How to Detect a Coolant Leak

How to Detect a Coolant LeakYour car's engine operates at very high temperature, but the radiator helps keep it cool with the use of cold air and by circulating coolant fluid through the engine. If your car springs a radiator leak or a coolant leak elsewhere in the system your vehicle is at risk of overheating, which can cause major engine damage. The most common sign of a coolant leak is the engine temperature gauge rising to the hot side prior to your engine spewing steam. Before your engine overheats you can perform these checks to look for a radiator leak. If you find one you will want to bring your car to a professional mechanic to have the issue repaired to prevent major problems.

Puddle of Coolant Fluid

This goes without saying but the most obvious sign of radiator trouble is a visible coolant leak. Coolant is generally a bright green color, but can also be pink or yellow, and it will be slimy to the touch. Radiator fluid is very attractive to animals but is very hazardous if ingested so it is important to clean up any puddles that are found. Most commonly a coolant leak will collect directly under the front of your vehicle.

Low Coolant Fluid Level

Every so often it is important to check the coolant level in your radiator. Be sure to do this when the car has not been run for awhile so that it is cool to the touch and all fluid has returned to the reservoir for an accurate reading. If it is low you will want to see a mechanic to have the reason diagnosed, but if no leak is visible there is a good chance coolant is mixing with gasoline and being burnt up. This is often accompanied by white puffy exhaust smoke.

Radiator Rust or Discoloration

If you notice any discoloration or rust on the radiator or nearby engine parts you it could be caused by an antifreeze leak. If the fluid sprays out of the cooling system through a leak and lands on a hot engine part it will boil and burn off. Leaving behind a spot of discolored paint which will eventually begin to rust.

If you believe you have a coolant leak or have already experienced overheating you should seek an auto repair mechanic right away to avoid costly damage to your engine. Radiator replacement is often not to expensive, and sometimes all that needs repair or replacement are the rubber hoses around the system. For professional radiator repair in Denton, TX, visit Strande's Garage. We offer expert auto repair for all makes and models, ensuring your car continues to run great for years to come. Give us a call at (940) 566-2156 to request more information or to schedule superior auto repair in Denton.