How to Check for Cooling System Leaks in a Mazda6

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Checking the cooling system for leaks in your Mazda6 is necessary to keep the car operating at peak efficiency. In addition, if you identify leaks early, it can prevent larger problems in the future. One way to check for leaks without much effort is to inspect the area beneath your usual parking place for brightly-colored coolant. There are also more in-depth inspections that help identify leakage.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Flashlight
  • Coolant
  • Long-sleeved shirt
  • Gloves

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Open the hood, grab a flashlight and inspect the radiator for potential leaks in the cooling system. Check the underside of the radiator as well, as it can sustain damage from rocks and road debris. Look for fresh coolant, discoloration or corrosion on the radiator.

  2. 2

    Inspect the water pump and gasket seal for signs of a leak. The water pump is behind the engine fan and the gasket seal secures the attachment between the water pump and the engine block. Examine the water pump and gasket seal for corrosion, fresh coolant or discoloration.

  3. 3

    Check the hoses that connect the radiator to the engine and the engine to the heater core. Scrutinize the hoses for bulging, splitting or cracking. Verify that the hose connections to the radiator, engine and heater core are secure. Sometimes they can become loose due the engine vibration.

  4. 4

    Open the radiator and fill it with fresh coolant until it's within an inch from overflowing. Be sure the radiator is cool to the touch before you remove the cap. Twist the cap one full revolution, step away from the radiator, wait a minute or two and then remove the cap completely.

  5. 5

    Turn on the engine of the Mazda6 with the heater set to high. Let it run for about 15 minutes and then switch the engine off. Recheck the water pump, radiator, gasket seal and hoses for any leaks. If there are still no signs of leakage, it's probably an internal leak and you need to take the car to a cooling system specialist.

Tips and warnings

  • It's prudent to wear a long-sleeved shirt and gloves when working with coolant to protect your skin.
  • Be extremely careful when working around a radiator, as the internal pressure can cause coolant to spew from the radiator and burn anyone in the vicinity.
  • Always be cautious when handling coolant, as it's very toxic to both people and pets.

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