As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Does the Car Need to Be Running When Adding Coolant? A Comprehensive Guide

car need to be running when adding coolant

One of the most common questions we get on Hammer and Coop is, “does the car need to be running when adding coolant?”

The straight answer to the question is no.

You have to turn off your engine and let it cool before adding coolant. The reason for this is that the engine is hot, and if you add coolant when it’s running, the sudden temperature change can cause some of the coolant to vaporize.

This article explains the steps you need to take to correctly add coolant to your car.

What is a Car Coolant?

Car coolant and engine coolant are vital components of any vehicle’s cooling system. Its primary function is to regulate the engine’s temperature, helping to keep it from overheating.

Coolant is typically a mixture of water and antifreeze, which prevents it from freezing in cold weather and boiling in hot weather.

coolant-antifreeze-tank-under-engine-hood

The antifreeze also contains additives that help protect the engine from corrosion and prevent the coolant from foaming. Additionally, coolant often has a distinctive color, making it easy to identify if there is a leak.

You have to be changing your car coolant periodically, and most vehicle manufacturers have specific recommendations for how often you should do it.

As long as the coolant is kept at the correct level and replaced as needed, it will help protect the engine from damage.

How does Engine Coolant Work?

Engine coolant helps to regulate the temperature of your car’s engine and is as essential as oil for the proper functioning of your vehicle. The coolant circulates through the engine, absorbing heat and preventing the engine from overheating.

Coolant does this by circulating through the engine, absorbing heat from the engine block and cylinder heads.

It then passes through the radiator, releasing the heat into the air. The cooled coolant then recirculates back through the engine.

What is the Type of the Engine Coolant?

There are three common types of Coolant that significant companies use, and they are:

Inorganic Additive Technology (IAT)

Inorganic Additive Technology (IAT) is a type of coolant additive that helps to protect the engine from corrosion.

IAT is a non-metallic, inorganic additive that is used in a variety of different coolants. It is highly effective in preventing rust and scale build-up, damaging the engine.

This type of coolant is commonly used by older vehicles, and it is advisable to change the coolant every 2years.

Organic Acid Technology (OAT)

Organic Acid Technology (OAT) is a type of coolant that contains organic acids, which help to protect the engine from corrosion.

This type of coolant is often used in newer vehicles, and it needs to be replaced every four years or 50,000 miles.

Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT)

Organic Acid Technology (HOAT) is a type of coolant that contains organic acids, which help to protect the engine from corrosion.

This type of coolant is often used in newer vehicles, and it needs to be replaced every four years or 50,000 miles. It is a hybrid of IAT and OAT, which gives it some of the benefits of both types of coolants.

Moreover, it is advisable to consult your mechanic or the vehicle manufacturer to see which type of coolant your car uses.

Why is Car Coolant Important to Your Car?

The following are the benefits of adding coolant to your vehicle;

automobile-coolant

Regulate Engine Temperature

The primary function of car coolants is to regulate the temperature of your car’s engine. The coolant circulates through the engine, absorbing heat and preventing the engine from overheating.

Protect Your Engine from Corrosion and Wear

Car coolant protects your engine from corrosion and wear. The coolant’s antifreeze helps protect the engine from freezing in cold weather and boiling in hot weather.

Besides, the additives in the coolant help protect the engine from rust and scale build-up, which can damage the engine.

Prevent Coolant from Boiling

The high temperatures in an engine can cause the coolant to boil. When this happens, the vapor can escape the radiator, and the machine will not be able to cool down.

Prevent Coolant from Freezing

The coolant also helps to prevent the engine from freezing in cold weather. If the coolant is frozen, it can cause the water pump to stop working and damage the engine.

How to Add Coolant to Your Car

Now that you know a little more about car coolants, let’s look at adding them to your vehicle.

The steps you’ll need vary depending on your car’s engine coolant, so check your owner’s manual for specific instructions.

Turn Off the Engine

The first step is to turn off the engine. This will help prevent any injuries and also keep the engine from overheating.

Wait for the Engine to Cool Down

Next, wait for the engine to cool down. Depending on how hot the engine is, it can take a few minutes to a few minutes.

Open the Hood

Once the engine has cooled down, open the hood of your car. This will give you access to the engine bay and the radiator.

Locate the Radiator

The radiator is the large metal box located in the front of the engine bay. It has tubes running through it that carry coolant.

Locate The Coolant Reservoir

The coolant reservoir is a small container usually located near the radiator. It is used to hold the coolant that is added to the car. The reservoir has a cap that can be removed to add coolant.

Add Coolant

Once you have located the reservoir, it’s time to add the coolant. Pour the coolant into the reservoir until it is complete. Be sure not to overfill it, as this can cause problems with the car’s cooling system.

Replace the Cap

Once the reservoir is full, replace the cap and close the hood of your car.

Start the Engine

Now that you have added the coolant start the engine and allow it to run for a few minutes so that the new coolant can circulate through the system.

Shut Off the Engine

Once the engine has warmed up, shut it off and allow it to cool down again.

Check the Coolant Level

After the engine has cooled down for a second time, check the coolant level. It should be between the two marks on the coolant reservoir. If below or above these marks, add or remove coolant as needed.

Coolant is an integral part of your car’s cooling system and helps to protect the engine from damage. It needs to be done periodically, and you can add it yourself by following these simple steps.

car-coolant-checking

Bottom line

It is not necessary to run the car when adding coolant. If the engine is cold, running the car for a few minutes can help to distribute the coolant evenly and prevent overheating.

However, if the engine is hot, it is best to turn it off and let it cool down before adding more coolant. It is essential to check the coolant level regularly and top it up to keep your car running smoothly.

For more information on your automobile, you can contact us. And for more interesting topics on the car, you can visit our website.

1 thought on “Does the Car Need to Be Running When Adding Coolant? A Comprehensive Guide”

  1. Pingback: What Does Check Gauge Mean in a Car? A Guide to Understanding Vehicle Sensors - HammerAndCoop

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Scroll to Top