coolant leaks

Coolant Leaks: Symptoms, Causes & Fixes

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Coolants are like lubricants. The only difference is that they keep engines at a good temperature. They are very essential to your car’s engine. You can’t run a car without its coolants, because they are as critical to the power your car engine needs as well as the overall performance of the vehicle. 

What happens when your car engine overheats? What would you do? The only solution is the coolants. They will cool down your overheated engine and put them in great shape.

If you have a coolant leak you will see symptoms and signs such as engine overheating, water under the engine, and a bad smell from the car. However, coolants can leak and mess up the entire surrounding of your engine. Coolant leaks are dangerous, and you shouldn’t wait for long before you fix issues associated with coolant leaks. When this happens, what will be your immediate reaction? You don’t have to wait for a mechanic; a simple Do-It-Yourself guide can help you resolve the issue.

This is the idea behind this article. Keep reading to get all the information you need to resolve issues that concern coolant leaks. 

What Are Coolants?

Antifreeze is another term for coolants. They are fluids that run throughout your engine to keep it at a normal temperature. They enhance engine performance by keeping the temperature mild and sound. 

Ethylene glycol or water are the main raw materials for making coolants. They usually appear in green, pink or blue color. They keep your car’s radiator from overheating, thereby averting mechanical failure. In other words, it keeps engine temperature stable under cold weather and in extreme driving conditions.

Knowing the function of coolant and how important they are in your car, should be carefully observed to know when there’s a leak in the cooling system. Coolants leak are not difficult to unravel as you can see them drip from the cylinder. A possible coolant leak can be from either the radiator, water pump, freeze plugs, or hose.

Coolant can leak out from the radiator as a result of vibration. The cooling tubes in the core are very fragile and can be ruptured from stone damage or corrosion, causing coolant to leak.

When coolant leaks from the hose, you can detect it from the hot coolant that sprays out. This can be caused by corrosion in the hose connection. Then, the freeze plugs could be from a corroded inner and outer layer of the plug. Coolant leaks are almost impossible to site because of the position of the plugs at the back of the exhaust manifold.

Symptoms of Coolant Leak

Technically, a coolant leak is also an antifreeze leak. There are little obvious signs that would enable you to tell when your coolants are leaking out of your vehicle. From certain markings given to these coolants and the different colors they appear in, even a novice can tell for sure it’s a coolant leak, not other car fluid.

Here are a few signs you will see to suspect a leak in the coolant:

  • The car starts to Overheat

You can tell a leak in the cooling system when your car starts overheating. This is because the amount of fluid the engine needs to run is not enough result due to a leak; hence, the engine overheats.

  • Water under the Car

From the small amount of water seen under your car, having either orange, pink or blue color. Manufacturers specifically make this range of dye colors to enable motorists to tell the difference from other car fluids. 

  • Bad Smell from the Car

Another sign is the smell you notice from your car. This smell usually comes after driving your car when you’ve parked. The aroma is sometimes offensive or sweet and you can perceive it from your car wheel. 

When you notice these signs, then you should know that your coolant system has been sabotaged and needs to a repair as soon as possible to avoid further damages or malfunction.

Causes of Coolant Leaks

There are a few reasons your coolant can start to leak. However, there are three major things you can easily attribute to when there is a leak in the coolant. 

  • A Leak in the Radiator Cap

Radiators are known to be a pressurized system in all vehicles. The pressure in the radiator allows hot liquid coming from the engine to flow through tubes in the radiator, cooling it down as it passes. The. The radiator cap helps maintain the pressure needed to move the coolant. So, if the radiator cap leaks, it won’t be able to maintain the pressure in the radiator needed to move the coolant to the engine.

  • Leak From Outside

These are the easiest to notice. You can diagnose leaks yourself by inspecting either the radiator hose or coolant tank. Damage to the radiator by external forces can cause coolant to leak. Also, loose clamps can let coolant flow out. You should check for any crack, hole, or swelling in the hose.

  • Leak From The Inside 

Checking for leaks on the inside should be next since you discovered nothing on the extern coolant system. A possible place to look is the coolant reservoir or the head gasket. For internal leaks, you won’t see a puddle on the ground under your car, as you would if it were an external leak.

If you have a leaky head gasket, you will notice thick smoke coming out of your car’s tailpipe. This is because the antifreeze leaks into the combustion chamber. When this happens, you would tell from the sweet smell and smoke oozing out from the exhaust even when the engine is warm.

How To Fix Coolant Leak?

Fixing a coolant leak isn’t rocket science. Simply find the particular spit where it leaks and replace them. You do not need an expert to do this for you.

As you can’t fix the entire coolant system, then replacing the damaged or ineffective part is the best thing to do. Though it might cost you some bucks, it’s worth it at the end of the day.

Final Thoughts

Over the years, coolants have been serving. Just as your car needs fuel to move, so does the engine need coolant to stay cool and run smooth. In all, coolants are responsible for the optimum performance of a vehicle. If they leak out or are missing, the car engine can overheat and possibly knock.

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