How to Check Coolant Level

Person pouring coolant into an engine space

To keep your Volkswagen operating smoothly on Santa Ana roads, knowing how to check the engine coolant level for your car is an important skill. It’s also a part of your Volkswagen’s maintenance schedule. In the following guide, we’ll answer all of your burning questions regarding engine coolant. You’ll learn how to check the coolant level while discovering other interesting facts along the way.

Checking your engine coolant

What is engine coolant?

Make sure your car doesn’t overheat! Check your engine coolant every couple of weeks to keep your car running at its best. Engine coolant is a mixture of water and antifreeze. This mixture helps prevent your engine from overheating by cooling it better. This is especially important in warmer weather.

Most modern cars have sealed cooling systems but if yours has sprung a leak you’ll need to top it up regularly. Check your coolant every couple of weeks to make sure it hasn’t run out. If you spot any problems early it could save you a lot of money and hassle down the line.

How to check your engine coolant

  1. Find the expansion tank. Don’t add antifreeze to the wrong tank. Doing so can result in engine damage. Consult your Volkswagen owner’s manual to find the coolant cap and for help with opening the cap.
  2. Check your engine’s coolant level. The coolant reservoir should be between the minimum and maximum marks on the tank’s fill line.  
  3. Check hoses for problems. Wet or white staining are signs of potential engine problems.
  4. Top up your coolant level if needed. If the coolant needs topping up, don’t remove the filler cap unless the engine is cold. Make sure you use the right type of coolant/antifreeze. It helps stop corrosion and scale build-up all year round.
  5. Schedule a Volkswagen service appointment. Your coolant level shouldn’t drop. If it has dropped, have our qualified VW service center technicians check your engine and add coolant for you.


Is coolant the same as antifreeze?

Yes. Antifreeze and coolant are the same things. These two fluids are also known as “radiator fluid”. Together, both fluids help keep the engine working properly. They accomplish this by stopping the engine from getting too hot in the summer and from freezing in the winter.


Did you know? The recommended mixture of water and antifreeze in the car is 40% water to 60% antifreeze. This can vary based on where you live (the colder it is, the higher ratio of antifreeze).


How to prevent your engine from overheating

Keeping your engine cool is easy. For those cars where the cooling fan is mounted on the front of the engine, it’s essential to have a clean air filter as the fan sucks air through it. Keeping this fan clear will help the engine stay cool by allowing more fresh in. Volkswagen drivers can prevent their engine from overheating by following 4 steps:

  1. Check your engine’s cooling fan. The most common cause of engine overheating is when the cooling fan is seized up
  2. If the engine temperature increases, turn the heater up to high and keep the air conditioning on as well
  3. Get your car checked regularly, including the coolant level
  4. Ensure the car engine’s fan is working properly


Schedule a Volkswagen Service Appointment in Santa Ana, CA

Now that you know how to check your engine’s coolant level, is there an issue with your car or SUV? If so, schedule a VW service appointment with our experienced and professional service technicians. Our Santa Ana Volkswagen service center staff proudly serve the greater Costa Mesa and Orange area.

Our Santa Ana service center team will help you get quick and thorough car maintenance so you can get back out on the road feeling confident about your vehicle. If you have a coolant leak, contact one of our Volkswagen service center representatives to learn what it will cost for coolant leak repair.

Also, before you bring your Volkswagen in for service, be sure to check out our current Volkswagen service specials.

Schedule a VW Appointment

Volkswagen South Coast 33.728704, -117.838893.