Is It Safe to Drive With the Coolant Pressure Light On? | YourMechanic Advice

Is It Safe to Drive With the Coolant Pressure Light On?

Your Coolant Pressure Light comes on when your engine is overheating due to insufficient coolant. So, can you drive safely with your Coolant Pressure Light on? The short answer is that it probably won’t get you killed, but it could mean death to your car engine. An overheated engine can cause incredible damage – failed head gaskets, damaged pistons and valve stems, and distortion or cracks in the cylinder heads.

If your Coolant Pressure Light comes on, what should you do?

  • First, pull over immediately and turn off your engine.

  • Check your coolant level, but don’t do it until your engine has cooled down. This usually takes about half an hour. If you remove the radiator cap or open the coolant reservoir before the engine has had a chance to cool sufficiently, the buildup of steam inside the cooling system could give you a very nasty burn.

  • If the level of coolant is low, a mixture of 50% distilled water and 50% antifreeze can be added. In warm temperatures and desperate situations, plain water will suffice to get you to the garage.

  • If your engine has overheated temporarily due to extremely hot weather, or because you have been hauling a heavy load, it may help to turn your heater on high and turn your air conditioning off. If the problem is due to low coolant, though, this will not likely help. Your Coolant Pressure Light could also come on because your radiator cooling fan is damaged, your radiator is clogged, you have a bad water pump, your serpentine belt has broken, or your catalytic converter has gotten plugged.

So, is there a safety issue? Well, if your vehicle stops suddenly on the highway due to sudden overheating, that could be dangerous. So, if your Coolant Pressure Light suddenly comes on, get to the side of the road as quickly as you can. If topping off the coolant is all that is needed to get to the garage, you can look to do it yourself or have a mechanic do it for you. But if the light is on, and the coolant is leaking significantly, don’t try to make it on your own, have a certified mechanic take a look at it for you.


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Corey

15 years of experience
57 reviews
Corey
15 years of experience
Hyundai XG350 - Coolant is leaking - Charlotte, North Carolina
Corey was awesome. He figure out that my issue wasn't what I got the quote for but was a heater coil hose, and was able to repair it , and did it in record time. I appreciate his professionalism and quick work. He also gave me recommendations on what needed to be fixed next.
Ford Escape - Coolant is leaking - Charlotte, North Carolina
Very good. Very thorough and knowledgeable efficient and customer friendly. Looking forward to the next visit.

Robert

19 years of experience
760 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.

Damian

10 years of experience
450 reviews
Damian
10 years of experience
Jeep Grand Cherokee - Coolant is leaking - Odenton, Maryland
Highly knowledgeable and friendly. He took time to diagnose my problem, and was very transparent. I will hire him again!

Jonathan

34 years of experience
395 reviews
Jonathan
34 years of experience
Honda Element - Coolant is leaking - Spring Hill, Florida
Jonathan was on time and very personable. He informed me that the parts that another repair shop said needed replaced in fact did not. He explained what to look for in the future and answered all my questions. I would definitely recommend Jonathan and will use him in the future! It’s nice to know there are still some honest people out there.

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