how much coolant does my car need when empty

Coolant Overflow Tank: How Much Coolant Should Be In The Overflow Tank

If you are looking for ways on determining how much coolant should be in the overflow tank or if there should be coolant in the overflow tank in the first place?

Maybe you just want to know how much coolant does your car holds? In this article, we are going to talk about these and even show you how much coolant your car need when empty.

The reason why you can park your car all day at a high temperature and still be able to drive it without any issue is that the engine coolant is in good condition. Because many of the sources of the smoke might be dangerous to the automobile, it is advisable to take it to a technician. How Much Does It Cost To Reprogram A TCM

The coolant of any vehicle is a liquid that is mixed with distilled water. It is responsible for protecting the radiator from overheating or freezing.

Here is some additional highlights of this article:

  • how much coolant does my car need when empty
  • can i add coolant straight to the radiator
  • should there be coolant in the overflow tank

Coolant Overflow Tank: How much coolant should be in the overflow tank

The coolant overflow tank is used to make sure the cooling system of your car remains maintained.

An overflow tank should never be empty in order to prevent air from getting sucked into the radiator. The coolant in an overflow tank should be between its full and low marks. (Mind you, F is commonly used to represent full and L is used to connote Low).

Although the coolant is important, it needs to be put in the radiator at the required amount. It should not be too small or too much.

The radiator usually has a line to signify the right place the coolant is expected to reach.

If you are having any problems knowing this, the best thing to do is to check your car’s manual and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Coolant is beneficial to the proper functioning of every car.

So let move on to the coolant reservoir empty.

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How much coolant does my car need when empty?

If you notice that the coolant level of your vehicle is low, you may refill it yourself without taking the car in to a mechanic.

If you want to know how much coolant your vehicle needs when it is empty, then you should check the coolant reservoir that is under your car’s bonnet.

It usually has a label of minimum and maximum marker. If you want to refill the reservoir when it is empty always ensure you are not exceeding the maximum value. Also, make sure you are well above the minimum one.

If you want to purchase a coolant, you may buy a solution that has been mixed already. However, another option is to mix antifreeze with distilled water.

Make sure you mix it in the same amount before trying to refill your radiator.

If you are to refill the coolant, it is advisable to use the same coolant as the one that presents there. Mixing different types of coolants may also lead to engine damage.

Another way to be certain of the correct measurement of coolant is to check your manual.

Although most radiators hold about 5 liters of coolant, you should check your manual to be on the safer side.

Coolant should not be overflowing or too small as either can destroy the engine of your car.

How much coolant does my car hold?

Coolant is also called antifreeze and it is the fluid responsible for maintaining the correct temperature in the car.

It is useful in absorbing the heat from the engine. Once you start running your vehicle, the coolant is circulating through the vehicle and the radiator.  

Every vehicle has the capacity of the coolant the radiator should contain. This specification is usually stated in the vehicle’s manual.

You should record it in an accessible place in case of urgent use. With this, you will be able to know the amount of coolant your vehicle needs.

As a car owner, you should take the condition of your car seriously. One of the things to look out for if you want to keep your car in a good condition is the coolant.

The coolant of a car needs to be in the correct measurement. It should neither be too small nor should it be overflowing.

Whether you want to top the coolant or refill it, you need to put this in mind. The first thing you should put in mind is the type of coolant you want to add.

You can get a readymade one, or simply prepare the mixture of anti-freeze and distilled water. When adding the latter, make sure it is in the same measurement.

Then, put it in the radiator without missing the line. It should not be below or above the reservoir line.

Can I add coolant straight to the radiator?

The answer to this question depends on the type of coolant you are adding to the radiator. If you want to top the coolant, then you need to make sure it is the same type as the one that was there before. Mixing two different types of coolants can affect the engine.

If you are not topping the coolant, this means you will have to get rid of the former coolant in the radiator first before refilling it.

To do this, you will have to remove the radiator cap and pull the drain. Then, place a bowl under the radiator so that once you pull the drain, the previous coolant can fall out.

This is done in order to avoid messing of the floor and also to keep the coolant away from the reach of children or pets.

Coolant can be harmful to them. So, after draining it, you will have to pour in the coolant.

However, if you want to add in the mixture of anti-freeze and distilled water, you can do that as well.

What you have to do is to mix antifreeze and distilled water 50/50 and use it as a coolant in the radiator.

But first, you will have to drain out the previous coolant. After draining it, you can then add your coolant straight to the radiator.

After you have added coolant to your car, return the radiator cap and put it on your engine.

Let it work for some minutes with the temperature on full blast and then, recheck the radiator again. You should refill the coolant when necessary.

How much coolant should be in my radiator      

Your car radiator needs to have a mix of both coolant and water in it and you need the right proportion which is 40% water and 60% coolant. This is the best mix that will produce the right corrosion protection to prevent freeze.

You also need to remember that your vehicle needs a coolant every 40k to 100k miles (which is about 64,400 to 160,000 kilometers).

 So is it normal for the coolant level to drop or be in the overflow tank?

Let take a look at that in my response to the next question “should there be coolant in the overflow tank”?

Should there be coolant in the overflow tank

So my answer to this is yes and no and that is because normally your overflow tank should not be filled with any coolant. The overflow tank is supposed to help capture the excess coolant that might overflow from your car coolant reservoir and radiator when on the motion.  

However, if you have driven then car for w while you may see coolant within the overflow tank

So yes it is normal for the coolant level to drop into the overflow tank and you shouldn’t have a problem with that.     You may want to watch this video for more explanation on this topic.      


The amount of coolant that should be in the reservoir tank is just as important as the type of coolant you are putting inside the tank.

You should ensure that you know the right measurement of coolant that needs to be in your radiator tank.

I hope this post on how much coolant should be in the overflow tank. I have also given my view responding the question, how much coolant does my car need when empty and  have also shown you if it is normal for coolant level to drop.

Please share this post if it helped you.

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