Aug 30, 2022

Top 5 Signs Your Car Needs Coolant

Coolant Car Fluid

Every vehicle needs to have coolant or antifreeze to run properly. This fluid cools the engine as it runs and helps prevent the water in the cooling system from freezing during winter. When your coolant level runs low, you put your engine at risk and require maintenance from an experienced mechanic.


At Kwik Kar Automotive Lube & Service Center, we keep Texas vehicles on the road and know that it starts with properly changing your car or truck’s essential fluids.


Let’s examine why it’s important to monitor your coolant levels and what signs to look out for before it’s too late for your engine.

Risks of Not Topping Off Coolant Levels


Coolant is one of your vehicle’s most important fluids. Like all vehicle fluids, it must be regularly flushed and replaced. If you don’t replace your coolant every 30,000 miles, you’ll likely run out soon and find yourself stranded on the side of the road with a stalled engine.

A functioning engine gets extremely hot, and coolant is a fluid that keeps them cool.

While some people may go weeks or months letting their check oil light flash, once your coolant runs dry, your vehicle has miles at most before the engine is in peril. Letting your engine go without coolant can lead to an overheating engine, welded pistons and the need for a new vehicle.

Five Signs Your Coolant Level is Low

We’ve explained coolant is important for your engine. Here are five critical signs that your coolant levels are dangerously low.

Low Coolant Light on Dash 1. Your Dashboard Light Indicates Low Level

Not all vehicles have a warning light for low fluid levels, but if yours does and the light comes on, it is time to add fluid to your cooling system. It is very important that you use safety precautions to add fluid to this system and we always recommend taking your vehicle to a maintenance professional to do so.

Your cooling system uses pressurized fluid to cool the engines, and if you remove the radiator cap while the liquid is still hot, you risk being sprayed with boiling hot fluid. Only add fluid to your radiator when the engine is cool.

2. Your Engine Smells Sweet

When your cooling system leaks and the antifreeze evaporates against a hot engine, it creates a very sweet smell. In fact, many people say that it smells just like maple syrup.

 If you smell anything sweet like this, it is time to take your vehicle to a Texas mechanic and have your system checked. Catching a small leak early can help prevent a large system failure and costly repairs.

3. The Temperature Gauge Hits Hot on Your Vehicle

If you do not have an engine light for low coolant, you will have a temperature light. If your temperature starts to rise rapidly, it may be due to low fluid. 

Stop your vehicle as soon as possible and allow it to cool before adding any new antifreeze to your vehicle.

4. Puddles Under Your Vehicle

If you see colored puddles under your vehicle, such as lime green, bright yellow, or pink, you may have a leak in your cooling system. You must take your vehicle to a mechanic to find the leak. Leaks will never resolve themselves, and letting chemicals bleed from your vehicle is not only dangerous for your engine, but it also spreads harmful toxins into the environment that impact animals and people in the surrounding area.

5. You Notice Rust Flecks Or Dirt In Your Coolant

Antifreeze breaks down with time, and this can lead to engine wear. If you see flecks of rust, debris, or other dirt in your fluid, it is time to take it in to have your cooling system flushed and refilled.

Affordable, Reliable Auto Maintenance at a Kwik Kar Near You

Part of routine auto maintenance is taking care of your cooling system. Whether this is a yearly flush and change of the cooling system or just topping off the system to ensure that your engine runs well. If you are uncomfortable with DIY cooling system tasks, bring your vehicle to Kwik Kar for care.

Kwik Kar offers full-service auto maintenance at very reasonable prices. If you are looking for a great mechanic in your area, you have found the right garage. Reach us today, and we can get your vehicle scheduled for maintenance that leaves it running at peak performance.