Vehicle owners must know how the car works because owning a car comes with heavy responsibility. You must know the ins and outs of a vehicle to operate it well and maintain its maintenance. Most people care about knowing how much air should be in the tires or what engine oil to use. But, do you know about coolant? What is coolant, how does it work, and how much should it be in the overflow tank? Coolant is an essential aspect of a car that every automobile driver must know about. So, in this article, we’ll discuss the significance of coolant and its use.
What is coolant?
Coolant, also called antifreeze, maintains the temperature of your engine. Coolants are toxic liquids that come in different colors like red, yellow, blue, green, etc. You can also use water as a coolant. The whole point of this liquid is to prevent the engine from getting overheated. Also, it lubricates other parts that help avoid damage to the head gasket, piston, and water pump.
Where does the coolant go in a car?
Coolants go in the coolant reservoir. But, older models of cars might not have one. So, those people are supposed to look for the radiator cap in the vehicle. It doesn’t matter if you’re looking for a coolant reservoir or a radiator. Both are present under the hood. To locate the coolant reservoir in newer models, you must look near the radiator. You’ll find a transparent container of plastic where the antifreeze gets poured into directly.
The Mechanism of a Coolant Reservoir:
The combustion process releases a massive amount of heat that can damage the engine and blow up the head gasket after reaching a certain level. Also, your car won’t move anymore. So, to safeguard the engine of your vehicle from damage, the coolant withdraws the heat and maintains a suitable temperature. The coolant flows through the water hose and pipes to take out the heat, which converts into gas. The gas goes back to the radiator, returning to its liquid form again. Meanwhile, the radiator eliminates the heat out of the car.
When the heat levels rise above a certain level, the radiator cap's spring expands. This phenomenon allows the coolant to move into a reservoir tank. This antifreeze solution remains in the tank till the temperature of the car drops. Also, it needs more of the liquid to continue the same process.
How much coolant should be present in the overflow tank?
Firstly, the coolant reservoir is also called the overflow tank. And it must be filled at least 30% at all times. Most of the time, there are min and max marks present on the container that helps you figure out the minimum and maximum limit. Although, keeping it to a maximum is recommended.
Also, you must watch out for any coolant leaks. The reason could be a loose radiator cap, a worn-out radiator, or loose hose clamps. So, whenever you feel the car's temperature rise while driving, even after filling the tank's coolant, it can mean a leak.
Before you check the reservoir, you must let the car cool down. After an inspection, you must get it repaired immediately if you find an issue. Also, it is necessary to allow the vehicle to cool down before opening the radiator cap. Otherwise, you can get severely injured by opening the radiator or the reservoir’s cap as the liquid might splash on you due to trapped pressure in the containers.
In a nutshell, keep the coolant level to a maximum point in the overflow tank. You can find the pointers that indicate the minimum and maximum levels. That’ll help you to pour the antifreeze in the correct amount. While the radiator doesn’t have those indicators, you fill it to the brim. Also, never drive your car with an empty radiator or overflow tank.