What it Means if Your Car is Leaking Radiator Coolant

Your vehicle's cooling system is one of its most important systems. It is vital for keeping the engine from overheating when it is running at thousands of revolutions per minute (RPMs). The lifeblood of the cooling system is the radiator coolant (also known as radiator fluid or commonly referred to as antifreeze). It circulates from the radiator through all the key cooling components. If there is not enough fluid in the system or it is not recirculating properly, your car will likely overheat and that can lead to major engine damage.

Coolant Leaks

One of the best ways to tell if you might have a cooling system problem is to check for any coolant leaks. The radiator fluid is pretty easy to identify because it generally has a very bright yellow/green color.

If you do notice a coolant leak under your vehicle, then the next step will be to identify where the leak is coming from. There may be a crack in the radiator, damage to one of the fluid lines/connections, or it could be something else like the water pump that's causing the problem. A knowledgeable mechanic will be able to determine the source of the leak and the extent of any damage. Sometimes it's an easy fix while other times it's something much more serious. 

Coolant Inspection

Sometimes the fluid can be leaking slowly, which isn't as noticeable to the untrained eye. If you see big pools of coolant under your vehicle, then that is obvious cause for concern. Sometimes, you may not see a small leak at all. You can check the level of your radiator coolant by looking in your radiator (only do this when the engine is completely cooled down and never when the vehicle is running). If it is low, then there may be a leak or some other problem worth getting looked at. If the coolant itself appears dark/burned, feels sticky or has dirt, metal shavings or other debris in it, then you will definitely want a professional auto shop to perform a proper inspection of the entire cooling system.

You want to make sure your cooling system is always working properly. If you notice a coolant leak, steam or smoke coming from under the hood or your temperature gauge indicates the vehicle is running hotter than usual, you should get it looked at as soon as possible before it develops into something much worse.

Cooling System Repairs at Simard Automotive

In Fairbanks, the auto shop to turn for all cooling system repairs and maintenance is Simard Automotive. We have two locations to serve you—(855) 690-0889 for our Aeronca Avenue (Airport) shop or (855) 639-5001 for our Gaffney Road (Chevron) shop. You can also book your service appointment online.


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