Car losing coolant — What to check
Internal combustion engines don’t consume coolant unless there’s a major problem. So, if your car is losing coolant, it’s either leaking internally and burning it inside the combustion chamber or leaking it externally.
Start by checking for the signs of external leaks
Look for puddles under the vehicle in the morning.
Look for signs of dried coolant
Check for a leaking coolant reservoir
Perform a cooling system pressure test
If you can’t see any signs of a leak, rent a cooling system pressure tester and pressurize the system. It should hold pressure for at least 15-mins. If it doesn’t there IS a leak somewhere
Still have coolant loss? Check for a head gasket leak
Here’s one of the easiest ways to check for a head gasket failure that results in coolant consumption. Perform this in the morning before the engine is started.
Remove all the spark plugs
Clip sheets of paper towels about 6″ above each spark plug hole.
Remove the fuel pump fuse and crank the engine.
If there’s coolant in the combustion chambers, it’ll spit the coolant out onto your paper towels.
That’s proof positive that you have a head gasket problem because coolant should never be in a combustion chamber
Perform a combustion gas test to check for a head gasket breach
Rent a combustion gas tester from any auto parts store and follow the directions. If there’s combustion gas in the coolant, there’s a head gasket breach.
Posted on by Rick Muscoplat
©, 2022 Rick Muscoplat