Coolant System (Part 1 of 2)
There’s a pool of ‘green blood’ under my car…Is it an Alien’s? Should I be concerned?
Imagine; you’ve finished your shopping, go out to put your items in your car and you notice a small river of green liquid oozing from underneath. “Yikes! Is that green stuff coming from mycar???”
That "green stuff" is not some weird alien blood (although to some, a car may seem like an alien)! It is anti-freeze – AKA coolant.
GET THAT LEAK FIXED right away if you are concerned about keeping your car running, keeping the environment and animals safe! The loss of coolant often leads to overheating of your vehicle’s engine.
Coolant smells and tastes sweet. We DO NOT recommend tasting your coolant – NEVER taste it – but you need to know that animals are attracted to the sweetness of spilled coolant, and it can potentially cause their demise if they drink it.
Though the "green stuff" is not alien blood, it is not merely colored water. Appearance can be deceiving! Handle it carefully. Coolant is made with ethylene & propylene glycols that are manufactured from natural gas and crude petroleum (non-renewable resources). It has additives such as corrosion inhibitors, PH buffers, and anti-foaming agents. Without all those additives, coolant cannot do its jobs.
Besides being poisonous, coolant becomes increasingly toxic while circulating in your car, gaining heavy metals such as lead, cadmium, chromium, iron, copper and zinc.
Helpful tip: DO NOT open the radiator cap on a car with a hot or overheating engine…the coolant is under pressure and could scald you.
Coolant can also leak into the interior of the car (on the floor by the passenger’s feet) if there is a leak in the heater core.
Side Note: During the hot season when the car’s air conditioning is being used there will often be clear water found under the car. This is the condensation from the air conditioning unit removing the moisture out of the car’s interior. Do not panic, this is normal, and it is not coolant.
Stay tuned –Coolant System Part 2 will be in the next Rock, Paper, Car.