In this article, we are going to focus on the causes of engine coolant leak in automobile and what can be done to remedy the situation. Coolant leaks may not appear to be a major issue, but they might put your car’s engine in jeopardy. Your engine could overheat if you don’t use enough antifreeze (or freeze in winter months). Coolant should be checked on a frequent basis because it plays such an important role in how well your engine performs. This is especially true for older vehicles, which may not perform as well as modern versions.
The most obvious sign of a coolant leak is visible fluid on the garage floor (or wherever you park your car). Because it’s not the only fluid that might leak from your engine, knowing what to check for can help you figure out which one it is. Coolant is typically bright green, orange, or pink in color, with a sweet aroma. If you discover a coolant leak, clean it up as soon as possible because it is extremely harmful to both people and pets.
Another technique to tell whether you have a coolant leak is to keep an eye on your temperature indicator. Although some temperature fluctuation is natural, a quick or considerable change in temperature is usually a symptom of a problem that needs to be investigated before it causes damage. Check the coolant level in the expansion tank and fill it to see whether your engine has a coolant leak, then monitor the level to see if you’re losing fluid.
Read also: Tips On How To Fix Car Radiator Leak
What’s Engine Coolant?
Water and ethylene glycol or propylene glycol make up the majority of engine coolant, which also contains rust inhibitors, lubricants, and colors. Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) and boils at 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius), making it unsuitable for use as an engine coolant. Pure water would boil at 252 °F (122 °C) even under a 16-psi pressure cap, which would be good in warmer climes but would freeze overnight in colder ones.
Glycols increase the liquid temperature range of water, preventing it from freezing or boiling at severe temperatures. The freezing point of a 50/50 water/coolant mixture is -35 °F (-37 °C), whereas the boiling point is 223 °F (106 °C). A 30/70 blend falls even lower, with a freezing point of -67 °F (-55 °C) and a boiling point of 235 °F (113 °C). Some people refer to it as anti-freeze, but that’s only a side consequence of its role as an engine coolant. For a 50/50 blend, increasing the pressure raises the boiling point to 267 °F (130 °C).
Let us now consider some of the causes of engine coolant leak.
Causes Of Engine Coolant Leak
The following are the causes of engine coolant leak:
Hole In Radiator
All of your car’s engine parts are subjected to a great deal of wear and severe temperatures, which takes its toll in a variety of ways. One of the most common causes of coolant leaks is corrosion within the radiator. As the tubes age and weaken, dirt or debris may accumulate inside, causing a leak. A leak might also occur if the sealing gasket between the tank and the radiator wears out.
The hoses that connect to the radiator can also be a problem; as they age, they get harder and brittle, making it difficult for them to seal properly. As a result, the points where they connect to the radiator, water pump, and heater core are all subject to leakage.
Leaky Radiator Cap
The radiator cap may be little, yet it performs a significant function. The radiator is strongly pressured, and the cap is in charge of creating a tight seal that maintains the proper pressure in the cooling system. However, its seal may weaken over time, or the spring may begin to wear down, allowing coolant to escape.
Blown Head Gasket
The condition of your car’s head gasket has a significant impact on the performance of your engine. When a head gasket fails, you may not realize it for a long time. You could be driving for several miles before noticing a problem. The head gasket must withstand a wide variety of temperatures as well as pressures in the engine that are both extremely high and extremely low. It is located between the cylinder head and the engine block and is referred to as “blown” when it develops a leak.
When this happens, the engine oil and coolant can no longer be kept separate, which is exceedingly dangerous and can lead to engine failure. It can also cause coolant to seep outside of the engine, reducing your car’s capacity to cool as the coolant level declines.
Damaged Or Failed Water Pump
The water pump ensures that coolant is circulated throughout the cooling system. It is normally driven by a belt and is placed near the drive belts on the lower part of the engine. It connects to the radiator’s bottom hose, however that hose connection might become loose or corrode over time. It could also be damaged from the outside, which would cause it to leak.
