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Your engine needs coolant in order to maintain an optimum operating temperature. If the temperature exceeds a threshold, serious damage can occur. In order to ensure that optimal temperature is maintained, you need the right amount of coolant in the radiator, reservoir, and engine. Leaks will result in low levels of coolant, which will be detected normally by low water sensors (or, more accurately, coolant level sensors).
The low water sensor doesn’t track the level of coolant in your engine or the radiator. Instead, it works as a thermistor, which uses relative temperature difference to determine the amount of coolant flowing through the engine during operation. The temperature difference information is sent from the low water sensor to the car’s computer, where it is used to determine whether there is sufficient coolant or not. If the computer determines there isn’t enough coolant, it turns on a warning light in the dash (the actual light will vary from one automaker to another, so consult your owner’s manual).
A Low Coolant warning light on your dash will not prevent you from driving the car, but you’ll overheat the engine if you don’t heed its warning. If the level sensor is not working properly, it should be diagnosed by one of our expert mechanics.
Preventing your engine from overheating is critical. The right amount of coolant circulating through the engine and the radiator will prevent overheating, but if the coolant level sensor is malfunctioning, you will not know if there is enough coolant present. We recommend having the sensor diagnosed by our expert mechanics immediately.