Leaks on the Coolant System

Checking the coolant level is a basic task to do under the hood. In this simple procedure you will learn how to indetify leaks on the coolant system. Always make sure that the cap on the coolant bottle is tightly sealed, if it isn't, the coolant gets out in the form of vapor. If you notice that the coolant level is lowering on a regular basis this is a sure sign that you have a leak somewhere. The coolant system is a pretty complex one, thus finding the leak can be very demanding. Nevertheless, don't hesitate to try to fix it yourself, atleast try to locate it.

Coolant Leak - Repair Procedure

If you decide to try the repairment by yourself here's what you do :

  1. Park the car on a clean surface, where the coolant will be visible when it drips off the engine. This will, in many cases give you a basic location of the leak.
  2.  Start the car and let it reach it's working temperature, most leaks don't show themselves while the engine is cold.
  3. Look closely to all the parts of the system (pay attention to where the hoses are attached to the engine, parts with gaskets,to the radiator etc.) As we said locating the leak is the most difficult part so take your time.
  4. Once you've spotted the leak, turn off the engine and let it cool down. You don't want to injure yourself with hot coolant   
  5. Here are the possible leak reasons that you may find:
  • a hose that has a losened tight-ring: take a screw driver or wrench and gently tighten the ring.
  • a punctured hose: replace it immediatly with a new one.
  • a ruined gasket: this often happens where the gaskets are in direct contact with the engine. Heat makes the gasket less elastic making them leak. Replace it with a new one, this should be done by a mechanic.
  •  the water pump is down: you can recognize it as the pump itself will be leaking.A trained mechanic should do the  replacement.
  •  a puncture in the radiator: most of the punctures are small so they can be repaired without having to replace the complete radiator. If it's a really small hole, you can use some of the leak-stopping treatments that you pour in the coolant system. They are mostly very efficient. Believe it or not, a tea spoon of grinded coffee can do the trick also. Just pour the coffee into the system through the radiator and let the engine run.  
  • if the leak doesn't appear anywhere in the engine space, take a look at the heating system inside the passenger cabin. This is mostly highly unaccessible, so make just a basic check. If there's a bigger leak in that place,let a mechanic do it.
    cololant leaks system
    Coolant system
  • the leak appears on the head gasket (between the engine head and engine block) : this is a sign that the gasket is bad. This repair is done buy taking the engine head off which means that it's not in the domain of basic repair. Let the mechanic do it. in more severe cases it will be manifested by engine oil and coolant mixing in the coolant bottle.

These are the most common cases except for the last one. The head gasket usually blows when the car has a great deal of miles on it's back. If it happens before it's time, that's a sure signal of overheating. So, never let your car overheat!!! Tthe moment you see the temperature gage going up more then normal, pull aside, turn off the  car and see what's happening!!  Otherwise you're risking a major car damage!!