If you've ever seen a blue light ignite on your dashboard, you might wonder: what does this light signal, and what should I do about it?
What Does The Blue Light Mean?
Coolant, or antifreeze, is a fluid that prevents the water situated in your car's radiator from freezing in cold weather and overheating in warm weather. It can also help lubricate the water pump, shift gears and facilitate automatic transmissions.
When your blue engine coolant temperature light goes on, that means the coolant is at a low temperature and won't work efficiently. There are three main reasons why this could happen:
- The engine is cold
- The thermostat is broken
- Coolant leak
You might be able to address the issue on your own, depending on the cause.
What Do I Do?
The coolant in your car's radiator tends to be cold when you start your car. This is because your car's engine is cold. The coolant will warm up as the car runs, but it's important not to push the vehicle too much. Accelerate slowly and avoid speeding up if possible. Once the light turns off, you can drive as you normally do. It should turn off after a few minutes, taking longer if the weather is cold.
Another potential cause of the problem is your thermostat. You can test the thermostat by turning your heater on high. If the air is only moderately warm, as opposed to hot, you may need a thermostat replacement.
If the light does not turn off after driving and the thermostat is not the problem, that could indicate a bigger issue with your car, such as a coolant leak.
You can try to take your own reading of the coolant, but this can be hazardous if not done properly. For instance, in warmer temperatures, the coolant can overheat and splash out. A safer bet would be to take your car to a garage if you are worried about the blue engine coolant temperature light.
If you need vehicle service, we invite you to bring your vehicle into our auto repair shop today!