Have you ever noticed fluid under your car? If so, this could be a sign that you have a coolant leak. This leak could be either internal or external and both can be difficult to locate. The reason these leaks are often difficult to locate is that the coolant will drip down on the hot engine and then evaporate before you can even see it. You should stop driving your car as soon as you notice that you have a coolant leak.
If you can’t find where the coolant leak is coming from, you should take your car into your local repair shop. They will be able to run diagnostics and determine where the leak is coming from. They will also be able to give you a price estimate and inform you of how they will fix the coolant leak. It is so important to take your car in as soon as possible because you could damage your engine if you wait too long. If you damage your engine, your car could completely stop working and you will be facing very expensive repair costs.
Locate The Leak
So, you think you have a coolant leak, but you don’t know where it is coming from. The first step is to locate the coolant leak. If the coolant starts dripping on the hot engine, it will be difficult to see where the leak is coming from. This is because the liquid will evaporate so fast you won’t be able to see it. Additionally, this leak could be internal or external so the first thing you will want to do is determine that. There are a few different tips on how to determine if your coolant leak is internal or external.
Look For External Leaks
It is important to always make sure your engine is cold before you search around for leaking parts. Once your engine has cooled off and you can start looking for a coolant leak, start checking under the engine first. This is a common spot for coolant leaks to occur. You can use a flashlight to help you locate any signs of coolant leaks. You obviously don’t want to be touching around the engine parts when they are hot but there is another reason beyond safety for why you should wait until the engine has cooled off. This reason is that the coolant won’t evaporate if the engine is cold. This will make it easier to locate a coolant leak.
You might be wondering what do I do if I can’t seem to locate this coolant leak with my eyes? If you can’t find this leak with your eyes, the best way is to use a tool that pressurizes the coolant system. So, how do you do this? Again, you will want to let the engine cool off before you do anything. Once it is cold, you can pressurize the system using a special tool. You will want to let the system sit for an hour with that tool and check the engine after that time. If you still can’t locate a leak after one hour, let it sit for a full 24 hours.
After you have waited 24 hours, check to see if you can find any leaks or look to see if there is a drop in pressure. If you still can’t find anything after all of that, it is probably safe to say you have an internal leak. You have pretty much ruled out the majority of external leaks by doing that test and searching for them with your eyes. Now it is time to look for internal coolant leaks.
Check For Internal Leaks
So, you couldn’t locate any external leaks so now it’s time to investigate the inside of your car for leaks. It is important to note that most of the time these internal leaks go through the engine and evaporate through the exhaust system. As you can imagine, this can be very difficult to see because it evaporates so quickly. You will notice white smoke coming from the exhaust system if this happens. This white smoke will alert you that there is a problem you need to look into.
Let’s say you don’t notice an increase in white smoke coming from your exhaust. This means you will have to look deeper into your other parts of your engine. There are some common places you should look first and those include cracks in the engine block, head gasket leaks, cracks in turbos, or cracks in the valves. These are all problems that could be contributing to your internal coolant leak.
So you might be wondering how do I check those parts listed above? One way to do it is by removing the spark plugs and the exhaust manifold. Look for any leaks or cracks within these parts. While you are already investigating the internal parts of your engine, check your engine oil. If you see that the oil is a milky brown color, you most likely have coolant in your oil. This means that your leak is bad enough that the coolant has reached where your oil is stored. This can lead to some very serious problems. It is crucial that you stop driving until you get this problem resolved. You could seriously damage your engine and your car could stop working altogether if this problem goes on for too long.
Not only would this be a very costly fix, but it can also be incredibly time-consuming as well. You might be without a car for a longer period of time while a mechanic is working on fixing your engine. This is all dependent on the extent of damage that has been done to your car’s engine. Always make sure to take your car into a mechanic to get this issue resolved as soon as possible.
Where Can Coolant Leak From?
