No one wants to discover that his/her vehicle is leaking coolant. The question is – what do you do if you discover that your vehicle's radiator is leaking? Is it safe to keep driving, or are you going to make the problem worse by continuing to drive? Here is what you need to know about what to do if your radiator starts leaking.
Step One: Pull Over and Call a Mechanic
This is one of those problems where you should not be driving at all. The coolant in the radiator does as it sounds: it cools the engine. When you drive with a leaking radiator, you run the risk of your car overheating. A coolant leak and an engine overheating is more serious than just about any other vehicle problem, as an overheated engine can catch fire. Continuing to drive the vehicle puts yourself and everyone in your vehicle at risk. Pull over immediately and discontinue driving until the problem is fixed.
Step Two: Check for Where the Leak Is
While waiting for your mechanic, open the hood and check for signs of where the leak is coming from. You will need to look out for cracks in the radiator or any holes in piping. If you have recently been driving, your engine will be hot, so be careful.
If you have not driven the vehicle recently, it will be easier for you to conduct a more detailed search for the leak. Leaks may appear on the other car parts under the hood, and they will often be orange, green, or pink. Look at where they are dripping from to help identify the general location of the leak.
As you are searching, do not forget to check the freeze plug, as they are commonly overlooked and can cause a leak. It is worth getting into a habit of checking for cracks, even when there are no other signs of a leaking radiator. You will be able to spot problems long before they get worse, saving you money and time.
Step Three: Check for Further Damage
Depending on how low you allowed the coolant to get or how long you had a leak before you noticed it, there may be further damage to the car. Look out for signs of this once your radiator leak is repaired.
Once repaired, you will also need to top up the coolant levels and keep an eye out for any other leaks that may have been missed.
Your radiator is an essential part of your car. It keeps your engine cool and protects you from a major incident. Make sure the coolant levels remain consistent and look out for any potential leaks. For more information, contact an auto repair service in your area.