If you constantly move around in your car, you can’t avoid problems with various components of your vehicle. Although it’s important to keep an eye on all your car’s components, one part you can never ignore is your car’s engine. If it gets too hot, you are in trouble.
Due to the severity of this issue, vehicles usually come with a cooling system. The coolant reservoir keeps the engine from overheating, so you can drive for long hours without worrying.
However, one problem multiple users have reported recently is that the coolant reservoir keeps emptying. If you are also facing a similar situation and are wondering, “Why does my coolant reservoir keep emptying?” this guide has all the solutions for you.
I have put together this detailed guide for you, introducing you to the coolant reservoir, the potential causes of the problem, and some fixes you can try to solve it.
What Is a Coolant Reservoir?
Before moving towards the causes behind your coolant reservoir emptying all the time, it’s important to know what a coolant reservoir is and how it works in a vehicle. This way, you will understand the problem better and determine if driving around with an empty coolant reservoir is dangerous.
Simply put, a coolant reservoir is a plastic reservoir inside the engine bay of your vehicle, storing all the coolant needed to cool off the engine once you turn your car on. If you want your car to function smoothly at all times, you must have a full coolant reservoir, providing the engine with the cooling it needs.
The amount of coolant or coolant pressure your car’s engine needs changes depending on your driving conditions and your driving time. So, to tackle all sorts of different engine conditions, it’s crucial to have a coolant reservoir full at all times; otherwise, you might face other problems, primarily transmission problems with your car.
Why Does My Coolant Reservoir Keep Emptying?
Now that you know what a coolant reservoir is and why it’s needed in your car let me answer the question you have been curious about all along.
Though there are numerous reasons for the coolant reservoir to keep emptying, I have listed a few common ones.
Reason #1: Broken or Damaged Radiator Cap
The primary reason for the coolant reservoir to keep emptying is the broken or damaged radiator cap. If you don’t already know, the radiator cap is responsible for keeping the cooling system’s pressure at 15 psi. If the pressure goes slightly beyond this, a small vent present on the cap opens up to release the pressure.
However, if there is some problem with the radiator cap, it will remain open at all times, eventually causing the evaporation of the coolant, which is why you will find your coolant reservoir empty.
Reason #2: A Hole In the Radiator
The radiator plays the most important role in keeping your car’s engine cool. If you ever see your car’s radiator, you will find multiple connections coming and going from it. This complex functionality of the radiator can eventually cause it to wear out over time.
If any connection from or to the radiator isn’t right, it will create a hole in it. Eventually, this will leak the coolant from the radiator, and you will always find your coolant reservoir empty.
Reason #3: Problematic Water Pump Seal
If the water pump seal goes bad, it can also result in the coolant reservoir emptying. This happens because the seal keeps the water pump in its position. As it’s made of rubber, it can wear out over time and cracks. This ultimately causes leakage of coolant, thus an empty coolant reservoir.
Reason #4: Blown Head Gasket
Another potential cause of an empty coolant reservoir is a blown head gasket. Frankly, none of the reasons I have stated above is as hard to eliminate as a blown head gasket, as it can eventually cause engine overheating and severe problems you won’t want to encounter.
If the head gasket is swollen or blown, it causes the coolant to leak and get into the combustion chamber of the vehicle’s oiling system. In this case, you will see white smoke from the exhaust.
This smoke will eventually add to the oil, impurifying and making it thick, making it impossible for the oil to lubricate the engine components. Regardless of whether the coolant will enter the combustion chamber, you will face the problem of an empty coolant reservoir if the head gasket is blown.
Reason #5: Cracks In The Reservoir Tank
If the reservoir tank has developed some cracks from the constant expansion and contraction owing to the changed temperature conditions, the coolant tends to leak from it, resulting in an empty coolant reservoir.
Reason #6: Blockage In the Cooling System
For the cooling system to work efficiently, you need to keep flushing it occasionally. If you haven’t flushed your vehicle’s cooling system for a long time, rust and other contaminants can cause blockage inside it, leading to loss of coolant.
If the cooling system remains clogged for too long, you will face the problem where your coolant reservoir keeps emptying.
Fixes for the Coolant Reservoir Keeps Emptying Problem
Spotting a problem’s potential causes means you have solved 70% of it. For the remaining 30%, I have listed down some simple fixes you can try.
- If you don’t want the coolant for your car’s cooling system to keep leaking, keep changing its components, i.e., radiator cap and radiator tank, at the recommended time.
- Getting the cooling system flushed and paying heed to its maintenance are other things you can do to fix the issue.
- If the cracked reservoir tank causes the problem, consider replacing it with a new one, as getting it fixed won’t do any good.
- Another thing you can do to prevent your coolant reservoir from emptying is to change the seal of the water pump. Replacing the water pump completely might be too much of a hassle, so getting a new seal can do the job for you.
- Use a radiator patch kit to check and fix any holes in the radiator cap to stop coolant leakage.
- Ensure to keep the radiator’s cap clean, as dirt and debris collecting around it can damage its seal. If cleaning doesn’t fix the issue, replace the cap with a new one.
- Although tasks like changing the radiator cap, fixing its holes and cracks, replacing the water pump seal, etc., might seem simple and doable, it’s better to seek professional help to avoid any problems in the future.
This wraps up the guide on “Why does my coolant reservoir keep emptying?” In this guide, I have tried to include everything you need to know about your car’s coolant reservoir, including its working and why it’s crucial for the proper functioning of your vehicle to help you better understand the problem.
I have also included a detailed description of some major reasons behind the issue and enlisted some fixes to help you resolve the problem.
Hopefully, you are now well-equipped with the problem and are confident to dodge it in the future.