How to Check the Antifreeze in a Kia Spectra

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Motorists must perform regular maintenance on their vehicles, even if said vehicles are brand new or operate as such. One important area of vehicle operation to monitor is the cooling system, in particular the amount of antifreeze solution stored in the car's coolant reservoir at a given time. If you own a Kia Spectra, Kia recommends that you check your vehicle's antifreeze level at least once per year, ideally just in advance of winter weather.

Things You'll Need

  • Thick cloth
  • Antifreeze
  • Turn your engine off and wait for it to cool down. In addition to the expected burns that can result from coming into contact with hot metal, Kia advises that engine heat can cause extreme pressure in the coolant reservoir, resulting in steam or vapor explosions if you remove the cap before the engine cools. A safe bet is to park your car at night and wait until morning to check the antifreeze level.

  • Open your Spectra's hood. Get inside the vehicle, and press the "Pop Hood" button, denoted by a picture of a hood opening, which is located on the left side of the car, just under the dashboard. Walk around to the front of your car and kneel down so that you can look inside the Spectra's front grate to see the hood latch. Once you have located it, reach your fingers inside to loosen it, raising up the hood with your other hand. Hold the hood in place by pulling the thin, metal rod lying horizontally just in front of the engine vertical and placing it in the designated indentation on the underside of the hood.

  • Look at the coolant reservoir, which is located at the front, left corner of your engine apparatus. Take note the antifreeze level by observing the liquid level through the translucent side of the coolant reservoir. According to Kia, your Spectra's antifreeze should be filled to somewhere between the "F" and "L" marks on the side of the reservoir.

  • Add additional antifreeze if necessary. Open the reservoir's cap, which is the black lid atop the coolant reservoir, making sure to wrap your hand in a thick cloth. Pour the antifreeze in slowly until you reach the "F" level, making sure not to go over it. Replace the radiator cap. Use the cloth to wipe up any antifreeze you might have spilled on the engine to avoid smoking the next time you start your car. Shut your hood.

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