The functioning of the car engine is a tipped scale that requires just the right temperatures for everything to go well. The operating temperature needs to be controlled under a tight range and that is why a functional cooling system is important for your car. The cooling system regulates the temperatures inside your engine and therefore gives you the ability to have a well-functioning car that doesn’t sip your pockets from excessive fuel consumption. A heating and cooling system that is not well maintained leads to car breakdowns due to an overheated engine.
In the middle of the cooling system is the coolant which is a mixture of antifreeze and water that does the job of regulating temperatures well. It is therefore imperative that you keep your cooling system in good shape. If you’re new to owning a car or are not very familiar with car lingo, it might seem like a burdensome task to know what is wrong and where and how to fix it. Well, here are a few indicators for a failing cooling system to make your life easier on that end:
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Off reading on the temp gauge
Another thing you may notice is that the reading on your temp gauge is extremely off as it reads way higher or lower than it usually is. The marker for a normally operating cooling system is that the needle of the temperature range is usually halfway between the high and the low points. When you notice the gauge rise either rapidly or slowly into the red zone, then that is a sure sign that there is something off with your cooling system.
On your next available stop, you might want to get off and get the necessary help you need. A spike in the position of the needle is a sure indicator that the cooling system has a problem. The problem can range from a blockage from leaves in the radiator to an inoperative cooling fan. If you’re not a professional or seasoned DIY car dealer, the best thing to do is to get the car serviced.
Low Coolant Levels
You will notice that the coolant levels on your cars are beginning to drop at a rate that is higher than usual. This might be because of overheating and damage done to internal engine parts. The coolant loss may be either external or internal and when you observe and see a strange-looking puddle on your driveway (pink, green, or orange) that means that you are leaking antifreeze.
It has a bright color, a sticky feel, and a sweet smell and taste. That doesn’t mean you can taste it though! It is toxic to humans and pets when swallowed. So be sure to clean it up for the safety of the people around you and your pets. If the coolant levels are dropping and you see no puddles on-site, then it may mean that you are having an internal engine gasket or component failure which damages emission components and thus be repaired quickly.
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White Exhaust Smoke
When there is a cracked cylinder in the car components, you get white smoke being emitted. This is a symptom of an internal coolant leak. The coolant is being burned in the combustion chamber of the car. The smoke usually rises from beneath the hood which is one of the best-known indicators for overheating. With the smoke rising beneath the hood, you will have to pull over and remedy the situation by adding coolant or water to the overheating engine.
It is also important to note that this smoke may sometimes be accompanied by a sweet smell because the antifreeze is usually a sweet-smelling component.
Poor Gas Mileage
Your car runs well within a certain temperature bandwidth and anything outside of that could significantly damage it and cause you to run your gas mileage further than you ought to. Within this right bandwidth, you can be able to give your car the capacity to burn fuel efficiently which in return provides more engine power while having lower fuel consumption.
What lower temperatures do is that they do not allow the fuel to vaporize as it should and therefore makes you use more fuel. When you notice you’ve been using more fuel than you usually do, then you might want to get your Cooling system checked.
Your Car Heater Isn’t Working
The cooling system that powers the engine section of your cart is the very same one that makes sure that the heater of your car works properly. The physics behind the system uses valves to regulate the flow of coolant through the heater core and control the cabin temperature. Therefore, leaking coolants or blockages in the system will manifest in a dysfunctional car heater. It could be another reason but that is the primary reason if the heater is not working at optimal levels and a diagnosis at a car workshop could help tell if it is or not.
When you learn of these little and big telltale signs, you will be able to take action fast enough to prevent further damage from happening to your car. This way, you will not have to spend more money fixing a bigger problem or servicing your car when you could have easily fixed it from the first patch on the driveway!