Cars Get Cold Too

How To Check Your Antifreeze

It may not cross most people's minds, but checking your car's antifreeze protection level is an important part of regular maintenance. Anti-freeze helps protect your car from damage caused by cold weather, and keeping it at the proper level could save you from costly repairs down the road. In this article, we will show you how to check your car's antifreeze protection level and what to do if it needs to be adjusted.

What You Need

Before you begin, there are a few items you need for the job:

  • An anti-freeze tester: These are usually sold for just a few dollars at any auto parts store.

  • Paper towel or rag: This will help keep the anti-freeze off of surfaces like paint that could get damaged.

  • Ziplock bag: This will help keep dirt out of your anti-freeze tester while you’re not using it.


Step 1: Locate The Reservoir

The first step is to locate the reservoir where your car’s anti-freeze is stored. This is usually in the engine compartment, and it looks like a plastic container with a lid on top (as seen in Figure 1). There should also be a warning label telling you not to open the lid while the fluid is hot – so always make sure that your car has been sitting idle for at least two hours before proceeding! 

Step 2: Testing The Anti-Freeze

Now that you have located the reservoir, insert the end of your tester into the fluid (you may have to use a straw attached to the bottom of the tester). Then pump up and down until about half of the fluid has been drawn up into the glass chamber on top (Figure 2). Now look at how many “balls” are floating on top of the fluid; this number tells you how well protected your car is against extreme cold temperatures (see Table 1 below). Once done testing, pour any remaining liquid into its original container, then wipe off any residue with paper towel or rag. 


Step 3: Storing The Tester

After testing, take a ziplock bag and store your anti-freeze tester in it until its next use. This will help keep dust and dirt off of it when it’s not in use! And don't forget - always remember that antifreeze is poisonous so make sure none gets on any surfaces outside of its original container!   


Checking your car's antifreeze protection level doesn't have to be difficult or complicated; with these simple steps anyone can do it themselves! With regular testing every few months, you'll know exactly how well protected against extreme cold temperatures your vehicle really is - potentially saving yourself hundreds or thousands of dollars in repairs down the line!


Title 10 Most Popular Trucks

Based on final 2018 model-year sales, this guide contains the 10 most popular pickup trucks in America. Changes in the segment for 2019, however, could bring changes to this list in the future. Ram is challenging Chevrolet for second-place ranking among light-duty full-size models, while the midsize segment gets two new competitors in the form of the Ford Ranger and Jeep Gladiator. Stay tuned.

10. Toyota Tundra (118,258)

A full-size light-duty truck, the Texas-built Toyota Tundra has been in production for almost 15 years without a complete redesign. The Tundra’s two V8 engine choices are inefficient, crash-test protection is unimpressive, and the mix of cab styles, bed lengths, and trim levels is limited. The maximum payload rating is 1,730 pounds, and the maximum tow rating is 10,200 lbs.

9. Chevrolet Colorado (134,842)

A midsize pickup truck available in extended and crew cab styles with a choice between a 4-cylinder, a V6, and a turbo-diesel summoning 369 lb.-ft. of torque, the Chevrolet Colorado offers variety. You can get anything from a basic work truck to an off-road-ready ZR2 Bison, and when properly equipped a Colorado can haul up to 1,574 lbs. of payload and tow as much as 7,700 lbs. of trailer.

8. Chevrolet Silverado 2500HD/3500HD (148,819)

Available in 2500HD and 3500HD model series, as well as multiple trim levels ranging from basic to luxurious, Chevy’s heavy-duty full-size truck hauls up to 6,112 lbs. of payload and tows as much as 23,100 lbs. of weight, depending on how its configured. Get the optional Duramax turbo-diesel V8 for maximum capability. A redesigned Silverado HD is coming for the 2020 model year.

7. Ram Heavy Duty (149,287)

Overhauled for the 2019 model year, the Ram Heavy Duty comes in 2500 and 3500 series and is available with a turbo-diesel engine making 1,000 lb.-ft. of torque. Maximum towing capacity measures 35,100 lbs. and a Ram HD can handle a payload of up to 7,680 lbs. Multiple trim levels, from basic to luxurious, are available, and the Ram 2500 Power Wagon is especially talented when off-roading.

6. GMC Sierra 1500 (158,284)

Redesigned for 2019, the GMC Sierra 1500 light-duty full-size truck is improved in every way. Highlights include a range of engines including two V8s, a turbocharged 4-cylinder, and a turbo-diesel 6-cylinder. A new AT4 trim level preps the Sierra 1500 for off-road duty, and the popular Denali luxury model returns. Maximum towing capability is 10,200 lbs., and the Sierra can handle a payload of up to 2,240 lbs.

5. Toyota Tacoma (245,659)

The most popular midsize truck in America, the Toyota Tacoma comes in extended- and crew-cab styles and in six trim levels, including the off-road-ready TRD Pro. Power comes courtesy of a 4-cylinder or a V6 engine, and the Tacoma can tackle a payload of up to 1,440 lbs. or a trailer weighing as much as 6,800 lbs.

4. Ford F-Series Super Duty (264,388)

Redesigned just two years ago, the Ford F Series Super Duty lineup includes F-250, F-350, and F-450 model series with three different cab styles and six trim levels ranging from basic to luxurious. Gasoline and turbo-diesel V8 engines are available, and a Super Duty can haul up to 7,640 lbs. of payload and tow as much as 35,000 lbs. of trailer.

3. Ram 1500 (387,223)

Ram has redesigned its 1500 light-duty full-size pickup truck for 2019, though it still sells the old design as the Classic. The new truck takes big leaps in terms of technological sophistication, and comes with a standard mild-hybrid powertrain system called eTorque. Extended- and crew-cab styles are available in six trim levels ranging from basic to luxurious. The maximum payload rating is 2,300 lbs., and a Ram 1500 can tow up to 12,750 lbs.

2. Chevrolet Silverado 1500 (436,480)

Redesigned for 2019, the Silverado 1500 light-duty full-size pickup truck offers plenty of variety. Redesigned for 2019, the Silverado 1500 light-duty full-size pickup truck offers plenty of variety. Eight trim levels and six powertrains are available, including off-road-ready Trail Boss versions and both a turbocharged 4-cylinder gas and turbocharged 6-cylinder diesel engine. The Silverado’s maximum payload rating is 2,250 lbs. and the maximum tow rating is 12,200 lbs.

1. Ford F-150 (623,980)

For more than four decades, the Ford F-150 light-duty full-size truck has been the best-selling pickup in America. For 2019, three cab styles and seven trim levels are available, including the Baja-inspired Raptor. Turbocharged gas and diesel 6-cylinder engines are available, along with a traditional V8. The truck’s maximum payload rating is 3,270 lbs., and when properly equipped the F-150 can tow up to 13,200 pounds.

Article Originally published on JDPower.com by Christian Wardlaw