How Long Can You Drive Without Engine Coolant?

Whether your car, truck, or SUV is a diesel engine, gas motor, electric, or hybrid automobile, it generates heat. As a result, your engine depends on a fluid known as coolant to ensure your vehicle is operating at an optimal temperature. Over time, however, this fluid can become depleted, resulting in your engine overheating and costly engine repair problems.

So, what happens when your car runs low on coolant? In this article, we’ll discuss what happens when your vehicle is running low on coolant and some common signs to look for to prevent causing irreparable damage to your car’s engine.

To learn more about the importance of maintaining the coolant level in your vehicle, continue reading below and make Carmedix your first call when looking for ASE-Certified engine repair services in Durham, North Carolina.

3 Common Signs of Driving With Low Engine Coolant

Your engine coolant’s primary purpose is to transfer heat away from the engine. Not only is it a critical factor in maintaining the internal temperature under the hood of your car, but it also plays a crucial role in preventing excessive overheating.

As a result, driving your vehicle with low coolant levels is risky and can cause irreparable damage to your car’s engine, resulting in costly engine repair services. While most modern vehicles have an automatic cut-off system that detects low coolant levels and monitors the temperature in the engine, if you have an older car, it’s critical to be aware of the warning signs of low coolant levels.

Here are some of the most common signs to look for when your engine coolant levels may be dangerously low:

Engine Overheating

One of the most common signs of low engine coolant is engine overheating. Because of the airlocks within the coolant system, when your engine lacks coolant, the engine’s water pump will be unable to circulate the coolant around to keep the engine at an optimal temperature. As a result, your engine will become overheated. It can lead to several costly problems with your engine in the future.

Malfunctioning HVAC System

When you use your car’s HVAC system, your engine coolant helps to control how air is pushed throughout the cabin. If the engine’s coolant levels are low, you may notice hot air coming through your car’s interior vents. You might also notice a strange odor when your AC or heating system is turned on. If you notice this happening with your vehicle, scheduling a service appointment with an engine repair professional can help prevent more costly repairs.

Blown Head Gaskets

Another common thing that could happen if your vehicle is running low on coolant is a head gasket that has blown. The head gasket is located between the engine block and the cylinder head. It is responsible for maintaining compression and sealing the internal combustion process, allowing the coolant and oil to travel throughout the engine. Head gasket replacement is one of the more expensive repair services, so be sure to pay attention to the other items mentioned on this list to prevent paying for this repair in the future.

Make Carmedix Your First Choice for Engine Repair

Similar to engine oil, ensuring optimal coolant levels is a critical aspect of auto maintenance. If you suspect your car, truck, or SUV is running low on engine coolant, don’t hesitate to contact your preferred auto repair shop to have a certified technician inspect your vehicle.

At Carmedix, our team of ASE-Certified technicians is well-versed in all aspects of engine repair. With years of experience and state-of-the-art tools, technology, and equipment, we want to be your first choice for all of your automotive repair needs.

If you’re experiencing any vehicle issues or want to learn more about our auto repair services, please don’t hesitate to contact us today. We are conveniently located in Durham, North Carolina, for all of your auto repair needs, and our friendly automotive professionals can’t wait to help you.

Written by Carmedix

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