18 Degrees From a Mechanical Emergency

- Coolant is the REAL Lifeblood of your engine.

  • Overview
  • Video
  • Education/FAQs

Coolant is the REAL Lifeblood of your engine.

Overtime motorists have gotten the idea that engine coolant matters just twice a year… preparing for winter, and setting out for summer. But the truth is coolant has little to do with the outside temperature, and everything to do with the internal temperatures.

Coolant is the TRUE LIFEBLOOD of your engine. If an engine runs just 18 degrees above or below normal operating temperature, you can risk serious and costly damage. Because the cooling system is connected throughout your engine, keeping the right coolant chemistry and maintaining proper coolant levels needs to be a top priority for sustaining the overall health of your vehicle.

 

Get your flush on.

#MechanicalEmergency

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Watch Episode #4
Get your flush on.

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PEAK Doctorate Degree of Coolant

Complete your Doctorate Degree of Coolant to earn $500 towards your #MechanicalEmergency.

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Dr. Coolant Episode

John Force AKA Dr. Coolant is treating mechanical emergencies all around this great country. Check out the episodes below to learn how you can prevent #MechanicalEmergencies.

Have a #MechanicalEmergency? Tweet us using #MechanicalEmergency and John Force may share your story in his next episode.

18 Degrees
Dr. Coolant Episode #4 – Blown Radiator Hose
18 Degrees
Dr. Coolant Episode 3 – Thermostat Failure
18 Degrees
Dr. Coolant Episode 2 – Water Pump Failure
18 Degrees
Dr. Coolant Episode 1 – Blown Head Gasket

Learn the ins and outs of Coolant.

Click the questions below to learn more about Coolant and the important role it plays your vehicle's engine.

Q:
How does coolant work and why does my engine need it?
 
A:

Coolant is the true lifeblood of your engine. It ensures your engine operates at its proper temperature by removing heat from the engine block. Also, coolant plays a vital role in regulating the temperature of your transmission fluid. The size of your vehicle’s engine block and cooling system is dependent on the heat transfer ability of coolant at 50/50 mixture. It is an essential fluid that affects several critical engine parts and deserves regular maintenance. If an engine runs just a few degrees above or below
normal, you can risk serious and costly damage.

Q:
How do I check the condition and level of my engine antifreeze/coolant?
 
A:

1) Before starting, locate the radiator, coolant overflow reservoir, and pressure cap.  The reservoir will be located at a high location on either side of the engine and may be near the radiator or at the back of the engine near the windshield.

2) The cooling system pressure cap may be on a remote overflow reservoir if not on the radiator.

cold_weather_coolant never_open_your_radiator_cap_until_the_engine_has_completely_cooledPressure Cap on or Near the Radiator (Typical on older vehicle models)

 

CAUTION: DO NOT REMOVE PRESSURE CAP WHEN ENGINE IS HOT.

 

  • With the engine off and cool, remove the pressure cap from the radiator.
  • The coolant level should be at the top of the radiator, ideally flush with the bottom of the pressure cap seat.
  • If the coolant level is low, add either 50/50 pre-mixed antifreeze/coolant or a 50/50 mix of antifreeze/coolant concentrate and good quality water until the coolant level reaches the cap seat. Replace the pressure cap.
  • Next, check owner’s manual for recommended cooling system maintenance, and note the guidance given for the level of antifreeze/coolant to be kept in the reservoir.
  • Locate the fill line on the side of the overflow reservoir. If the coolant level is low, remove the reservoir cap and add either 50/50 pre-mixed antifreeze/coolant or a 50/50 mix of antifreeze/coolant concentrate and good quality water until the coolant level reaches the level marked on the tank.  Replace the cap.

 

Pressure Cap on the Overflow Reservoir (Typical on newer vehicles)

 

CAUTION: DO NOT REMOVE PRESSURE CAP WHEN ENGINE IS HOT.

 

  • Make sure the engine is off and cool. Check owner’s manual for recommended cooling system maintenance, and note the guidance given for the level of antifreeze/coolant to be kept in the reservoir.
  • Locate the fill line on the side of the tank. If the coolant level is low, remove the pressure cap and add either 50/50 pre-mixed antifreeze/coolant or a 50/50 mix of antifreeze/coolant concentrate and good quality water until the coolant level reaches the level marked on the tank.  Replace the pressure cap.

Periodically check coolant level and freeze protection.

For more information and videos on engine coolant maintenance, check out our DIY videos.

Q:
How do I Flush and Fill my vehicles radiator and cooling system?
 
A:

Follow these directions when using an antifreeze concentrate product.

 

DRAIN/FLUSH/FILL                          

 

CAUTION: DO NOT REMOVE PRESSURE CAP WHEN ENGINE IS HOT.

 

Check vehicle owner’s manual for coolant capacity and specific cooling system maintenance recommendations.

 

Notes: 1) The cooling system pressure cap may be on a remote overflow reservoir if not on the radiator.  2) Draining the system from the radiator may leave a significant amount of old coolant and flush water behind.  Compensate for this when adding coolant. 3) Before starting, locate radiator drain valve (if equipped) and lower radiator hose.

 

  • Remove the pressure cap from the radiator or overflow reservoir.
  • Drain cooling system by opening radiator drain valve. Disconnect lower radiator hose if there is no drain valve.  Collect the fluid for proper disposal.
  • Close radiator drain valve/reconnect radiator hose.  Fill with fresh water and replace pressure cap.  Start engine and run for 15 minutes with the heater on high.
  • Stop engine and allow to cool.  Repeat steps 1 and 2.
  • Close drain valve/reconnect radiator hose.
  • Check owner’s manual for cooling system capacity and recommended antifreeze/water ratio. Fill system with enough new antifreeze/coolant concentrate to achieve the desired ratio.  A 50 to 70% antifreeze/coolant concentrate in water ratio is recommended to achieve optimum freeze/boil and corrosion protection.  Top off the system with water.
  • Replace pressure cap and run engine 15 minutes with the heater on high. Stop engine.  When engine has cooled, check freeze protection and add more antifreeze/coolant concentrate or water as necessary.
  • Remove old coolant from reservoir tank and add a 50 to 70% mixture of antifreeze/coolant concentrate in water to the level marked on the tank.

DRAIN/FLUSH/FILL          

 

For Drain/Flush/Fill antifreeze/coolant maintenance, use PEAK Antifreeze + Coolant concentrate to ensure the right finished concentration is achieved.  Follow instructions for Drain/Flush/Fill provided for antifreeze concentrate products.

Periodically check coolant level and freeze protection.

Q:
How do I top-off my vehicles antifreeze/coolant?
 
A:

CAUTION: DO NOT REMOVE PRESSURE CAP WHEN ENGINE IS HOT.

 

Prepare a 50 to 70% mixture of Antifreeze + Coolant concentrate and water.  Add mixture to the overflow reservoir to the level marked on the tank.

******************************************************************************************

 

DIRECTIONS        Follow these directions when using a 50/50 pre-diluted antifreeze product.

 

Check vehicle owner’s manual for specific cooling system maintenance recommendations.

TOP-OFF

 

CAUTION: DO NOT REMOVE PRESSURE CAP WHEN ENGINE IS HOT.

 

Note:  The pressure cap may be on a remote overflow reservoir if not on the radiator.

Remove pressure cap and add PEAK 50/50 Prediluted Antifreeze + Coolant to the overflow reservoir to the level marked on the tank.  Replace cap.

Periodically check radiator and reservoir coolant levels and freeze protection, and top off as needed.