What Does Coolant Look Like?
Understanding the Basics of Coolant
Have you ever wondered what that wildly colored liquid is that gets put into your vehicle? It's your engine's coolant. It is an essential part of the engine, and it's important to know what it looks like and how to identify a leak.
What it Is
Coolant is a mixture of water and antifreeze. Antifreeze is a chemical that lowers the freezing point of water, which helps keep your car's engine from freezing in cold weather. Water alone will freeze at 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius), but when mixed with antifreeze, the mixture can withstand temperatures as low as -30 degrees Fahrenheit (-34 degrees Celsius). In addition to preventing your engine from freezing, it also helps keep it from overheating. When the engine gets hot, the coolant absorbs some of the heat and carries it away.
Coolant is usually a bright green or orange color, and it's typically sold in gallon containers at any auto parts store. If you're not sure whether your car uses green or orange coolant, please consult your vehicle's owner's manual.
Identifying a Coolant Leak
If you see a pool of green or orange liquid under your car, it's probably coolant. But how can you be sure? One way to tell is by looking at the color of the smoke coming from the vehicle's exhaust pipe. If the smoke is white, it's probably just water vapor and not coolant. But if the smoke is blue or black, that's a good indication that your car is burning coolant.
If you suspect you might have a coolant leak, it's important to get it checked out as soon as possible. Coolant leaks can lead to engine overheating, which can cause serious damage.
Your Local Coolant Experts
If you're not sure what engine coolant looks like, or if you think you might have a leak, schedule an appointment with Mad Hatter Auto Repair! Our friendly mechanics will be happy to conduct an inspection to determine if you do have a problem, and will get you fixed up and back on the road! Contact our Omaha location at (402) 330-2286, or if you're in Council Bluffs, call (712) 322-7500.