1. Ensure the car engine is cool. Never check the radiator when the engine is hot or cold.
2. Use a rag to remove the cap of the radiator tank.
3. Check the radiator’s coolant level; the fluid should be near the top, or at the “Full” mark etched into the radiator metal (if there is one). If the level is low, you will have to top it up.
4. If your car also has a radiator overflow tank, remove the cap. There should be little to no fluid present. If the coolant level is low in the radiator and nearly full in the overflow tank long after the car has been driven, take the car in for servicing immediately.
5. Check the coolant’s protection level (freezing and boiling points) with a coolant refractometer. It is the best tool to measure glycol content and protection levels.
Refer to your owner’s manual for specific cooling system capacity and service instructions prior to changing your vehicle’s antifreeze/coolant. Ideal times to perform coolant tests are in the spring and fall. Check more often if you drive in extreme weather conditions throughout the year.