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Coolant leak? 3 Ways to Tell

Coolant prevents the engine’s hot metal parts from overheating and causing extensive damage. Adequate coolant levels are necessary to keep your radiator, water pump, thermostat, and hoses working in top condition. Coolant serves a few helpful benefits. It transfers the heat produced in the engine to the radiator and prevents engine freezing during cold weather. It also keeps the engine healthy by preventing corrosion within the gasket and other essential components. The cooling system needs regular maintenance because coolant can degrade, and holes can develop within the system with time. A hole inside the cooling system can cause severe damage to your vehicle. Some of the costliest damage is caused by the engine overheating. To prevent future repairs, your coolant should be inspected at least twice a year. To help you stay informed of potential problems, we’ve listed three common warning signs that your vehicle has a coolant leak. 

There is leaked coolant underneath your vehicle.
The easiest way to determine if there’s a coolant leak is if you notice leaked coolant fluid under your vehicle. Coolant is sweet-smelling and usually lime green, but it can also be orange or purple, depending on the brand. 

The temperature warning light comes on.
The temperature warning light can indicate an extreme engine temperature. Your vehicle may continue to run normally, but you should pull over to allow your car to cool down. After about 15 minutes, check the level of the coolant. If the coolant looks well below the indicated threshold, you may have a coolant leak.  

There’s rust in and near the radiator.
If there’s a leak within the radiator, you’ll notice rust spots. There will also be discoloration from leaked fluid dripping along with the hot engine parts. Discoloration may seem normal but can be a sneaky sign of holes that need to be fixed. If you notice rust around the radiator, reach out to an automotive technician for a trained eye.  

Cooling system inspection and service in Northridge, CA 

Fall is the perfect time to have your cooling system serviced to keep it in top condition throughout the winter. If you notice any of the above signs or suspect it’s time to have a coolant exchange, don’t hesitate to reach out. This fall, RM Automotive is offering customers $10 off a coolant exchange. The coolant exchange also includes a complete comprehensive inspection of all hoses, clamps, heater controls, and thermostat operation. If you suspect there’s a leak, our ASE certified technicians will perform a specialized pressure test. 

If you have any questions, give us a call, and our professional service advisors would be happy to assist you.  

Call us at 818-477-4999; we are available Mon – Fri from 7:30 AM – 6:00 PM.