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How Long Can I Drive With Low Coolant?




If you are a car owner, maintaining your vehicle properly should be your utmost concern. Often people ignore the engine coolant, during their inspection. The engine coolant doesn’t have to be refilled periodically, like the fuel. However, it too depletes slowly and excessively if there are leakages. If you don’t address the issue on time, the engine might run out of coolant or run on low coolant, both of which are dangerous to your vehicle.

The engine coolant is an important fluid that you shouldn’t neglect. It performs certain important functions like regulating the car’s temperature and prevents it from freezing. The engine coolant doesn’t have to be replenished periodically, but after a few months one must inspect it and flush out the old coolant.

Car owners should never drive cars when the coolant level is low. It can cause severe damage to you and your vehicle. Often times a coolant leak occurs and car owners have no idea about it. So you have to be conscious of these incidents taking place. If you notice a high-temperature gauge reading red, probably it’s indicating a leakage. A malfunctioning AC or a sweet-smelling odor inside the car is also indicative of a leakage. Bring it immediately to the attention of a professional mechanic and repair the leakage.

How Long Can Your Car Run Without Coolant?

Whenever you drive your car with a low engine coolant, you might discover smokes along with a sweet smell odor, indicating that the coolant has spread everywhere. In such situations, one shouldn’t even drive the car for even a minute. Doing so can severely damage the engine and lead you to incur huge expenses for repairs.

Driving for even a minute with no or low engine coolant is dangerous. Besides damaging the functioning of the engine, it can cause several other parts to malfunction. Usually, with low engine coolant, your car will be able to run for 15 seconds maximum. You must not try to drive the car for more than at. The coolant might not be moving due to the thermostat, it, however, continues to function as a major heat absorber.

Another thing to keep in mind is that the coolant functions as long as the thermostat remains open. It takes some time to spread the coolant. If the coolant is constant, it will absorb heat from the motor, if not from the thermostat to continue functioning. This will harm the motor of the car too.

How often should you change the coolant?

As we already said, driving with low coolant is extremely harmful to the vehicle. However, the coolant doesn’t have to be changed regularly unless there are signs of leakage. Sometimes, car owners replace the engine coolant after five years and that’s alright. However, not replacing the coolant for prolonged periods can make it acidic. If it becomes acidic, the coolant will no longer protect the engine. It will instead erode it gradually. So, car owners must flush the system periodically, even if there are leakages, and refill the engine with fresh coolant.

Now that you know the importance of the engine coolant, you must consider that while inspecting your car. It absorbs the heat produced by the air and the fuel when the car is in motion. If the heat isn’t absorbed, it will cause severe engine damage. Hence, maintaining the required amount of coolant is important for the proper functioning of the engine. So, the moment you notice a low coolant or abnormal reduction of coolant level in the engine, check the issue on time and bring it to the attention of a professional mechanic. If needed, get all leaks repaired and new coolant added.

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