avoid a faulty reading and damage to the coolant tester).

How to check the engine coolant level – step by step procedure

  • Wait till the engine cools down. If the engine is cold,skip this step
  • Open the hood (bonnet) and find the engine coolant reservoir-it will have a cap with a distinct color and a marking on the lid (mostly a “steam” icon)
  • Look at the marking on the side of the coolant’ll find engraved markings-“min” and “max”