Your engine will eventually overheat if a water pump has a malfunction that stops it from flowing coolant throughout the system, regardless of the source.
Issues With Expansion Tank
Cars have an expansion tank, which is that plastic container beside the engine, to aid deliver coolant to the radiator. It is normally connected to the radiator by a rubber hose and feeds or receives coolant as the engine heats up or cools down. That plastic, as well as the parts attached to it, can deteriorate over time and exposure to temperature variations. It’s possible that the container could split or that the cap will leak, allowing coolant to escape. It’s also possible that the pipe leading to the radiator has deteriorated, resulting in a loose connection that allows fluid to escape.
Symptoms Of Engine Coolant Leak
A fresh engine should be able to keep its coolant in the radiator, hoses, and coolant passageways for a long time. Damage, wear, corrosion, and other issues, on the other hand, can quickly lead to coolant leakage. Look for these signs if you think you have a coolant leak.
Visible liquid on the floor
You’ve discovered a major symptom of a coolant leak that has to be corrected before it causes serious harm to your engine if you see a puddle on the ground or smell coolant in the car. Look for a red, pink, green, or blue puddle beneath or within your vehicle, as well as residue on any element of the cooling system.
Air will take the place of coolant if it leaks. Because air is compressible, the boiling point of the coolant will drop, allowing part of it to flash into steam. Air and steam are excellent insulators, preventing the cooling system from releasing too much heat. Even if you can’t see it, you may have a coolant leak if the temperature gauge is approaching the red zone or if you notice a temperature warning light.
Even after warming up the car, white smoke in the exhaust could signal an internal engine leak, such as a broken block or cylinder head or head gasket failure. Coolant may be pushed into the cylinder under pressure, flashing to steam each time the cylinder fires.
Bubbles In Radiator
Combustion gases are being driven into the cooling system, as evidenced by bubbles in the radiator or the coolant overflow tank. This is a symptom of a coolant leak, but it might also be the result of engine, head, or head gasket breaches.
How To Stop Coolant Leak
The most obvious coolant leak remedy is to locate and repair the leak, but this isn’t always easy. Here are a few of the most prevalent causes of coolant leaks, as well as how to correct them.
Replace Damaged Hoses
Rubber radiator and heater hoses can deteriorate over time. A burst hose may quickly leak all of the engine’s coolant, but it’s usually simple to replace. Before installing the hose, make sure it’s of good quality, that the hose clamps are new, and that the sealing surfaces are clean.
Install a New Radiator Cap
The boiling point will be lowered and coolant will boil out if the radiator cap is worn, weak, or leaking. It’s also possible that coolant will leak outside. Fortunately, this is a simple and inexpensive repair. Simply wait for the engine to calm down before refilling the cooling system and replacing the radiator cap.
Fix Leaking Water Pump
A leaking water pump is more difficult to replace, especially on vehicles where the water pump is driven by the timing belt. The front seal and bearing can wear out, and replacing them can take a few hours. As a result, it’s common practice to replace the water pump at the same time as the timing belt.
Repair Radiator Leak
Because the radiator is visible, it might fail in a variety of ways, including corrosion, debris damage, and even mild impacts. If the coolant leak is caused by a radiator leak, the radiator should be repaired.
Use Stop-Leak Products
Stop-leak products are designed for hairline flaws and miniscule cracks, not for leaks that result in a puddle beneath your vehicle or a coolant odor throughout your vehicle.
Stop-high leak’s additive and media load can effectively seal small flaws, possibly even generating a soft “weld” to prevent coolant leaks, but they are not a substitute for necessary repairs. As a last-ditch effort, a stop-leak product may rescue the day, but if you have a coolant leak, you’ll need a comprehensive diagnosis and repair as soon as possible. A coolant flush is required if you use a stop-leak product to remove surplus stop-leak.