Unlike engine oil and fuel, the significance of car coolant is often ignored by most drivers. As the vehicle’s engine tends to get heated up due to the movement of the mechanical parts and internal combustion, the coolant system promotes the flow of cool air inside the vehicle.
Despite all the positive benefits, you may encounter coolant loss which is similar to losing car fuel. Losing a few ounces of the coolant due to evaporation in summers and freezing in winters is quite normal.
But, if you notice the level of coolant solution decreasing drastically, it is a point of concern that must not be overlooked. Failure to address the issue may even damage the entire car engine.
This is when the question arises: how much coolant loss is normal? Keep scrolling to find out how much coolant you afford to lose to avoid disrupting the normal working of your vehicle.
How Do Coolants Work?
While losing excessive amounts of coolant is a serious concern, most people ignore it as they think only engine oil and fuel loss are important. But, coolant loss is not something you should ignore!
While the engine is running, various components get heated up due to numerous factors such as:
- Continues usage of the air-conditioning unit.
- The constant movement of the mechanical parts.
- Generation of current from the electrical coil.
- Internal combustion of the engine
To prevent overheating, the car coolant helps in balancing the engine temperature. During summers, coolants help reduce your car’s engine temperature, and during winter, they prevent the engine from getting frozen, thereby acting as an anti-freeze.
As coolants help reduce the engine’s temperature, it is necessary to have a decent level of coolant to maintain the smooth operation of the vehicle. It’s normal to notice occasional coolant leaks times.
But, if the leak becomes problematic, you will need to resolve the problem as it can lead to overheating the engine, eventually causing a complete breakdown.
What Is The Normal Amount Of Coolant You Can Afford To Lose?
On a warm day, you reach the parking lot and notice large poodles of green liquid below your car. This indicates there is a huge loss of coolant from your vehicle. A slight amount of coolant loss is absolutely fine as coolants tend to evaporate naturally during the summers when parked outside. On the other hand, if you notice the coolant level decreasing drastically, this does not seem to be normal.
On average, a coolant loss of up to 0.50% annually is normal (0.25 percent every 4-6 months). In other words, if your vehicle does not lose more than 2 to 3 ounces of coolant each year, there’s nothing to panic about. All you need to do is constantly refill the coolant tank with sufficient liquid.
If you notice your coolant level is depleting completely, it is a sign of danger as coolants are very important to maintain the engine’s temperature. It also prevents the different vehicle parts from rusting and helps in keeping the engine clean.
A decrease in level beyond normal level needs to be monitored. Take your auto to the professional auto mechanic and get the coolant leak fixed before it escalates.
How To Check For Coolant Leaks?
If you notice spillage on the ground below the engine, it indicates something is wrong, and you need to fix it soon. The best way to confirm this issue is to start the engine and drive for a long distance and park your car on a clean road surface.
After some time, check below the vehicle to see if there is a huge puddle of bright green liquid. This indicates the coolant level is diminishing.
While visible leaks are evidence of loss of coolant, a decrease in coolant levels without any leaks might be difficult to figure out. Suppose you notice the coolant level is reducing drastically without any indication of visible leaks. In that case, it’s an alarm that you need to get your coolant system fixed at the local repair center.
Steps To Follow To Locate Coolant Loss
Follow the below steps to find out if there is any coolant leak or not:
- After driving the car for a certain distance, park it on the side of the road and wait for the engine to cool down completely.
- Open the reservoir lid and check the coolant level in the tank using a metallic rod.
- If you do not notice any traces of spillage on the ground, carefully check the engine compartment for leaks.
- Make sure the engine condition is perfect and you won’t be facing any mechanical issues.
- Next, make sure that the radiator hoses, cap, head gasket, and other engine-related parts are not damaged and do not contain pools of green liquid.
If you find it difficult to check in broad daylight, it is easier to find coolant leaks by parking in a dark place.
- Find a dark place and park your vehicle.
- With the help of laser light, search the engine for green emissions.
- If the coolant is leaking, you will also notice the windows and carpet of your car starts to become damp and wet.
Once you have noticed the source of leakage, addressing the issue as soon as possible helps you avoid huge costs where you may even have to change the whole engine.
Is Coolant Leak A Major Concern?
Coolants play a crucial role in balancing the pressure and temperature levels inside the engine. Good quality coolants have low density, viscosity, and high thermal capacity.
Coolants have antifreeze properties, preventing the engine from getting frozen in cold regions. All these properties together enable the engine to run in good working condition. However, a leak in the coolant system can cause drastic issues.
Though your vehicle may encounter numerous issues, losing the coolant level is not something that must be ignored. Failure to get it fixed as soon as possible leads to the destruction of the cooling system, radiator, and even the entire car engine.
Ignoring small leaks will eventually lead to bigger ones. The worse it gets, the more you will empty your wallet for the repair charges. If the coolant is depleting quicker, it will cause the engine to get overheated, resulting in a complete breakdown.