Why Is My Car Making Bubblegly Noises When Turned Off?

March 15, 2024


When your car’s engine is running it’s circulating coolant through the radiator. The coolant is heated up during the combustion process and transfers heat to the engine via the water jacket. Once the engine is shut off the coolant cools and contracts, it’s then pushed back into the radiator through the cooling fan. It’s at this point when the coolant may make bubbling noises as it moves through the heater core. The heater core is designed to have a flow re-stricter in order to minimize these sounds.

If your coolant level is low it could also be a sign of air in the system. A hole or loose clamp on a hose will allow outside air to enter the cooling system and cause it to make gurgling noises after the engine is turned off.

Another possibility is a bad water pump that’s leaking internally and not letting the coolant circulate correctly. This can lead to a lack of pressure and also reduce the ability of the cooling system to transfer heat from the engine.

If you think your hoses are leaking it’s important to have them checked out as soon as possible. Multiple systems in your vehicle depend on hoses, so any leaking is a sign that it’s time to replace them. You should never attempt to work on any hoses while your car is hot, it could potentially blast you in the face with deadly poisonous gases.


Traffic Dave is on a mission to help traffic engineers, transportation planners, and other transportation professionals improve our world.
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