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¿Cómo sé cuánto refrigerante agregar a mi radiador?

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Your engine’s radiator is an essential component. Without it, the car’s engine is in danger of overheating. When this happens, it can cause engine damage. At the very least, your engine will stop working until it cools down.

To prevent your engine from overheating and keeping the car’s cooling system working properly, you will need to add coolant to the radiator. However, this isn’t always as easy as it sounds. There’s more to the process than simply pouring water or antifreeze into the radiator.

Cómo revisar el líquido de su radiador

Antes de siquiera pensar en verter refrigerante en el radiador, primero debe verificar el nivel de líquido. Sobrellenar un radiador puede ser tan dañino como dejar que se seque. Hay algunos consejos sencillos que harán que controlar los niveles de líquido del radiador sea seguro y fácil.

  1. Verifique si el motor está frío.

Deje siempre que el automóvil repose con el motor apagado durante varios minutos antes de intentar verificar el nivel de líquido. Un buen consejo es tocar el capó. Si el capó está caliente, el radiador todavía está demasiado caliente para tocarlo. Dependiendo del clima, el radiador puede tardar de varios minutos a una hora en enfriarse.

  1. Abre el capó.

When the hood is cool to the touch. Go ahead and lift it. There should be a lever inside the car by the driver’s seat. Some older models have latches underneath the hood that you simply press or pull on.

Once the hood is up, make sure that you use the attached rod to properly hold it in place. You don’t want the vehicle’s hood suddenly falling on your neck or head.

  1. Encuentra el radiador y su tapa.

El radiador generalmente se ubica hacia la parte delantera del motor. Este conveniente diseño le facilita la verificación segura del fluido. La tapa suele estar en la parte delantera del radiador, cerca o en la parte superior.

If you’re having trouble finding the radiator or the cap, the vehicle’s owner manual should include a simple diagram of the engine block with all of the components labeled.

  1. Retire la tapa del radiador.

The first step is to grab a towel. Even if the engine block is cool, the liquid in the radiator can still be hot. There’s also the chance that steam can escape when the cap is removed. If you don’t feel any heat coming off the radiator, use the towel to carefully remove the cap.

You do not want to stand directly over the engine when you’re removing the cap in case steam has built up inside.

  1. Revise los niveles de líquido del radiador.

Once the cap is off it’s time to check fluid levels. There should be markings on the radiator expansion tank. The markings can wear off over time but you can still estimate how high or low the coolant levels are.

Your owner’s manual should include a section on the vehicle’s radiator, along with optimal fluid levels. Often this includes a diagram of the radiator tank with fluid levels visibly marked. You can compare the diagram against your vehicle.

Cómo agregar líquido de radiador

radiadorAfter checking the radiator fluid and discovering that it’s low, you’ll need to add coolant to keep your engine running. Before you start, there are a few things you’ll need to make the job go faster and easier.

  • Agua destilada
  • Coolant – antifreeze
  • Guantes
  • Embudo

Now that you’ve gathered the necessary supplies it’s time to fill the radiator.

  1. Find the radiator’s overflow tank.

El tanque de desbordamiento está en el lado del radiador. Capta cualquier desbordamiento del radiador. La mayoría de estos tanques mueven el refrigerante de regreso al radiador, lo que lo convierte en una opción ideal para agregar líquido nuevo. El líquido se moverá hacia el radiador cuando sea necesario, evitando desbordes.

Sometimes the radiator has a low fluid level and the overflow tank is full. Often this indicates a problem with the coolant system and should be inspected by a certified mechanic. If you’re not sure if your overflow tank returns the fluid to the radiator, it should be stated in the owner’s manual.

  1. Mezcle el refrigerante con agua destilada.

You want to mix the coolant with equal parts of water for the radiator to work efficiently. The funnel makes it easy to pour the liquids and the gloves will protect your hands from accidental splashes. You can use a higher concentration of water or coolant but it can put more stress on the system. Some coolants come premixed so you don’t have to do any mixing. Just read the instructions printed on the coolant label.

