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If your first question is, “what is coolant”, then you aren’t alone as many Elizabeth City drivers may refer to it as “antifreeze”. Basically, it is the fluid that circulates through your radiator, water pump and hoses that prevents your engine from freezing in severe winter weather, and helps dissipate heat in the middle of summer. Coolant is crucial to the performance and longevity of your vehicle’s engine. Let’s discover more about it.
Engine coolant temperature can be dangerous if care is not taken when checking levels. As a general rule, DO turn off the engine first. DON’T loosen the radiator cap at the front of the engine until the engine cools down as this can cause hot liquid or steam to gush out under pressure. Locate the coolant overflow bottle (usually at the side of the engine compartment). There should be level markers imprinted on the side so that you can immediately see whether the fluid is low or too high.
If the coolant level is low, then we should top up with replacement fluid which is available from our Mopar parts center or any local parts store in the Camden area. There are generally two types of coolant you can buy:
Coolant should be a lime green, blue or yellow color with no cloudiness or particles of dirt or sludge floating in it. The newer the coolant, the brighter the color. If you notice a milky appearance, then oil has seeped into the cooling system and that would be the time to contact our service center so they can establish the cause. This potentially is a serious issue. Check all of the connected water hoses for degradation or leaks. A leaky hose out on the road in the middle of a Hertford winter is no fun. It’s much easier to replace hoses now than later.
Now that you know how to check coolant level, you should make that part of your regular maintenance check when you schedule service for your vehicle. Generally, coolant fluid lasts longer than engine oil but a brown or even clear color is an indication that it’s time for a change. Definitely have the coolant checked before winter. For any other service questions about your Mopar vehicle, please feel free to call us or if you’re located in the Edenton area, stop in for a person-to-person chat with a service specialist. You can even learn more about how to check tire tread or how to jump start a car.