Is My Car Leaking Antifreeze? How Can I Tell?

Is My Car Leaking Antifreeze? How Can I Tell?

An Antifreeze Leak: Spotting the Signs

Is there an odd or sweet smell coming from your car once you shut off the engine? If so, one common cause could be a coolant leak. And this, if left unaddressed, can lead to serious engine problems. And, can be a health hazard to pets and wildlife in your neighborhood.

How can I tell if my antifreeze is leaking?

The experts at Tracy’s Automotive and Tire Pros in Wichita discuss how to tell if your car is leaking antifreeze. Then, we cover what steps you can take to address the issue promptly.

Six places to start investigating.

  1. What is your coolant level? The simplest way to determine if your car is leaking antifreeze is by checking your vehicle’s coolant level. To do this, locate the coolant reservoir in your engine bay and inspect the fluid level. And, if it’s consistently low despite regular top-ups, there’s a chance that your car is experiencing a coolant leak.
  2. Inspect the Ground Under Your Car. Park your car in a clean and dry area. Then pay attention to any puddles or stains underneath. Antifreeze is typically bright green or orange, making it distinguishable from other automotive fluids. If you notice a puddle with this color, then you have a coolant leak. Also, pets and wildlife in your neighborhood see these puddles and like the sweet smell. Because of this, they are apt to ingest it. And this can lead to deadly consequences for your furry friends.
  3. Look for Steam or Sweet Smells. A leaking coolant system can often produce steam or vapor under the hood. So, if you open your car’s hood and notice steam escaping, especially around the radiator or hoses, it’s a sign your coolant is leaking. Additionally, a sweet smell in the air may accompany the steam, as antifreeze has a distinct odor.
  4. Monitor Your Temperature Gauge. An overheating engine is a potential sign of low coolant levels due to a leak. Therefore, keep an eye on your car’s temperature gauge. And, if it consistently shows higher-than-normal temperatures, there may be an issue with the coolant system.
  5. Examine Hoses and Connections. Inspect the hoses and connections in your car’s cooling system for any visible signs of damage. Damage can show up as cracks, bulges, or wet spots. Also, inspect the radiator, heater hoses, and connections to the water pump. These are common areas where leaks can occur.
  6. Visit a Professional Mechanic. If you’re unable to identify the source of the coolant leak or if the issue persists despite your efforts, it’s advisable to consult a professional mechanic. The ASE certified mechanics at Tracy’s Automotive Tire Pros in Wichita have three convenient locations, each with the expertise and tools to conduct a thorough inspection and address the problem effectively.

Being proactive about identifying and addressing antifreeze leaks can prevent more significant, costly issues. Also, it can safeguard your engine, and keep your vehicle running smoothly on the road. For more information on identifying an antifreeze leak, check out Road & Driver’s article: How to Tell If Your Vehicle Has an Antifreeze Leak.

If you suspect a coolant leak, don’t delay. Tracy’s Automotive can help. Tracy’s Tire Pros and Automotive is your automotive expert in Wichita. We are here for whatever you need. Don’t have time? Or, feel you can take your car to the shop? Tracy’s Tire Pros and Automotive will pick your vehicle up at your home or work. Then, after your car is serviced or repaired, Tracy’s Tire Pros and Automotive will bring it back to you thoroughly cleaned.

Tracy’s Tire Pros and Automotive has a passion for a better tire buying, auto care and auto repair experience. This has driven us to develop our model of superior automotive care. Tracy’s has turned hard work and inspiration into a booming tire and auto repair provider. Now Tracy’s has three locations. And, we serve customers all over Wichita and Goddard:  West Maple Street auto care and auto repair, East First Street N. and West 21st Street N.Tracy’s is thrilled to be a part of your family’s trusted brands for all auto repair and tire needs.

Tracy’s Automotive is a proud dealer for Jasper Engines and Vogue Performance Exhaust systems.

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