How to Check Your Vehicle's Coolant Distribution Pipe for Leaks

How to Check Your Vehicle's Coolant Distribution Pipe for Leaks

16th Sep 2022

Coolant isn't limited to your vehicle's radiator and engine. This essential mixture of antifreeze and distilled water will flow through various passages as well, including a coolant distribution pipe.

Also known as a water distribution pipe, a coolant distribution pipe is a pipe that carries coolant to the cylinder head. Your vehicle's engine, of course, has a cylinder head. Internal combustion engines (ICEs) have a block at the bottom and a cylinder head on the top. The cylinder head sits on top of the engine block while providing the housing structure for the intake, exhaust and other components. A coolant distribution pipe connects to the cylinder head. It allows coolant to flow to the cylinder head where it's then distributed to each of the engine's cylinders.

Look for Puddles

Coolant distribution pipes can leak. If you believe your vehicle's coolant distribution pipe has a leak, look for puddles. Leaks involve a breach in the coolant distribution pipe or an adjacent mating surface. It will allow coolant to escape. Coolant will leak out of this pipe and onto the ground below. If you notice any puddles directly under your vehicle's engine, it could be the result of a leaking coolant distribution pipe.

Perform a Visual Inspection Under the Hood

You should perform a visual inspection under the hood. Wait until your vehicle's engine warmed up -- you can drive around the neighborhood for a few minutes or simply let your vehicle idle -- and then pop the hood. Without touching anything, perform a visual inspection of the engine.

Coolant distribution pipes are oftentimes hidden. They may be covered or otherwise concealed, so you may not see this component. Regardless, you can still inspect the engine. If the coolant distribution pipe is leaking, you may notice a small stream of coolant flowing from around the engine.

Watch the Temperature Gauge

Keep an eye on your vehicle's temperature gauge while driving. The temperature gauge, of course, reveals the temperature of the coolant. As it warms up, the needle should move to the right. But a leaking coolant distribution pipe can cause the temperature gauge to max out in the red zone.

If your vehicle has a coolant leak, the engine will eventually overheat. Coolant is used to keep engine temperatures in check by releasing heat. A loss of coolant will prevent this from happening. With a leaking coolant distribution pipe, your vehicle's engine will overheat, and the temperature gauge will creep into the red zone.

Cooling System Products

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Looking to Fix Your Coolant Leak?

There are a few ways you can repair a coolant leak and JB Tools has the products you need. Whether it's a simple fix, or a more intense issue, we've put together a list of some products that could help you along the way.