Your vehicle's cooling system performs a vital function to keep the engine from overheating. If you ever notice radiator coolant (also known as radiator fluid or antifreeze) leaking from underneath your car, it's not something you want to take lightly. Without enough clean coolant circulating through the system, the engine will begin to overheat and it could eventually lead to significant engine damage.
In this article, we want to break down what you need to know and do when you see a coolant leak.
Identify the Fluid
Your car has many different fluids. Any fluid leak should be cause for concern. Radiator coolant is typically a very bright green/yellow in color and fairly easy to identify. You may want to look closer at the fluid itself and see if it is still bright and translucent. If it is dark, dirty or crusty, then that's definitely a sign it needs to be replaced. The cooling system may need to be flushed entirely—after the source of the fluid leak is determined and repaired, of course.
Common Sources of Coolant Leaks
A skilled automotive technician will be able to identify the source of the coolant leak and recommend the necessary repairs. Here are the most common culprits:
Radiator - Obviously, the radiator is where the coolant is stored. It circulates through the cooling system and ultimately back into the radiator when the cooling system is working correctly. Radiators can crack or develop weak points that lead to leaks. Sometimes the leak can be repaired. Other times, the whole radiator may need to be replaced.
Water Pump - Any vehicle with a fluid-based cooling system will have a water pump that controls the flow of coolant through the various components. Fluid leaks are common when the water pump fails or gets damaged in any way. You may need to get your water pump replaced if it is not working correctly.
Fluid Lines - The cooling system will have various fluid lines and connection points between components. Sometimes, one of the lines can become damaged or a connection point can get loose. This is usually the best-case scenario with coolant leaks as the parts are fairly easy to replace or retighten.
Bay Area Cooling System Repair
If you are in the Bay Area and notice a radiator coolant leak or any other signs of cooling system problems like overheating, call or text San Francisco Automotive Solutions today at (415) 957-1170 or schedule an appointment online. We'll get to the source of the issue and let you know exactly what repairs need to be made to prevent further cooling system issues.