  1. Vierta el refrigerante en el tanque de desbordamiento o radiador.

The overflow tank is the preferred place to pour in the coolant, and the funnel makes this easy without spilling a drop. This also applies if you have to pour the coolant directly into the radiator. You also want to make sure you don’t go over the recommended level, When you’re done, replace the radiator cap.

  1. Start the vehicle’s engine.

Any time you add coolant to the radiator, it’s a good idea to start the engine. You should be listening for any usual sounds, primarily from the cooling fans. Humming or clanging noises could indicate a problem with the cooling system.

  1. Compruebe si hay fugas.

Siempre revise debajo del vehículo después de llenar el radiador. Si el líquido tiene una fuga, podría indicar,

  • El radiador estaba lleno
  • Una fuga o torcedura en una manguera

Cualquiera de estos puede significar un problema más serio con el radiador que simplemente tener poco líquido. También desea limpiar cualquier líquido derramado. No solo es una preocupación ambiental, sino que también puede ser peligrosa para los animales y los seres humanos.

Cómo saber cuándo cambiar el líquido de su radiador

Some times your radiator fluid levels are fine but you still need to change your radiator fluid. How do you know if the coolant is dirty? There are a few signs that could indicate it’s time to change your radiator fluid.

  1. The coolant looks ‘milky’ or cloudy.

Some coolants are brilliant blue and others are a clear white. While the colors can differ, each one should be slightly transparent. If the coolant is cloudy or looks like it might have been mixed with milk, you’ll want to schedule a visit to your mechanic.

A menudo, esta es una señal de que se está filtrando aceite en el sistema de enfriamiento y esto puede causar problemas graves y costosos en el motor.

  1. Compruebe si hay partículas flotantes en el refrigerante.

Pueden entrar suciedad y otras partículas pequeñas en el refrigerante. Desde allí, ingrese al sistema de enfriamiento y finalmente al motor. Cuando las partículas diminutas entran en el motor, pueden causar bloqueos y otros problemas que, si se ignoran, suelen ser costosos de solucionar.

As soon as you find debris in the coolant it’s best to immediately take your vehicle to a licensed service center.

  1. Utilice una tira reactiva.

Con el tiempo, el refrigerante puede comenzar a perder su eficacia. A veces, una botella de refrigerante permanece en un estante durante demasiado tiempo o el vehículo rara vez se conduce y requiere pocos cambios de líquido. Hay tiras reactivas económicas que puede encontrar en la mayoría de las tiendas de repuestos para automóviles.

Simply dip the test strip into the radiator and compare the color change to the included chart. If the strip shows that the fluid has lost some or most of its effectiveness, it’s time to change it before there are problems with the vehicle’s engine.

Agua frente a refrigerante

Since it’s recommended that you mix equal parts water and coolant, some drivers wonder why they can’t save money and leave antifreeze out of the mixture. There are a few good reasons why you shouldn’t leave coolant out of the mix.

Distilled water by itself is fine when you’re engine suddenly overheats. It’s recommended that every driver keep a gallon of distilled water in their vehicle at all times for these emergencies. While water will keep the engine cool long enough to drive to a service station it doesn’t have the protective properties associated with antifreeze.

Water boils at a different rate than coolant. Water boils at 212 F and coolant around 387 F. Since water boils at a lower temperature, there’s a chance it will evaporate leaving your radiator dry. Water also won’t protect the cooling system from corrosion, in some cases, it can add to it.


It’s important to keep up with your radiator fluid, it is a part of basic vehicle maintenance. This includes checking the fluid level and replacing it when necessary. Like every other component in your vehicle’s engine, there are shortcuts you can take.

However, if you want to prevent your car engine from overheating or worse developing expensive problems keep an eye on your coolant levels and don’t depend solely on periodically adding distilled water.

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