You should check the level and condition of your coolant on a regular basis, usually at the same time as your oil change.
This is especially important if you frequently drive on dirt roads, as it is easy for dust to get into the coolant system and turn into a muddy mess. Rust, mineral deposits and dirt in the radiator can reduce the ability of the radiator function and may cause major problems.
1. CHECK COOLANT LEVEL AND CONDITION.
Look for marks on the outside of the reserve tank indicating the proper levels and check that the coolant level is correct. Check the condition of the coolant in the tank by removing the fill cover and inspecting the contents. Look for dirt or mud, rusty coolant, or other contaminants
2. TOP OFF THE COOLANT IF NEEDED.
If your coolant level is low but in good condition, remove the fill cap and pour in coolant to the proper level
Coolant systems build pressure when hot, and this pressure can blow scalding hot coolant out and cause severe injury. Never open a radiator cap while the system is hot.
3. REMOVE THE RADIATOR CAP.
With the engine cold, remove the radiator cap. The cap comes off in two stages. Push down on the cap and rotate it counter-clockwise and it will stop in a middle point. This is a safety point that allows pressure to be released without coolant spraying straight out. Push down again and turn the cap the remainder of the way until you can pull it off.
4. INSPECT THE RADIATOR CAP.
Inspect the underside of the cap for contaminants, rust, or cracking in the rubber seals or metal body. If you see any wear on the cap, it should be replaced. Use a paper towel to clean off any debris on the seals of the cap.
5. INSPECT THE RADIATOR.
Look down in the radiator and check the condition of the coolant and inside of the radiator. Look for scale buildup on the coolant tubes inside. If you see rust and buildup, you should flush your coolant system, even if it has not reached the manufacturer’s recommended change point.
If you see a white, milky, oily substance, you may have a problem in the engine that is causing oil to get into the coolant. If you find a lot of this material, take it to a professional for inspection.
6. REINSTALL THE CAP.
Be sure to push down and twist the cap past the safety point and until it completely stops.