How to refill the water in your vehicle's radiator

How to refill the water in your vehicle's radiator


Your vehicle's radiator is responsible for stopping the engine from overheating, it accomplishes this with a mixture of water and coolant fluid (also known as antifreeze). Driving until the reservoir of this mixture is empty can have dire consequences for your engine.

You will need:
Bottled or filtered water, you shouldn’t use tap water as it contains are minerals or other particulates which can cause blockages;
Antifreeze/coolant.


  1. The first thing to clarify is the ratio of water and antifreeze to be added. The recommended mixture is made up of equal parts water and antifreeze;
  2. Parking. Before popping the hood and topping up the radiator fluid, it is important that you park on a level surface. If you are parked on an incline or otherwise uneven ground, you will not be able to get an accurate reading of the level;
  3. Pop the hood. Now that you are parked on level ground, locate the small lever or button to open the hood of your vehicle, it is usually found around the driver's seat. After this, find the catch to open the hood, run your hand along the gap between the hood and body of the car until you find a small catch. Press the catch inward to completely open the hood;
  4. Find the radiator reservoir. The transparent radiator reservoir is usually located towards the back of the engine and will have ‘min’ and ‘max’ markings on it;
  5. Remove the cap and place it somewhere safe so that it doesn’t get lost in the engine;
  6. Pour the first of the liquids, it doesn’t matter whether you add the water or antifreeze first and then add in the second until the liquid is near the ‘max’ line. You can use a funnel to avoid spillage or just pour by hand;
  7. Replace the cap and that’s it!


If you are forced to pull over due to excessive amounts of steam pouring out from the front of the engine, open the hood and let the engine cool down. You should never open the radiator reservoir or add more water while the engine is hot, this can cause clouds of scolding hot steam to come rushing out.

So there we have it, your guide to topping up the radiator fluid. Did we miss anything? Do you have any tips or advice for our readers? Let us know, we are always happy to hear from you!

For more information, or if you have any questions about refilling your radiator fluid or would like to schedule a coolant system inspection or service give us a call on (281) 320-2305, visit us at EuroCare 21811 Tomball Parkway , TX, 77070, or book an appointment with us online. The friendly and knowledgeable staff here at EuroCare will be more than happy to help!

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