Finding and fixing any coolant leaks, is crucial to the health of your engine.
Consequently, coolant leaks, can occur anywhere in the cooling system.
But the good news is, they are usually easy to find. Because, coolant leaks can be seen, dripping, spraying, seeping or bubbling, from the leaky component.
One way to keep coolant leaks from occurring, is to follow a regular preventative maintenance schedule. Older coolant can turn bad and when that happens; it becomes acidic and begins, eating away at the aluminum in your radiator.
Regular maintenance can also detect, loose and deteriorating hoses or other problems, that can lead to a leaking radiator.
So, the engine’s cooling system works, by circulating a coolant and water mixture; under pressure, through the engines cooling system.
Consequently, the temperature of the coolant rises, as the engine runs and the coolant expands. So, any excess coolant in the system, moves into a reservoir tank, by way of rubber hoses. But, when this system isn’t working properly, you risk running into expensive repairs. That’s why, fixing a coolant leak, as soon as possible is crucial.
So, if you suspect your vehicle has a coolant leak, open the hood and visually inspect the engine. Next, check the cooling system for any sign of, liquid leaking from the, engine, radiator or hoses. You may also notice a sweet smell, which is a characteristic odor, of ethylene glycol antifreeze. Most cooling systems today, are designed to operate at 8 to 14 psi. So, if the radiator can’t hold pressure, your engine will overheat and lose coolant.
External Coolant Leaks
An external leak is the type of leak, which is most easily diagnosed. More often than not, when you have an external leak, the coolant escapes and your car quickly overheats. Most likely you can easily, spot where the leak is coming from by looking at it. Consequently, a split or broken hose or a hole in the radiator, are two good examples. Leaks in the water pump, heater core or engine freeze plugs, can also allow coolant to escape. These too are easy to diagnose, by a visual inspection.
They are the worst kind of coolant leaks, for two reasons:
- One is that they are impossible to see, because they are hidden inside the engine.
- The other is that internal coolant leaks, can be very expensive to repair.
So, an internal leak, won’t cause a puddle of coolant under your car. But, it will be noticeable when your coolant level does not stay constant. Also, you may find that you need to constantly, refill the coolant tank, to keep your engine from overheating. An internal leak, could be caused by a leak in the head or block, or perhaps a leaky head gasket.
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