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Cars Get Cold Too

How To Check Your Antifreeze

It may not cross most people's minds, but checking your car's antifreeze protection level is an important part of regular maintenance. Anti-freeze helps protect your car from damage caused by cold weather, and keeping it at the proper level could save you from costly repairs down the road. In this article, we will show you how to check your car's antifreeze protection level and what to do if it needs to be adjusted.

What You Need

Before you begin, there are a few items you need for the job:

  • An anti-freeze tester: These are usually sold for just a few dollars at any auto parts store.

  • Paper towel or rag: This will help keep the anti-freeze off of surfaces like paint that could get damaged.

  • Ziplock bag: This will help keep dirt out of your anti-freeze tester while you’re not using it.


Step 1: Locate The Reservoir

The first step is to locate the reservoir where your car’s anti-freeze is stored. This is usually in the engine compartment, and it looks like a plastic container with a lid on top (as seen in Figure 1). There should also be a warning label telling you not to open the lid while the fluid is hot – so always make sure that your car has been sitting idle for at least two hours before proceeding! 

Step 2: Testing The Anti-Freeze

Now that you have located the reservoir, insert the end of your tester into the fluid (you may have to use a straw attached to the bottom of the tester). Then pump up and down until about half of the fluid has been drawn up into the glass chamber on top (Figure 2). Now look at how many “balls” are floating on top of the fluid; this number tells you how well protected your car is against extreme cold temperatures (see Table 1 below). Once done testing, pour any remaining liquid into its original container, then wipe off any residue with paper towel or rag. 


Step 3: Storing The Tester

After testing, take a ziplock bag and store your anti-freeze tester in it until its next use. This will help keep dust and dirt off of it when it’s not in use! And don't forget - always remember that antifreeze is poisonous so make sure none gets on any surfaces outside of its original container!   


Checking your car's antifreeze protection level doesn't have to be difficult or complicated; with these simple steps anyone can do it themselves! With regular testing every few months, you'll know exactly how well protected against extreme cold temperatures your vehicle really is - potentially saving yourself hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs down the line!


Road Trip Anyone

You Might Go On Vacation But Car Maintenance Never Should

As we enter the dog days of Summer, family vacations and long road trips become top priorities. But even if you're taking a break from your regular routine, car maintenance should never be put on the back burner.

Getting Prepared To Go

Before hitting the open road, be sure to give your car a once-over to make sure everything is in working order. This includes checking your engine oil, coolant levels, tires, and brakes.

If you're not comfortable performing these checks yourself, or if you notice anything out of the ordinary, it's always best to take your car to a professional for a thorough inspection.

Once you're on the road, be sure to keep an eye on your vehicle's gauges and warning lights. If anything pops up, don't ignore it! Pull over at the next safe opportunity and check out what's going on.

Don't Sweat or Let The Small Things Bug You

Summer is also a good time to check other items and systems in your car such as the air conditioning, wiper blades, and washer fluid levels. These are all things that you'll be using frequently during the hotter months, so it's important to make sure they're in good working order.

You never know when you might be driving and you get a heavy downpour or you have to clear away some bugs, so it's always best to be prepared.

Always Have A Backup Plan

In general we have become used to using the GPS system on our phones to get us where we need to go. But what happens if you're driving in an unfamiliar area and your phone dies or you lose service?

That's why it's always a good idea to have a physical map on hand as well as a backup plan for directions. It might seem old-fashioned, but there's nothing worse than being stranded in the middle of nowhere with no way to get home.

If you're going to be driving in unfamiliar territory or in remote areas, be sure to let someone know your route and estimated time of arrival. That way, if something does happen, someone will know where to start

And last but not least, always remember to drink plenty of water and take breaks often when driving during the summer months. Heat exhaustion is no joke, and it can happen to anyone. So stay hydrated, stay alert, and most importantly, enjoy your summer

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