It’s commonly known by three names: coolant, antifreeze and radiator fluid. But whatever you call it, you want it flowing through your vehicle, not pooling under it. Yet many drivers know the sinking feeling that comes with noticing a bright spot on the garage floor or an odd, sweet smell after they shut off the engine.
Because it’s a common problem, you may wonder if a car leaking coolant demands prompt attention. Yes, it does! Left unattended, a coolant leak can lead to bigger, more costly problems.
ARE YOU SEEING SPOTS?
Here are three ways to tell if the drops or drips you see on the garage floor are from coolant.
Color. In the olden days, coolant (aka antifreeze or radiator fluid) was uniformly green. Today the color is determined by the formulation. Organic Additive Technology (OAT) coolants can be orange, yellow, red, pink, or purple. Inorganic Acid Technology (IAT) coolant is still green.
Consistency. Coolant is watery and slimy to the touch.
Scent. Coolant is the only automotive fluid that has a sweet smell.
TO UNDERSTAND WHY A CAR LEAKING COOLANT IS A BIG DEAL, LET'S LOOK AT YOUR VEHICL'S COOLING SYSTEM
Here’s what it is, and what it does:
A pump circulates coolant through the engine.
The coolant picks up heat from the engine to help ensure the engine won’t overheat.
This heated fluid flows through rubber hoses to the radiator, which helps to keep the radiator from freezing up in cold weather.
The hoses also direct this heated fluid to the heater core, located in the passenger compartment, to help keep you and your passengers comfortable.
If you go too long without a coolant leak fix, you may be uncomfortable, the cooling system could corrode, the radiator becomes less efficient, and the engine might even overheat. So don’t put it off! Reduce discomfort and damage by bringing your vehicle to Jiffy Lube® at the first sight or scent of trouble.
WHY IS YOUR CAR LEAKING COOLANT?
There could be a variety of reasons for this problem, including:
Blown radiator hose
Defective hose clamp
Warped head gasket
A foreign object penetrating the radiator itself
So, which is it? How can you remedy the problem if you don’t know the cause?
TURN TO JIFFY LUBE®. Bring your vehicle to one of the nationwide locations, where trained technicians know how to find a coolant leak through:
A thorough visual inspection of the car’s cooling system
Pressure testing with specialized equipment
Dyes and black lights (where available)
You can also expect a little conversation. The Jiffy Lube technician will ask you about your driving style, because how you drive can help determine how much wear-and-tear your vehicle endures. For example, if you travel a great deal on dusty roads or through construction sites, debris is more likely to make its way under the hood and into oils and fluids that are so important to keeping your engine running clean and cool.
Your coolant fluid level and protection level will be checked. If you wish, the fluid will be topped off with a coolant that meets or exceeds vehicle manufacturer recommendations. Plus Jiffy Lube uses high-quality Pennzoil® products (where applicable).
Replacement options will be explained, and, with your permission, the technician will perform a coolant leak fix. Questions are encouraged, and no work will be done before you receive an estimate and give your approval.
PREVENTIVE MAINTENANCE CAN HELP YOU AVOID FLUID LEAKS
As you put miles on your vehicle, automotive fluids will become contaminated, and hoses, gaskets and valves will eventually show wear. By maintaining your vehicle’s preventive maintenance schedule, problems will be caught early, when they can be fixed more economically and efficiently.
Remember, Jiffy Lube is here to help keep your vehicle running smoothly. You can feel confident that you’re in capable hands with our trained Jiffy Lube technicians.