Your car’s cooling system is one of its most important components. Its main role is to regulate engine temperature, ensuring optimum performance and preventing other parts from getting damaged by extreme heat. In addition, the cooling system helps maximise fuel economy and minimise harmful emissions.

In short, if you want your car to last for years delivering top performance, you need to ensure that the cooling system is always in tip-top shape. You need to pay attention to warning signs, such as the coolant light coming on or the temperature gauge rising to the red zone. This way, you can immediately perform corrective measures.

Aside from the above-mentioned indicators, there are many more warning signs that can indicate trouble with the cooling system. Below is a list of just a few of these indicators. When these happen, you may need to replace some components (click here for a reliable auto parts supplier) or have your cooling system repaired completely.

Frequent Overheating

If your vehicle’s cooling system is in good condition, you don’t have to worry too much about overheating. If your car frequently overheats, however, then there’s definitely something wrong.

As mentioned earlier, pay attention to the temperature gauge. If it hits the red zone, pull over and turn your car off immediately because driving with an overheating engine can cause major damage.

Car overheating

You should also pay attention to the hood. If there’s white steam or smoke coming from under the hood, your car is likely overheating. The steam or smoke is caused by the rapid evaporation of a high amount of coolant.

Faulty Heater

When your car’s cooling system is faulty, it can affect the heater. This is because the heater uses the same coolant as the engine. If there are any leaks or blockages, then your heater won’t function properly.

Obviously, a faulty heater may also be caused by other factors. These include a bad thermostat or a broken blower. To be completely sure, bring your car to your trusted mechanic for a check-up.

White Exhaust Smoke

Sometimes, your car will produce thin white exhaust smoke due to a build-up of condensation in the exhaust system. This is normal as long as the smoke remains vapour-like. However, when the white smoke coming from the exhaust is thick and almost cloud-like in appearance, you might have a problem with your cooling system.

The thick white exhaust smoke is likely caused by a coolant leak, and the fluid is already seeping into the combustion chamber. This is a problem that needs to be fixed immediately by a competent mechanic.

Leaking Coolant

Speaking of coolant leaks, there are plenty of easily identifiable indicators that can warn you of this problem. For example, a green, orange, or pinkish puddle of liquid under your car most definitely means that the antifreeze is leaking. You may also notice an oily film on the inside of your windshield.

If you can’t see any liquids or other visual evidence of a coolant leak, pay attention to the smells in and around your car. Antifreeze has a sweet odour; if you smell a syrupy, fruity, or candy-like scent (that isn’t your car freshener), you need to have your cooling system repaired ASAP.

Discoloured Engine

You should conduct a regular inspection of your vehicle’s under-hood components to ensure that each and everyone is in good shape. In particular, you should check the engine and its parts, such as its belts and hoses.

Take note of the engine’s body as well. If there are any parts that are discoloured, it may be caused by the coolant that got sprayed on the engine while it’s hot and running.

Once the coolant boils off and dries, it removes the protective finish and discolours or rusts the specific part. The discolouration or rust may be concentrated on one area or spread across the entire engine unit.

Poor Mileage

As mentioned earlier, your car’s cooling system contributes to more efficient fuel consumption. This, in turn, gives your engine more available power. If the cooling system is in bad condition, your engine will burn the fuel faster than normal and you’ll notice that you aren’t getting as many kilometres per litre.

Fuel Gauge car empty

Take note at how often you gas up your vehicle. If you notice that you’re making more frequent visits to the petrol station, consider getting your car checked for cooling system issues.

As a responsible car owner, you need to keep your vehicle in good shape, inside and out and from top to bottom. You’ll be spending less on repairs and replacements if you undertake regular maintenance.

It’s also great for your peace of mind, not to mention the environment, because your car will always be performing efficiently. When it comes to the cooling system, simply keep these warning signs in mind. Knowing them can ensure that you get any issues fixed as soon as possible so the issues don’t get any worse.