Why Is My Engine Coolant Always Low?

Your engine’s coolant should not be low, especially consistently low. If you keep topping off the coolant in the overflow reservoir, there is something going on with your European automobile’s cooling system. Most of the time, low coolant is a symptom of a leak somewhere, but it could also be a sign of something more serious. Kinetech Motor Werkes explains further below.

Identifying Coolant Leaks

The best way to identify a coolant leak is to see it. Although you don’t want coolant leaking onto your garage floor, if it does, there’s no question you’ve got a leak somewhere and this is why you keep having to add coolant to the overflow. Note the location of the spots on your garage floor and then see if you can spot what’s in the engine above them. If it’s the radiator overflow, for example, that could be leaking. Also, check the color of the fluid on your garage floor. Bluish-green, green, orange, red, or yellow could be coolant. If the fluid matches the color in your overflow, it’s most likely coolant.

What Causes Coolant Leaks?

From somewhat minor to major, it’s important to find the cause of the coolant leak right away to avoid damaging your automobile’s engine. The cooling system relies on antifreeze/coolant to maintain a constant temperature inside despite the temperature outside. If the engine does not have enough coolant to draw the heat away from the moving parts, it will overheat – get hotter than 220 degrees F. Extended or constant overheating can destroy the engine. Coolant leaks can come from the

  • Gaskets/Seals
  • Head gasket
  • Heater core
  • Overflow tank
  • Radiator
  • Radiator hoses/tubes
  • Water pump

You noticed we said somewhat minor to major above. Nothing is really minor when it comes to coolant leaks, but it will cost less to replace leaking hoses, gaskets, or seals than it will to replace a blown head gasket. Depending on how long your engine has been overheating due to the lost coolant will also determine if additional damage must be repaired, such as a cracked engine block. If the coolant is leaking because your radiator has rusted through, this, too, is a major auto repair.

Bring your BMW or other European automobile into Kinetech Motor Werkes in Indian Trail, NC, if you suspect that you have a coolant leak. We’ll find the source of the leak and fix it before it becomes a major problem.

Photo by algre from Getty Images via Canva Pro