- Common Causes Of Coolant Leaks From The Engine And Solutions
- Hole In The Radiator
- You Have A Leaky Radiator Cap
- Your Head Gasket Is Blown
- Your Water Pump Has Failed
- Loose Or Damaged Hose Clamps
- You Have A Problem With Your Expansion Tank
- How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Coolant Leak?
- Can You Drive With A Coolant Leak?
Engine coolant helps regulate and maintain engine operating temperatures for the performance and economical fuel consumption.
If the engine is too cold, the vaporization rate reduces, leading to increased fuel consumption and poor performance.
Fuel may burn when compressed instead of sparking if the engine is too hot, causing severe engine damage.
Most fluid drips under your engine are usually engine oil. However, it is also possible for coolant to leak from the engine.
That is why it becomes essential to detect and fix a coolant leak as soon as possible. If you are experiencing a coolant leak from the engine’s bottom, reading this article would be beneficial.
Common Causes Of Coolant Leaks From The Engine And Solutions
Many factors can cause a coolant leak from the engine. But whatever the cause is, a coolant leak is inconveniencing and can cause engine damage.
By being aware of the causes of coolant leaks, you are more likely to prevent them from occurring in the future. You could also minimize the damage to your engine by frequently checking for coolant problems.
You can now start the repair procedures when you find out where the coolant leak is coming from. Fixing a coolant leak doesn’t have to be complicated.
You can repair coolant leaks in various ways. Below are some of the most common causes of coolant leaks from the engine bottom and how you can fix them.
Hole In The Radiator
Coolant circulates through the radiator to your car’s engine and back, and it moves and cools the heat from the engine. Your car radiator is at high risk of damage due to wear and extreme temperatures.
Corrosion within the radiator leaves holes behind that can allow coolant to escape. Additionally, as tubes get older and weaker with time, sediments and debris are likely to block the fluid paths, causing leakages.
Fixing The Radiator
Sealants or radiator stop-leak concentrates are products designed to patch up minor leaks inside the cooling system. Radiator stop-leaks are easy to use even without advanced automotive knowledge.
So, you can fix the leaks from the radiator by yourself without visiting a mechanic shop. However, this is a temporary fix.
Take the car to the mechanic and have the radiator professionally repaired.
You Have A Leaky Radiator Cap
The radiator cap may be small, but it performs a vital function. Due to the pressure in the radiator, the cap helps create a tight seal, keeping the cooling system at the correct pressure.
However, due to this pressure, the cap might deteriorate or wear out with time. Its spring and seal may develop holes, allowing the coolant to drain out from the engine.
Replacing The Radiator Cap
As mentioned above, the radiator cap performs a vital role in keeping the coolant in the radiator. A bad radiator cap cannot hold the coolant pressure, leading to a coolant leak.
A simple replacement of this radiator cap will solve this problem.
Your Head Gasket Is Blown
The head gasket keeps the engine healthy by managing the engine temperature. It seals the space between the engine block and the cylinder head.
Coolant leakage beneath the engine from the head gasket is often referred to as a blow. When your head gasket blows, you might not notice immediately.
You can drive for several miles before seeing the leak. When the blow happens, the engine oil and the coolant mix, a situation that can be hazardous to your engine.
The coolant can also leak outside the engine, leading to a tremendous coolant level drop. You may notice that coolant leaks from the engine’s bottom and are dripping onto the ground.
When there is insufficient coolant in the car engine, the car loses its ability to cool down, and you risk damaging your engine.
Repairing The Head Gasket
If your head gasket isn’t full-blown, you can use a head gasket sealer to fix it. A head gasket sealer is a formulated head gasket sealer that will seal your head gasket by forming a chemical weld at the leak point.
If the head gasket is completely blown, you should seek the help of a professional mechanic to help you replace it.
Your Water Pump Has Failed
Coolant works by circulating between your engine and radiator. When it moves between these two parts, heat is transferred from the engine to the radiator, cooling it down.
The cycle is a continuous process. This circulation is done by your car’s water pump, which ensures proper coolant circulation throughout the cooling system.
It is located on the lower part of the engine near the drive belts. Sometimes your water pump’s shaft seal can get loose or corroded, preventing circulation or reducing circulation efficiency.
