How Long To Run Engine after Adding Coolant? [Explained]

Sometimes, owning a car is not enough. You have to know its dos and don’ts if you want to keep the performance and efficiency of your vehicle on above par. 

Adding coolant is one of the best gifts you can ever give to your car. However, adding coolant and driving right after it is not a good idea, contrary to what people seem to do.

Usually many people handle their car on an ordinary level that ultimately targets its longevity to long term therefore today I shall tell you about how long to run the engine after adding coolant.

Driving a car immediately after adding coolant is not recommended. You should wait for at least 15 minutes after adding coolant to your car for the optimal performance. 

And if you have been driving, it’s better to wait for fifteen minutes before you add coolant to the car. Make sure to keep the ignition off, otherwise there is no point in waiting for fifteen minutes.

Why should I wait after adding coolant to the car?

Why should I wait after adding coolant to the car

The air is not good for the fluids in the car. The reason for that is, coolant mixture may come with added air. So when the air does not get enough time to settle down it can put the engine on stake. The engine will not take it as a welcoming sign and may overheat. 

The air in the coolant mixture needs time to get out and if you immediately drive the car after adding coolant it will reduce the efficiency. 

On the other hand it will also reduce the efficiency of coolant for which you may need to replace it because the engine will use the coolant along with air.

Read Also: How Long To Let Engine Cool before Adding Oil

Is there something I should do after adding coolant to the car?

Yes, there are things you must do after adding coolant to the car. Adding coolant to the car is not enough. You have to make sure you have done it right.

  • Check Engine Temperature after 15 Minutes: checking temperature is most important. Wait for 15 minutes after turning on the ignition. It should not be overheated. If it overheats, don’t drive. For temperature check, you can drive 2, 3 miles. If all is set and the engine is not overheating, you can drive for sure, or else talk to the car mechanic.
Check Engine Temperature

  • Cap should be Screwed Shut: the cap of the coolant reservoir should be snugly screwed. Make sure it’s screwed shut otherwise the coolant will spill. The leaky coolant can damage the engine.
cap of the coolant reservoir

  • Check the Coolant Level– The coolant reservoir has a minimum level and a maximum level. The coolant level should be close to the maximum level, not above it.

Check the Coolant Level

How long does coolant take to start working

Coolant usually starts working right after you have added it to the car. However, if it’s not pure, or you added water to the premixed coolant, it can obviously take time for smoother working. If you have added the coolant that was mixed with water the air in coolant will affect its working for sure.

So, in ideal condition coolant works immediately, but if there is air or mixing of other elements, it can take time. In either case, waiting for 15 minutes after adding coolant is a safe approach.

2 ways to know if coolant is working or not

If you are unsure of the coolant you have added is working or no, here is how you should check it

  • Check the dashboard, usually the latest cars come with an engine temperature indicator right on the dashboard. The engine temperature should be normal if coolant is working.

engine temperature indicator

  • The thermostat inside the car hood will also tell you if coolant is working or not. Turn on the engine and open up the hood. Now manually, check the thermostat. You will know the engine temperature from here, if things are heated, coolant is not working, and otherwise, it is.

check the thermostat

How to add coolant the right way?

If you are adding coolant to your car, make sure it is pure.  Also check if it’s compatible with your car or not. If it’s not compatible you should avoid using it for sure. Moreover, while you’re adding coolant to the engine, it’s better to read the manual. 

Although the process is the same for all cars, sometimes, it may be different depending on your vehicle. If you choose the premixed coolant is good as it comes with a ready to use approach. You can use it right after opening it.

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