Your car’s coolant system is an essential part of keeping your engine running smoothly. It circulates coolant through the engine to prevent overheating and lubricates the water pump to keep the engine running at a safe temperature.
However, leaks in the coolant system can cause significant damage to the engine if left unchecked. Unfortunately, coolant leaks can be tricky to identify, and they are often overlooked until they cause serious problems.
Here, Al zaabi Autocare will discuss some common causes of coolant leaks in cars and highlight the possible steps to prevent them.
Understand Car’s Cooling System and Its Importance
Coolant, also known as antifreeze, is a vital component of a car’s engine cooling system. It consists of several components, including the radiator, coolant, water pump, thermostat, hoses, and fans.
The coolant is circulated throughout the system by the water pump, absorbing heat from the engine and transferring it to the radiator. The radiator then dissipates the heat through the fins and releases it into the air.
The thermostat regulates the flow of coolant to ensure that the engine operates at the optimal temperature. The fans are designed to pull cool air through the radiator to further aid in the cooling process. Hoses connect the various components of the system, allowing the coolant to circulate freely.
So, it is important to maintain the cooling system in your car to prevent overheating, which can cause significant engine damage. Regular car maintenance, such as coolant flushes and inspections of the various components, can help ensure that the system is functioning properly.
In addition, addressing coolant leaks can prevent further damage, help keep your car running smoothly, and ensure the longevity & reliability of a car’s engine.
Common Causes of Car Coolant Leaks
A cracked or damaged radiator is one of the most common causes of coolant leaks. Radiators are made of metal and plastic, which can wear down over time and develop cracks. When this happens, coolant can leak out of the radiator and onto the ground.
Damaged Radiator Hose
The radiator hose carries coolant between the engine and the radiator. If the hose is damaged or has worn out, it can start to leak coolant. A damaged hose can also cause the engine to overheat.
Faulty Water Pump
The water pump is responsible for circulating coolant through the engine. If the water pump is faulty or damaged, it can cause coolant to leak out of the engine.
Leaking Heater Core
The heater core is part of the car’s heating system and is responsible for providing heat inside the car. If the heater core is damaged, coolant can leak into the car’s cabin, causing a sweet smell and a foggy windshield.
Cracked Engine Block
An engine block is the main part of the engine that contains the cylinders. If the engine block develops a crack, coolant can leak out of the engine and onto the ground.
Damaged Head Gasket
Leaking Expansion Tank
The expansion tank is part of the car’s cooling system and is responsible for storing excess coolant. If the expansion tank is damaged or has worn out, coolant can leak out of the tank and onto the ground.
Faulty Coolant Reservoir Cap
The coolant reservoir cap is responsible for maintaining the pressure in the cooling system. If the cap is faulty or damaged, coolant can leak out of the system.
Corroded Heater Hose Fittings
The heater hoses connect the engine to the heater core. Over time, the fittings on the hoses can corrode, causing coolant to leak out of the system.
Loose or Damaged Coolant Hose Clamps
Coolant hoses are held in place with clamps. If the clamps become loose or damaged, coolant can leak out of the system.
Puddles Under a Car
Usually, a bright orange or green colour beneath the parked car is likely a coolant leak. Note that the puddle’s location can often reveal where the leak is occurring.
Unusual Engine Smell/Sound
Do not ignore the syrupy or sweet smell in your car, as it indicates a coolant leak. It might be a result of a faulty hose or cracked radiator. On the other hand, if you experience a certain amount of noise from your car engine while driving, it can also be an indication of a cooling system problem.
Take your car to a car service centre near Abu Dhabi as soon as possible if you identify any of the above causes, as it needs prompt and appropriate action to prevent any significant damage to your car’s engine.
Prevention Tips for Car Coolant Leaks
Knowing the causes of car coolant leaks is not sufficient; you must know DIY (Do-it-yourself) prevention tips to avoid them.
- Visual Checks – Check for any indication of rust, corrosion, or damage on the connections, radiator, and hoses.
- Regular Inspection – Don’t overlook the coolant levels and periodic inspections for leaks under your car.
- Use High-Quality Coolant – Always prefer high-quality coolant to the longevity and efficiency of the cooling system.
- Maintain Proper Coolant Levels – Make sure the coolant level is always within the specified range and replaced according to manufacturer’s guidelines.