Car engines, needless to say, are complicated. That’s why when you encounter an issue with your vehicle you should not take any risks and bring it to a professional car service center with urgency. If seemingly smaller issues go overlooked, it can potentially cause even more significant damage to your car. One of the most simple and routine maintenance procedures that all car owners are familiar with is making sure that their fluid levels are full at all times. If your car is low on coolant, for instance, you may notice some side effects that aren’t so pleasant and can go so far as being alarming to the average driver. Checking your fluid levels is important to keep your car running smoothly and at its highest level of performance. Beyond that, it is part of critical preventive maintenance.
It can be indicative of more serious problems
Checking your fluids can give you insight into potential issues that may occur down the line; for instance, loss of engine coolant can be indicative of more serious problems. When you notice a coolant leak, you may experience white smoke coming out the back of the car, you may see puddles beneath your car in your driveway, or you may even have to deal with your engine overheating. For starters, if you notice that the temperature gauge in your car is higher or lower than average, it should be inspected. When your car is leaking coolant, the problem needs to be addressed with a sense of urgency to keep costs down. It helps to know what could be the potential cause of such an issue.
Problems with radiator
Common issues that are often associated with loss of engine coolant are generally linked to problems with the radiator. A coolant leak is commonly due to a cracked radiator, which can add up to a costly repair. Less costly is replacing a radiator cap that is leaking; when the cap does not function or fit properly, the lack of pressure can cause the coolant to spill out or leak. Generally when this happens your auto mechanic will want to perform a pressure test to ensure that the leak is in fact due to a faulty cap alone. Simply replacing the cap with a properly fitting one is the best course of action, and you can find information about the radiator cap in your car’s specific manual from the manufacturer. Another radiator-related issue that could cause a coolant leak is a faulty connection between hoses. Because a car’s engine usually vibrates somewhat, these hose connections can become worn and need to be repaired to prevent leaks.
Due to a faulty head gasket
It is possible that the leak could also be due to a faulty head gasket—in this case, you will likely not see a puddle of coolant in your driveway, but you may notice that you are needing to refill your coolant much more often than average. In the most severe of cases, your car may overheat due to the quick loss of coolant. In either of these scenarios, it is safe to assume that something needs to be done to repair the leak and constantly refilling your coolant is not the answer to the problem. As you can tell, coolant leaks can mean a range of different issues are going on with your car, or it could mean that something as simple as the radiator cap needs to be replaced. Prices on these services can range drastically, but whatever the case, the issue cannot go untreated. The side effects of untreated coolant leaks can range from bad to significantly worse.
Preventive maintenance is important
We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: preventive maintenance is not only a way to extend the life of your car, but it is key in catching issues that over time may progress into more severe problems. By checking the coolant level on your car regularly, you can gauge what is going on inside the engine. If your coolant or oil is full of dirt or debris when you have it changed, you should take it as a warning sign that something is not properly functioning. Although it may cost you time and money, the overall expense is far less than it may be if you forego the proper routine maintenance procedures that your car needs to keep running.