What You Need to Know about Your Coolant Leak
Often, the first symptom of car trouble involving coolant leak is the engine overheating. The leak could occur in any part of the cooling system. But more often than not, the leaks are easily detected because of evident dripping, seeping or spraying, and bubbling from the source of leakage.
If a minor leak occurs while you’re on the road, you could still drive the car slowly. You should be wary about the rise in temperature. Check the gauge. If the gauge indicates that the temperature is reaching the danger zone, stop the car and let the engine cool down.
There are cars with low coolant indicator lamps, which could immediately give the heads-up that there’s a problem. If there’s none, and there could be coolant leak, make a visual inspection of the engine and the cooling system and check for any sign that there’s leak in the hoses, radiator, and engine. The color of the dripping or seeping liquid varies depending on the coolant used. Check for a sweet smell as you go through with the inspection.
These are the common parts of the cooling system where leaks occur. You could use a mirror and torch to do your own search:
- Water pump – Check for stains or discoloration or presence of liquid.
- Radiator – Check the seams, cooling tubes, and core for corrosion due to an old coolant that has not been replaced for a long time.
- Hoses – Check for cracks, splits, corroded or loose clamps. Leaks are indicated by sprays of hot coolant.
- Freeze plugs – Check for rusty streaks, corrosion from inside out, but this could be difficult to see because of the location of the plugs. These plugs are easy to inspect from underneath the car if the engine block is a V6 or a V8.
- Heater core – Check inside the HVAC unit. Look for stains or liquid spots.
- Intake manifold gasket – Check the gasket that seals the intake manifold to the cylinder heads as coolant may enter the port.
There are coolant leaks that are quite difficult to trace because the sources may be located in hidden parts of the engine. The worst kind of coolant leak can be very heavy on the pocket. That’s why a regular maintenance checkup of the car is important to know if there’s wear and tear in engine parts that would eventually cause problems if not replaced in a timely manner.
A systematic checkup is necessary if you suspect a coolant leak but couldn’t detect the source. While it is somewhat easy to do the trace yourself in some instances, internal problems should be entrusted to professional factory-trained technicians from your local auto dealership.
Coolant leaks can be tricky to trace and address. These are car troubles that are better left in the hands of professionals factory-trained technicians from your local auto dealership. While it could do you good to do it yourself for minor troubles, it is best for you to bring your car to the local auto dealership so that their master-certified technicians can do a thorough checkup of the car and keep it in tiptop shape