How to Find the Source of a Coolant Leak Faster and More Accurately | YourMechanic Advice

How to Find the Source of a Coolant Leak Faster and More Accurately

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Coolant is vital to your engine. A mixture of coolant and water circulates through the engine to absorb heat. The water pump circulates it in a loop past the thermostat, through coolant hoses, to the radiator to be cooled by air movement and then takes it back through the engine. If your engine runs low or is completely out of coolant, the overheating that results can cause irreparable damage to your engine.

Always check the coolant each time you check your the oil level in your car. If you’ve started to notice the level dropping between check- ups, it’s time to find out where the leak is occurring. If there is a coolant leak, you may see a puddle under the car or start noticing a sweet smell coming from the engine compartment after a drive.

Part 1 of 1: Find the source of the coolant leak

Materials Needed

Step 1: Do a visual check of the radiator, hoses and around the engine. Your vehicle has an upper and lower radiator hose, heater hoses at the back of the engine connecting to the heater core, and probably a couple of other smaller hoses going to the intake manifold or throttle body area. If a visual inspection reveals nothing, move on to the tried and true method of using a pressure tester.

Step 2: Use a pressure tester. Attach the pressure tester in place of the radiator cap.

  • Tip: If you don’t have a pressure tester or want to purchase one, some chain auto part stores offer tool rentals.

  • Note: The radiator cap will have a pressure rating on it. When you apply pressure with the pressure tester, be sure not to exceed that pressure on the dial. Always apply pressure to the cooling system with the engine off.

Step 3: Check again for a leak. Once pressurized, do a visual check around the engine bay once again. Be sure to check all the hoses, radiator itself, and all the coolant hoses and temperature sensors on or around the intake manifold. You most likely will find the source of your leak now.

If you are not comfortable with performing this check on your own, you can get your coolant leak inspected by a certified professional from YourMechanic.


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Recent Coolant is leaking Inspection reviews

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YourMechanic Coolant is leaking Inspection Service

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Rating Summary
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Robert

19 years of experience
711 reviews
Robert
19 years of experience
Mini Cooper - Coolant is leaking - Commerce City, Colorado
Robert is the Man! I would use him at any point needed and I will let my friends and family know as well.
Ford Focus - Coolant is leaking - Erie, Colorado
Perfect. As a single woman, I'm ALWAYS fearful of being ripped off. I felt very comfortable with Robert & his advise.

Arturo

11 years of experience
39 reviews
Arturo
11 years of experience
Chevrolet Venture - Coolant is leaking - Citrus Ridge, Florida
You can be a great mechanic But without kindness No customer will come back Arturos has that kindness. And caring ❤ thank you for being my Mechanic

Marco

28 years of experience
39 reviews
Marco
28 years of experience
Toyota Tacoma - Coolant is leaking Inspection - Corona, California
Great personality, very knowledgeable and professional. We will for sure be using his services in the near future

AJ

8 years of experience
17 reviews
AJ
8 years of experience
Mercedes-Benz 190E - Coolant is leaking - Seattle, Washington
HE was very helpful and answer all my questions and knowledge able and friendly I would tale all my family and friend thank-you TEAM !!!.

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