Fall Auto DIY Project #3, Part 2

We are here to continue our 5 simple Fall Auto DIY projects for you today!  (Fall Auto DIY Project #1 is here, #2 is here, and #3 part 1 is here in case you missed them) You are getting pretty confident maintaining your vehicle, aren’t you? Let’s get your auto ego boosted even more with the Fall Auto DIY Project #3, Part 2 checking your antifreeze.  The importance of checking your antifreeze or engine coolant cannot be overlooked.  If you have low levels of engine coolant it can lead to the engine overheating and very expensive damage.  We don’t want this to happen to you.  So, here’s how to check it:

How to Check Your Antifreeze

Step 1

Pop the Hood. Most newer model vehicles will have a hood release found on under the driver’s side dashboard.  So, pull the release lever and then walk around the front of the car, reach under the hood, find the latch and squeeze it. As you squeeze the latch, open the hood.  NOTE: Make sure you start out with a cool engine.  When checking your antifreeze it is even more important to start out with a cool engine because the coolant will expand when heated giving you an inaccurate reading of the fluid level.  Starting with a cool engine is a safety concern as well,  it will eliminate any chance of getting burned by a hot engine block.

Step 2

Locate the Engine Coolant Reservoir. Generally it is located on the far side of your vehicle.  Left or right  depending on the make and model of your vehicle.  The lid on the reservoir also usually has “Engine Coolant Only” printed on the lid, to assist you in locating it. If you are still unsure of where it is, check your owner’s manual for the precise location of the engine coolant reservoir.

Step 3

Check the Fluid Level.  You will notice a line either labeled “full”,”cold”, or “max” on the side of the engine coolant reservoir.  The coolant should be at that level or if it has the “min” and “max” labels it should be between.  If it is not add engine coolant until it reaches that level.  NOTE: Some coolants are not premixed, so they require you to add water.  Just be sure to check the bottle you purchase to see if it is necessary.

While your “here” we suggest you make 2 checks:

  1. Coolant:  make sure that the coolant within the reservoir does NOT have a sludgy, oily surface.  If it does bring it in to Academy Ford ASAP to check for internal head gasket leakage.
  2. Radiator Hoses: The big hoses that go into the top and come out of the bottom of the radiator should be checked for leaks, cracks, bulges, etc.  If they are they should be replaced ASAP.

Step 4

Close up Shop.  Make sure you close the cap properly on the reservoir and that you close up your hood and hear it latch.

We will have the How To for checking brake fluid in Fall Auto DIY Project #3, Part 3 coming up in the next few days.

Let us know if you have any questions in the comments section below.

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