How To Tell If Your Car Is Leaking Coolant

Are you wondering how to tell if your car is leaking coolant? Are you smelling anti-freeze? Open your hood to see if there is bubbling or spraying from the engine area for an outside leak. Internal leaks will not be seen due to being in the engine. Never open the radiator cap while the engine is hot.

  1. Look for broken connections to see if your car is leaking coolant.  Deteriorating radiator, hoses or a faulty water pump will not perform as well as they are supposed to.
  2. To tell if your car is leaking coolant open the coolant container. Fill with coolant. Replace the cap. Start your car. Allow to run a few minutes then turn on the air conditioning. Drive for a short amount of time. Check for seepage.
  3. Have another person stand behind your car to check the exhaust for a visual sign your car is leaking coolant. Start your car. Press down on the gas pedal while the person is observing to see if smoke is escaping from the tailpipe.
  4. Obtain a large piece of white cardboard. Get a free white cardboard box from a food store. Flatten the box or disassemble to make a large piece of cardboard. Place box under the engine area when the car is parked. Check frequently for drops of coolant.
  5. Monitor your coolant levels. Check after car has sat for a long period of time to ensure the engine is cool. Monitor frequently.
  6. If you are still losing coolant but can not find it call a trusted mechanic. Or repair yourself if you know what you are doing. Chances are your car has an interior leak.
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