If your coolant is running out, this can lead to a lot of issues with your engine. It is very dangerous because this coolant is used to cool off the engine so it does not overheat. To avoid this from happening, you should frequently check your vehicle for coolant problems to make sure you can stop them as soon as possible. The sooner you realize there is a coolant leak, the less engine damage you will have. There are a few different ways you can fix these coolant leaks, but you first need to know where the leak is coming from. Listed below are some common places coolant leaks occur.
The Radiator: The radiator is one of the most common sources of coolant leaks. Why is this? Many radiators have an aluminum core. This means that the leak can happen throughout any of the joints that connect to the radiator itself. The aluminum is more susceptible to crack sand coolant leaks.
The Reservoir: Coolant leaks can occur where the rubber hoses and the engine connect. These hoses can crack causing coolant to leak out. These leaks can also happen in the reservoir, heater core, thermostat housing, or the radiator. Over time, these hoses will get hard and brittle. This causes them to crack or the clamps will loosen up allowing coolant to leak out. The biggest indicator of this is your hose will be hardened.
The Head Gasket: The head gasket is another area that coolant could be leaking from. This can be difficult to diagnose and it is definitely one of the most dangerous places for a coolant leak to occur. The reason for this is because once the leak starts, you will have a significant amount of coolant loss. If this coolant leaks into your engine, you will have some serious damages. This could cause your entire engine to stop working, which means your car will not operate. If this happens, you should expect to pay a lot of money to repair or replace your engine.
What Happens If Coolant Leaks With Oil?
It is incredibly harmful for coolant and oil to mix together. Why is this so dangerous? The reason for this is because these two substances are completely different from one another. They both have very different functions and purposes that they serve for your car’s engine. Since they are so different, it causes a lot of damage to your engine when they mix together in there. They are not meant to mix together which is why they are always stored in different locations.
You might be wondering how these substances are so different? Coolant is like water. The purpose of coolant is to cool down the engine so it does not overheat from being overworked. Oil, on the other hand, is a much thicker substance. It is used to lubricate the parts in the engine so they can work properly and limit the amount of friction occurring inside the engine. As you can see, these two substances are very different and they should never be mixed together. If you notice that they are, you need to stop driving your car immediately and take it in to get checked out by a mechanic.
Should I Add Radiator Coolant Fluid Into My Coolant System?
It is not a good idea to add radiator coolant fluid because it can clog the heater core and the radiator. While it might fix leaks, it can also cause worse damage down the road. Sometimes the clogged parts can cause the entire system to overheat. This will cause a lot of damage to your car and could even cause your car to stop working. This will be very expensive to fix. You should take your car in to a mechanic to get the leak fixed instead of adding radiator coolant fluid. You are better off having the part repaired or replaced.
How Can I Repair A Coolant Leak?
Now that you have noticed you have a coolant leak, you need to repair it. You will want to locate your service manual to learn how to replace a damaged head gasket or engine part. The owner’s manual will give you all the important instructions regarding this. It is important to follow these instructions very carefully so you don’t end up damaging anything worse.
Keep in mind that the most important part of performing a coolant leak repair is the bleeding after you have finished. It is critical that you bleed everything when you are done. This can be a more time-consuming process because you need to get all of the air bubbles out of your cooling system. If you take your car out for a drive, you will notice that the air bubbles will start to go away. It helps to get everything moving again after these types of repairs.
Since coolant leaks are difficult to locate, they can be hard to fix. Additionally, it will take some time to determine if the leak is internal or external. If you don’t think all of this is worth your time and money, don’t worry you have other options to look into.
Now, let’s say you don’t want to spend the money to fix your coolant leak. Instead, you can sell your car to Cash Cars Buyer and we will give you cash for it. We will take your car in any condition, so you don’t have to repair it before you sell it. We will use your car for its working parts, or our team will repair the coolant leak.
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We understand that repairing your car can get very expensive and time-consuming. If you are looking to purchase a new car and don’t want to fix your current car, sell your car to us for cash. You can put this cash towards buying that new car. Contact us today to get a quote!