Antifreeze Leak On Your Car Service Information at Capitol Toyota

Antifreeze (aka coolant) is pumped through your vehicle's engine as you drive, absorbing excess heat and exchanging it with the outside air. That means an antifreeze leak could cause the engine to overheat -- and that can lead to major engine damage. That's why it's important to properly maintain your engine's cooling system, and recognize the symptoms that tell you it's time to bring the vehicle in for service. We'll help you with all this and more at the Capitol Toyota service department.

Any puddles of fluid under your car, other than snowmelt or rain water, should be evaluated by a technician

4. The Signs Of An Antifreeze Leak

Your car has a number of different fluid-filled systems, all of which could potentially leak. Between the engine oil, transmission fluid, brake fluid, wiper fluid and coolant, any leak on your car should be identified by an expert. However, if a coolant leak is severe enough, it might drip enough coolant onto the ground beneath your vehicle to leave a noticeable puddle. If the liquid has a green, pink or red color, it's probably engine coolant. Some antifreeze is also blue, but so are some brands of wiper fluid.

What's more, you may have a leaking coolant system without a puddle forming. The leak could be too slow, simply dripping onto other vehicle components and evaporating slowly over time. Or, the engine could be consuming the coolant internally, burning it up during combustion, if you have a leaking head gasket. A tell-tale sign of consuming coolant is visible, white whisps of smoke coming from the exhaust as you drive.

White tailpipe smoke could indicate an internal coolant leak in the engine

3. What Can Happen To Your Car With Leaking Antifreeze?

As long as there's sufficient coolant in the system, you might not notice the symptoms of a coolant leak as you drive. But, eventually, a lack of coolant in the system can allow the engine to overheat. If the temperature gauge in your car starts to creep up toward the red, it could be a sign that your cooling system is running low on coolant. Engine coolant also helps the heater to generate heat. If your heater isn't working like it should, but the A/C system works fine, the system might need to be checked out by a professional.

2. How Can A Leak Be Repaired?

If the coolant is leaking out of the engine's seals, then the engine will need to be disassembled to replace something like a head gasket. This is likely to be the most costly source of this problem to repair. Other common locations of a coolant leak include the radiator, which can sometimes be repaired if it's made entirely of metal, but most modern cars have metal and plastic radiators which are often better off replaced entirely when they start to leak. Other, smaller components like coolant hoses, the water pump and reservoir can also start to leak antifreeze.

A technician is adding fresh antifreeze to this vehicle to keep its cooling system in the best possible shape

1. How Can I Prevent An Antifreeze Leak From Happening In The First Place?

While there's no foolproof way to leak-proof your cooling system, making sure to follow the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule in your car is crucial. Take a look at your vehicle's owner's manual and find the maintenance schedule that's right for your vehicle. For instance, on a 2015 Toyota RAV4, Toyota recommends having the cooling system inspected by a trained technician every 15,000 miles. And every 100,000 miles, the coolant should be flushed and the system refilled with fresh Toyota Super-Long Life Coolant. Use of a different coolant could reduce system performance and require changing the coolant more frequently.


Capitol Toyota

783 Auto Group Avenue Ne
Directions Salem, OR 97301

  • Sales: 503-399-1011
  • Service: 503-399-1011
  • Parts: 503-399-1011