A coolant leak can be a huge issue if left untreated. Without patching your leak, your engine might overheat, causing irreparable damage to other parts of your vehicle. Luckily, nipping an automobile coolant leak in the bud before it has a chance to cause further damage is relatively straightforward, even for novice car owners. Continue reading below to find out where your coolant leak is coming from and how to fix it. Alternatively, watch the video below for a walkthrough of how to fix a coolant leak at home!
How to Fix an Automobile Coolant Leak
Can I Drive With a Coolant Leak?
Before we get to how to fix a coolant leak, let’s talk about why it is important to fix your leak quickly. If your car is leaking coolant, it will run normally until the coolant level gets too low. Once it is low, there will not be enough coolant to keep your engine at the normal operating temperature and the engine will overheat. If your engine overheats, it can cause significant damage to the block, heads and other components. To learn more check out our article on engine overheating.
Do I Have a Coolant Leak?
Checking the coolant level regularly is the best way to find out if you have a leak. Remember, your coolant expands and changes the level. So, you need to check the level when your vehicle is either all the way warmed up or completely cold. If you notice the level dropping steadily then you’ve got a leak somewhere. Many vehicles have a sensor in the coolant reservoir that will illuminate a light or message on your dashboard when the reservoir gets too low so if you see that message add coolant and check for leaks.
Automobile Coolant Leak Symptoms
Here are a few common symptoms that might Indicate an automobile coolant leak:
- A sweet, antifreeze smell
- Overheating Engine
- Puddles Under the Car
- Low Coolant Levels
Locating the Source of the Leak
Once you suspect a leak, identifying the source of your automobile coolant leak is a crucial step in understanding how to fix it. Here are a few common places for leaks to show up and how to deal with them:
- Heater core
- Head gasket
There are at least four hoses associated with the cooling system in your vehicle. One hose carries coolant from the bottom of the radiator into the water pump and another hose carries coolant from the top of the engine back to the radiator. There are also two hoses that carry coolant to and from the heater core, which is most likely located under your dashboard. So, that hose will travel from the motor back to the firewall or the rear of the engine bay.
Overtime, due to heat and age, the ends of those hoses can become brittle and begin to crack where they are attached causing small leaks. In this case, the best thing to do is purchase a new hose and clamps and replace the broken hose. Here is more information on how to fix a radiator hose leak.
The thermostat is usually on the top of the engine, but in many makes can be located on the bottom (Subarus, for instance). It’s likely near the water pump and enclosed in a housing that is near one of the hoses going to the radiator at the front of your vehicle. This housing is usually bolted on so that it can be easily removed if you need to replace the thermostat. It is possible that the thermostat housing can develop a leak where it is bolted together. In this case, consider replacing the thermostat housing gasket. Since you already will have it apart, consider replacing the thermostat as well since it is a relatively inexpensive part.
As discussed above, your heater core is located under your dashboard near the cabin ventilation fan. Warm coolant from your engine is pumped through the heater core, then your cabin ventilation system uses that to heat the air in the cabin of your vehicle. If the heater core is leaking you will find coolant on the floorboards of your vehicle, most likely on the passenger side. Removing the heater core can be an expensive and tedious job requiring the removal of a significant portion of the interior of your vehicle. To repair the leak in your current heater core use BlueDevil Pour-N-Go. BlueDevil Pour-N-Go is a non-particulate, chemical-based leak sealer that reacts at the temperature differential created at the leak point in your cooling system. BlueDevil Pour-N-Go will create a chemical weld at the leak, permanently sealing the leak in your heater core without expensive removal. Simply add BlueDevil Pour-N-Go to your vehicle’s radiator and allow up to 2 days drive time for the leak to seal.
If you discover a radiator leak you can repair it by using BlueDevil Radiator and Block Seal to seal that leak. Since your radiator is in the front of your vehicle and a relatively fragile piece of equipment it is not unusual for it to get holes from rocks or road debris. BlueDevil Pour-N-Go can save you from the costly repair of purchasing a new radiator.
You can tell if you have an external coolant leak from your head gasket if you discover coolant leaking from below your exhaust or intake manifold. We also recommend you check for other signs of a head gasket leak before jumping to conclusions.
External head gasket leaks must be sealed very quickly, as they will expand over time if they are left untreated. If you have an external head gasket leak use BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer. BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer can seal the head gasket leak even in vehicles with large cooling capacities, like V8 engines or truck engines, and is powerful enough to stop even large leaks. You can purchase BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer here.
Possibly an Overfill?
Oftentimes, an overfilled coolant tank will be mistaken as a leak. If the overflow tank is too full coolant will spill out of that reservoir and may look like a leak. If this is the case, you should only see coolant overflowing the tank 1 or 2 times and after that, the excess coolant will be removed from the system and you shouldn’t see any more overflow.
How to Fix Any Automobile Coolant Leak in One Simple Step
If you do find a leak, remember BlueDevil Pour-N-Go and BlueDevil Head Gasket Sealer are guaranteed to seal your cooling system leak easily and permanently without costly replacements or mechanics bills.
You can also purchase any Blue Devil product from our partnering local auto parts retailers like:
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