How to Check if Engine Coolant is Good

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How long does engine coolant last? Learn how to tell if your car engine coolant fluid, or antifreeze, is still good in this free auto repair video.

Part of the Video Series: How to Check & Refill Engine Coolant
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Video Transcript

Hi! This is Jon on behalf of Expert Village. In this video clip, I will be answering the question “Is my coolant still good?” The first way to test if your coolant is still good is through a visual inspection, so go ahead and take a look in the reservoir and see if your coolant is the right color. Most coolants are a clear green color--meaning that it is green, but you should be able to see through it. These are two different examples of antifreeze. The one on the left here is your typical green, and the one on the right is more of an orange-ish color. A lot of times an orange or red color might mean it has an extended or long life. You will notice that they are somewhat clear even though they are colored. If your coolant is brown or dark in color, it probably has been contaminated and needs changing. The next thing that you will need to do is get a hydrometer, and we are going to use this to check the integrity of the coolant. What you will need to do is take the hydrometer and go ahead and fill it up with engine coolant, and this arrow is going to register the temperature at which your coolant will freeze at and the temperature at which it is going to boil at. So the higher the arrow goes, the better coolant is. So if I get this straight here, you see that the arrow went all the way up. My coolant is a nice green color, so my diagnosis is that this coolant is good.

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