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How long can you run an engine without coolant? You may be wondering what happens to your car’s engine if you run it without coolant or with low amount of coolant. Well, the coolant existing in the car’s engine system performs an important role in keeping the car running. Linquip has gathered all the necessary information you need to know about this topic so that you are not just an ordinary unaware driver anymore.
In the following sections we are going to talk about what coolant is, what happens to the engine running without coolant, how to detect our car suffers from lack of coolant and how to prevent the potential damages to our engine due to the lack of coolant. Read on to know more about them.
What Is Coolant?
The coolant is the mixture of antifreeze and water circulating and going through the radiator and engine system to maintain the temperature of your engine at the optimum level and prevent overheating.
Because of the higher boiling point that coolant possesses, the coolant operates at higher temperatures. Its job is to reject the heat from the engine and drive it away into the ambient air via the car’s radiator.
Of course, the coolant’s other function is to prevent water of car cooling system from freezing during cold seasons. Keeping things cool in hot seasons and warm enough in cold seasons seems pretty smart!
How Long Can You Run an Engine without Coolant and What happens If you do so?
We often encounter the question “how long can you run an engine without coolant?” Maybe now that you understand the importance of coolant in the radiator, answer this question becomes an easier job. Driving a car with low or no engine coolant is risky since it may cause damage to some of the secondary and even main components of the engine. In the situation that there is a lack of coolant, it’s better to pull over. Driving such a car for even a few minutes is not a good idea because it can lead to severe damage to your car engine with lots of repair costs.
Many modern and new brand of cars have a cut-off feature detecting the lack of coolant and monitoring the temperature of the engine. If there is a lack of coolant in the cooling system of the car and consequently a sense of severe increase of engine temperature, this detection facility shuts down the car engine to prevent possible damage to the car engine.
But if you own an older car, you have to know the coolant shortage signs to prevent your engines from overheating, seizing, or blowing gasket. Below, we listed some of the most typical cooling system components that suffer the most damages when the cooling system runs out of coolant and experience overheating:
- Water pumps
- Head gaskets
- Engine cylinder and piston timings
- Cylinder head
- Warped or bent connector rods
- Crank failure
These components are very expensive to repair or replace. So, try not to let the cooling system of your car experience the lack of coolant leading to overheating.
So, how far can you drive a car without coolant? If your car has a low coolant you can drive for some time. It really relies on the level of coolant. If it is low but it is above the minimum, you can drive your car for a few days. But if it is below the minimum, please do not even try to run your engine.
How to Detect Our Car Suffering from Lack of Coolant?
There are plenty of signs that show your coolant is low:
1. Dashboard warning signs illuminating
Your dashboard light is the first, and most obvious signal that indicates your engine is overheating. when you see any red light among your dash lights, you need to figure out what’s wrong with your car.
2. High temperature gauge
In case you see that your temperature gauge is running higher than normal, even before a warning light illuminates, you need to find out what is wrong with the cooling system of your car.
Many things such as a broken water pump, leaking or worn out pipes, or a cracked or leaky reservoir or could permanently lead to damage your engine. Be alert at first sign. If you cannot find out the reason why the temperature is high, consult a mechanic immediately.
3. Steam from your bonnet
Your bonnet becomes incredibly hot whenever your engine is overheating. In this situation, the excessive heat produced your engine will cause your bonnet to become extremely hot. If it’s raining, the water hitting the bonnet evaporates immediately and appears as steam rising from the surface of the bonnet
Blown or cracked heating system will also lead to release of hot water from your system manifesting as steam rising from under the bonnet. Either way, they’re all obvious signs that something is wrong with your car engine and needs your immediate attention.
How to prevent that expensive engine damage?
Pull over and let the engine cool down to an acceptable lower temperature and if you can, head to a garage or back home. If you can’t do either of these, call for a tow.
the coolant existing in the car’s engine system performs an important role in keeping the car running. Driving a car with low or no engine coolant is risky since it may cause damage to some of the secondary and even main components of the engine. But unfortunately, people often take the initial problem for granted so it ends up extensive damage and spending much more money to fix a bigger problem.
In this article we tried to answer the question “how long can you run an engine without coolant?” and talk about what coolant is, what happens to the engine running without coolant, how to detect our car suffers from lack of coolant and how to prevent the potential damages to our engine due to the lack of coolant. Our experts in Linquip is ready to answer more questions on this topic and give you advice. All you need to do is to sign up now. In addition, if you have any experience or opinion, we will be glad to have them in the comments. Hope you enjoyed this article.