It might also get damaged, causing the coolant to escape from the water pump. The leaks, alongside other problems, may lead to engine overheating and severe engine damage.
Replacing The Water Pump
Fixing a leaking water pump on vehicles that use the timing belt to drive the water pump can be difficult and costly. The same bolt that holds the water pump in some vehicles also holds the timing cover.
If you discover a coolant leak from the water pump, you will have to replace the water pump and the timing belt simultaneously.
After replacement, make sure the timing cover seal is intact to prevent a coolant leak from there.
Loose Or Damaged Hose Clamps
All hoses are held with clamps. When the clamps wear out, they have difficulty forming a tight seal.
The points attached to the radiator, water pump, and heater core are prone to damage and leaks.
Replacing Broken Hoses And Clamps
If one clamp fails due to corrosion or rust, you should replace it immediately. Before replacing the damaged clamp, allow the car to cool down.
You might need to drain the coolant into a bucket. Please take off the damaged hose, remove the old clamp, and replace it with a new one.
To test if the problem is fixed, run the car until optimal operating temperature. Continue inspecting the repair to ensure no more coolant is leaking.
You Have A Problem With Your Expansion Tank
The expansion tank is a plastic container beside the engine. It helps supply and receives engine coolant to the radiator to control the engine temperature.
The constant exposure to temperature changes can weaken the plastic and other parts attached with time. The container might crack, and the cap can break, letting the coolant escape by leaking from the engine.
Replacing Your Expansion Tank
Before spending the money on a new expansion tank, ensure the leak is not from the overflow cap or tubing that comes out of the tank at the bottom.
These problems are a lot cheaper to fix than replacing the tank itself. All you need to do is get a silicone sealer and use it on the affected areas.
If the leak results from a crack on the expansion tank, then you should replace the tank. Replacing the tank is accessible on many vehicles.
But other complicated cases might require a professional to handle the replacement job.
How Much Does It Cost To Fix A Coolant Leak?
The cost of fixing an engine coolant leak varies depending on the damaged parts and what solutions to apply. Minor repairs like replacing caps, installing horses, and using sealants can cost around $100.
In contrast, significant repair costs like fixing radiators, water pumps, and head gaskets range from $500 or more depending on the part that needs to be fixed.
Consulting a mechanic to fix the leak could cost you up to $300. The regular cost of a coolant leak repair hits around $700.
You can fix minor coolant leakage issues yourself at home to cut professional repair costs.
Can You Drive With A Coolant Leak?
It is not advisable to drive your vehicle with a coolant leak. However, in some emergencies, depending on the level of coolant in the tank, you can drive up to a hundred miles.
While driving with a minor coolant leak, you should regularly fill the coolant tank with water and let your car rest every few miles to stabilize the engine’s temperature.
For a significant leak, it’s best to call your mechanic to fix the issue and avoid further damages.
A coolant leaking from the bottom of the car can be a huge issue if left untreated. Your engine might overheat, causing severe damages to other parts of your vehicle.
Fixing a coolant leak can be difficult because they are hard to locate. Checking the coolant level regularly is the best way to find out if there are possible leaks.
If you notice the coolant level dropping steadily, then you’ve got a leak.
You should repair the coolant leak from the engine bottom immediately. You can rely on your repair service manual or seek the services of a mechanic.
Patrick started his love affair with cars in his childhood. Over the years, he claims a sturdy hold on his driving skills, along with a thorough understanding of cars. We can expect some interesting, holistic, and pleasurable blogs with his flair for writing and his love for cars.
Being a car enthusiast, Patrick has experience comprising of two decades in which he has ridden some of the meanest and strongest machines in the automotive industry. His previous avatars include an automotive professional, photographer, and journalist, and you will certainly experience the roundness of experience in his piece on this site.
In his second decade of reviewing cars and analyzing tools, Patrick is all set to give you convincing, reliable, and the latest information regarding what’s happening in the automotive industry. Currently, he owns a BMW Z3 but cannot get his eyes off Aston Martin DB5. He is a car enthusiast; he loves cooking and listening to music, especially jazz. Here are some of the pieces written by our ace author.