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It's important to check engine coolant level regularly – weekly if possible – it's not hard to do.
The level shouldn't change unless there's a leak somewhere.
And if there is a leak, it's much better discovered early and at home, rather than in the outside lane of a motorway when the engine overheats.
Overheating can cause real damage to your car's engine. This simple video by AA Patrol Nick Evers shows you how to keep your coolant at an optimum level and prevent overheating.
The coolant must contain the correct concentration of anti-freeze as well, not just for winter protection but for year round protection against corrosion and scale build up which can reduce the efficiency of the cooling system.
There are several different types of antifreeze on the market and mixing different types can reduce their effectiveness – if you have to add coolant, check the vehicle handbook first to find out which type of antifreeze additive you must use.
(Updated August 2011)