Industry Articles

5 Indicators Your Pickup Truck Needs Immediate Coolant System Repair

Written by the Brant Jones Team

The cooling system in your pickup truck is a vital component that plays a crucial role in maintaining the overall health and performance of your vehicle. Its main function is to regulate the temperature of the engine, ensuring that it operates at peak performance and preventing damage to other parts of the vehicle caused by excessive heat. Additionally, the cooling system helps to improve fuel efficiency and reduce emissions, making it an important component for both performance and environmental concerns.

To ensure that your cooling system is functioning properly and that your pickup truck remains in top condition, it is essential to pay attention to warning indicators such as the coolant light turning on or the temperature gauge moving into the red zone. These signals are important indicators that something may be wrong and that immediate action needs to be taken.

Other symptoms that may indicate problems with your cooling system include:

  • Leaks or low levels of coolant in the radiator
  • Odd noises coming from the engine, such as hissing or gurgling sounds
  • Overheating or steam coming from the engine
  • A decrease in engine power or performance
  • A musty or sweet smell coming from the engine

In this article, we’ll expand on some of these symptoms. If you notice any of these signs, it is important to get your pickup truck serviced right away to avoid further damage and to ensure that your cooling system is working properly. Keeping your cooling system in good condition is essential for maintaining the overall health and performance of your vehicle, and can help to extend the lifespan of your pickup truck.

1. Overheating Issues

Your coolant system’s primary goal is to prevent your engine from overheating and, as such, an overheating engine signifies that your coolant system may be failing or malfunctioning. If your engine overheats, we highly recommend coming in for service as soon as possible. Prolonged overheating can lead to cascading damage and costly repair bills. 

Common damage includes:

  1. Blown Head Gasket: The head gasket is a critical component that seals the combustion chamber and prevents coolant and oil from mixing. When an engine overheats, the head gasket can expand and lose its seal, allowing coolant and oil to mix. This can cause engine damage, poor performance, and even engine failure.
  2. Damaged Valves: The valves in an engine are responsible for controlling the flow of air and fuel into the combustion chamber. When an engine overheats, the valves can warp and become damaged, causing poor performance and even engine failure.
  3. Camshaft Issues: The camshaft is responsible for controlling the timing of the engine's valves. When an engine overheats, the camshaft can expand and become damaged, causing poor performance and even engine failure.
  4. Seized Piston: The pistons in an engine are responsible for moving up and down, creating the engine's power. When an engine overheats, the pistons can seize, causing damage to the engine and poor performance. This can lead to a costly engine repair or replacement.

2. Leaking Coolant

If you’re leaking coolant, we highly recommend bringing your truck in for service right away. Low coolant means an insufficient amount of radiant heat will be absorbed, which in turn means not enough heat will be dispersed. Coolant can leak from a variety of areas, including your coolant lines, coolant reservoir, water pump, and even your radiator. 

A pool of liquid beneath your pickup truck that is green, orange, or pinkish, for instance, most certainly indicates that antifreeze is leaking. On the interior of your windshield, you may also detect an oily film.

Pay attention to the scents in and around your pickup truck if you can't see any liquids or other visible signs of a coolant leak. If you smell anything syrupy, fruity, or candy-like (that isn't your pickup truck air freshener), your cooling system has to be serviced right away. Antifreeze has a sweet fragrance.

3. White smoke coming out of the exhaust 

Due to a buildup of moisture in the exhaust system, your pickup truck may sometimes emit thin, white exhaust smoke. As long as the smoke maintains its vapor-like state, this is okay. However, if the white exhaust smoke is dense and resembles a cloud, you may have an issue with your cooling system.

A coolant leak is probably to blame for the thick, white exhaust smoke, and the fluid has already started to seep into the combustion chamber. A qualified technician has to take care of this issue right away.

4. Dis-coloration of engine parts 

To ensure everything is in working order, you should regularly examine the under-the-hood parts of your pickup truck. You should pay special attention to the engine and the belts and hoses attached to it.

Observe the body of the engine as well. If there are discolored components, the coolant sprayed on the hot, running engine may be to blame. The protective coating is removed, and the particular component becomes discolored or rusted after the coolant boils off and dries. Rust or discoloration may be evenly distributed over the engine or concentrated in one spot.

5. Poor fuel efficiency 

As was already discussed, your pickup truck's cooling system helps to increase fuel efficiency. Your engine then has greater power available as a result. Your engine will burn diesel more quickly than usual if the cooling system is damaged, and you'll notice that your miles per gallon are decreasing.

Keep track of how frequently you fill up your pickup truck with diesel. Consider having your pickup truck's cooling system examined if you discover that you're stopping at the fuel station more often. You must maintain your pickup truck in excellent condition from top to bottom, inside and out, to be a responsible pickup truck owner. Regular maintenance can help you save money on repairs and replacements.

Final words 

Remember these red flags when it comes to the cooling system. By being aware of them, you can ensure that any problems are resolved as quickly as possible and do not worsen. Make sure you work with a reputable pickup truck repair shop to address all these issues.

Contact Brant Jones Auto & Diesel Today!

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