What Happens if My Coolant Levels are Low?

Coolant

Antifreeze keeps your vehicle operating at an optimal temperature. It’s usually green and sweet-smelling, with a sticky consistency. And it keeps your engine temperature cool. While your oil and brake fluid are essential, your coolant is just as important. It’s critical to stay aware of how often it should be topped off to avoid any issues. If you drive with low coolant, your engine will get too hot, which can mean dangerous drive and significant damage. Here’s what can happen if you drive with low coolant levels:

The engine will overheat.
Without enough coolant, your vehicle will struggle to pull heat away from the engine. This is something you should prioritize because it could cause permanent damage, such as your pistons becoming so hot that they weld the cylinders. 

Your check engine light will come on. 
This can indicate that your vehicle has detected an issue, likely caused by the lack of coolant. 

The head gasket will blow.
Like having a temper tantrum, the head gasket will blow, causing a loss of power, smoking emitting from the tailpipe, and decreased inefficiency. 

The air conditioner won’t be cold.
When the engine overheats, the A/C may malfunction. The low coolant levels can cause warm air to come from the vents, signaling a problem. 

Coolant is usually topped off during oil changes and should rarely if ever, become low. There are three major issues that can lead to coolant leaks. The first common problem can be that the radiator cap is broken, leading to coolant leaks. The coolant can leak from the head gasket if there are any holes or damage. Lastly, the coolant can leak from the radiator or one of the hoses. 

If you notice signs that your vehicle has a coolant leak, give Fast Lane European a call for a comprehensive system inspection. We’ll be happy to help diagnose your low coolant issue and recommend a necessary repair. We are the trusted automotive experts in San Jose for all coolant system maintenance and repairs.