How long does coolant last in a car? (Explained!) (2023)

Your car's engine powers it, and as a result, your engine tends to get very hot. That's why you need a soda. So now we're going to learn how long a coolant will last in your vehicle, so let's get started.

How long does coolant last in your car?Your coolant can last approximately two hundred ten thousand kilometers (210,000 km) or approximately one hundred and forty thousand miles (140,000 miles), so you should change it when you reach these marks to ensure your vehicle's engine is running at its best and has better performance.

When it comes to your vehicle's fluids, there are many fluids that require constant inspection and maintenance over time. All those liquids shouldn't last forever. Therefore, you must change them if necessary.

One such fluid is refrigerant. Your engine can get very hot from the heat. And that's why your engine needs protection from this extreme heat.

Car coolant appears here. Car coolant, also known as antifreeze, protects your engine from overheating. When your car is running, the coolant also lubricates the moving parts of the engine.

We'll discuss the lifespan of coolants and how often you should change them. Here we go.


How long does coolant last in a car? (Explained!) (1)

Do cars lose coolant over time?

Your car is unlikely to lose coolant over time. Of course, you lose coolant when it leaks, but in terms of coolant life, they degrade over time, which is why they should be replaced. Let's discuss the life of a soft drink further.

So a coolant is made from water and antifreeze. Coolant has many properties that ensure good performance as long as additives help maintain good performance. Over time, your coolant will deteriorate.

This is because the liquid becomes more acidic over time. So now you have a worn out fluid that is in bad shape and you expect it to provide protection and keep your vehicle performing well. This spoiled fluid can now harm your engine as the coolant will no longer hold and protect the engine from overheating.

Therefore, your coolant should be changed when necessary. So over time you don't necessarily lose coolant unless it leaks, but you do need to change it at about two hundred ten thousand kilometers (210,000 km) or about one hundred and forty thousand miles (140,000 miles). So if you want a schedule, consider changing it by about a year or even earlier.

How often should I add coolant to my car?

If you've consulted a mechanic, most recommend changing the coolant at around thirty thousand miles. Some mechanics will even tell you they don't know and aren't up to your expertise. The rule is to always look for the instruction manual.

Your owner's manual may be able to provide guidance on how often you should change your coolant once you've read your owner's manual. For example, you may be advised to change your coolant or antifreeze after sixty thousand miles (60,000 miles) / for some vehicles you may even need to change your coolant or antifreeze after around thirty thousand miles (30,000 miles).

From this it is concluded that every vehicle has a different time interval to change its coolant or antifreeze. Some vehicles can even last around one hundred and twenty thousand miles (120,000 miles) and more. So if you haven't read the owner's manual, your best bet is to do and not follow other people's advice, especially if you have different cars as each car has its different coolant change interval.

Why is my car running out of coolant so quickly?

A coolant leak may occur. Coolant is a crucial fluid that your vehicle needs. If you don't have coolant in your vehicle, you run the risk of your vehicle's components overheating as their temperature is not regulated.

Overheating damages your engine and costs you money as you have to repair the damage. If you've parked your vehicle and seen that there is coolant on the floor where your vehicle was just parked, or if you notice that you're just about to replace the coolant, there's a good chance of a leak. The cooling system works by circulating your vehicle's engine.

That means leaks can be anywhere. If you know what to do, you can always call in an expert and have the leak fixed. You can also check your oil.

If you notice that your oil is already a little milky, it could be that the head gasket has blown. You must stop driving your car immediately and have the problem fixed immediately.

If you also suspect that you have an oil leak, you can also check it yourself before going to a professional. First, look for signs of a leak in your vehicle. One clue to watch out for is that leaks leave marks, especially on the floor.

Finding the evidence can also be relatively easy since you can identify the coolant. The color of the soda is clearly visible. They are usually colored green.

You can also find them in yellow color. Check the bottom for leaks and also look at the radiator and engine. Leaks can leave a stain.

If you have found leaks on the ground, trace the spot in your vehicle where the leak is and try to fix it. If you cannot solve the problem, contact an expert for repair. But first try to notice if white smoke is coming out of your exhaust, because if it is, you have a blown head gasket.

How long does coolant last in a car? (Explained!) (2)

What are the signs of low coolant?

If you suspect that you are low on coolant, you can look for signs that you are low on coolant. Your engine can overheat if it's running and you don't have coolant or antifreeze. Coolants or antifreeze work through your vehicle's engine.

They regulate and maintain the temperature in your engine. As a result, you don't have to worry about the engine overheating. If you want to know if you're running out of coolant, some vehicles have an automatic engine shutdown feature.

However, some vehicles do not have this feature. So you need to look for warning signs that the coolant is running low. Here are some of the signs to look out for if you suspect your vehicle is running out of coolant.

1. Your engine may shut itself down

If you run out of coolant, some vehicles will automatically turn off the engine. This feature is beneficial. However, only certain vehicles have this feature.

This feature shuts off the engine when you feel the engine getting warm. For example, if you are low on coolant, your engine will likely overheat. Suppose your vehicle detects that your engine is overheating and your vehicle has this feature.

In this case, your vehicle will automatically switch off the engine to prevent overheating and damage to the engine. However, when the engine cools down again, it will start powering your vehicle again.

2. A warning light will illuminate on your dashboard

If you suspect that you are running low on coolant or antifreeze, your vehicle may have the alert feature. Notification is via a notification on your dashboard.

For example, you may have a warning light on your dash telling you the coolant is low and you need to top up. Unfortunately, not all vehicles have this feature.

3. You can smell something sweet

If you've tried sniffing your lemonade, you know it has a slightly sweet smell. So if your vehicle is low on coolant due to a leak, you will get that sweet smell.

4. Your vehicle has poor fuel economy

If your vehicle is at an average temperature, your fuel economy will do well. Your fuel is used efficiently.

So if you notice that your vehicle is burning fuel much faster than usual, you may have a low coolant level. Your engine may have an abnormal temperature causing your vehicle to use more fuel than necessary.

5. There is a fault in your heating system

If you don't have enough coolant, there could be a fault in the heating system. Watch and watch if your heater is blowing hot air or if your heater isn't working. This automatically means that something is wrong with your lemonade.

6. Your meter may have a temperature rise

The purpose of the coolant is to prevent the engine from overheating. So when the coolant/antifreeze runs low, the engine is at risk of overheating because there is not enough coolant to regulate the heat.

This can cause the temperature in your meter to rise. If there is a temperature rise in your gauge, your coolant is not working.

How long can I drive with low coolant?

If your coolant level is low, it depends on how much longer you can drive your car. If you suspect you are low on coolant, check the coolant level. So if your coolant is still above the minimum mark, you can still start and drive your car for a few more days.

However, if your coolant is already below the minimum mark, consider adding some coolant. Don't drive your car if your coolant is below the minimum; it will damage your vehicle.


In short, when your car is running, there are many moving parts, and those moving parts create heat and friction in the engine. Coolant or antifreeze will help and protect your engine and prevent overheating.

It is therefore important to maintain an adequate quantity and quality of coolant at all times. As with any other liquid, you need to change the coolant.

Also read:

  • What happens if you don't release soda??
  • How long can the radiator flush stay on??
  • Signs you need a soda flush


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