Does my car need water in the cooling system?

Thursday January 30 2020


By Paul Kaganzi

Hello Paul, I have just bought a Toyota Hiace. I see two coolant containers, one on the radiator and the other one empty and white in colour. Can I fill it with water? Nankunda

Hello Nankunda, the white container with a picture of a radiator on its cap is a coolant expansion tank.

It should be topped up to the recommended level with engine coolant not water.

Reputable engine coolant, is designed with additive molecules that prevent corrosion and overheating of the engine while lubricating fast moving parts of the cooling system such as the water pump.

I suggest you go to a garage or good service bay and carry out a comprehensive first service inspection. Since you have just received this used vehicle and may not have its service history.

Start by building your own good service record of all serviceable fluids, filters, belts, hoses, ignition and fuel system components.


An inspection of tyre age and condition, lights, brakes, seat belts and other safety or operational features is also necessary.