Coolant Level Sensor – Everything You Need to Know


Water is the most preferred coolant fluid in marine vessels for ease of availability and use. Independent of the size of the vessel, it is always mandatory to maintain the required coolant level in the cooling unit, especially when it is on a cruise. The coolant level sensor or switch is a powerful device that alerts the operator when this fluid level drops.

In this blog post, we delve into the significance of integrating marine equipment into a high-quality coolant level switch in a ship.

What is a Coolant Level Sensor in Marine Vessels

All watercraft require a liquid coolant to eliminate the heat from the engine resulting from continuous operation and successive combustions. The fluid forms a cooling jacket to encapsulate the heated equipment and absorb the temperature. This heated fluid in gaseous form is introduced to the heat exchanger, where it cools down for successive sessions.

The coolant level switch is an electrical device fixed to the radiator heater tank with a screw. It measures the coolant level in the cooling unit of the marine engine. The function of this sensor is to provide a low coolant level warning signal to the vessel operator.

When the engine cooling system has the required amount of fluid, the coolant level sensor remains closed to earth. Conversely, the sensor opens when the fluid level is low in the unit.

Significance of Coolant Level Sensor in Marine Engine

The coolant system in the engine block is an integral part of engine health management. However, maintaining the accurate coolant level in the radiator is vital for the success of the mechanism. Low coolant levels (detected by the coolant level switch) can affect the engine and other expensive components onboard.

  • Overheating is the prime threat when the coolant level is low. Severe overheating in the engine can cause gasket failure, cylinder head warping, and engine liner damage.
  • Low coolant fluid can mutilate the water pumps, head gasket, and tubing.
  • The fuel can burn rapidly due to heat in the combustion space.

Coolant Level Sensors and Spares from Top Brands for Your Marine Engine

Alfa Marine Spare Parts is your one-stop online store to buy genuine engine parts and electrical products for your vessel. Here are must-have items, including the coolant level switch to regulate the cooling system in the engine room.

#1. Cat 16GA Wiring Harness Assembly – 391-2475

This Caterpillar harness assembly for coolant level sensors is a reliable electrical accessory for marine shunt tanks. It connects the sensor to the electrical system in the operator’s room. This harness assembly features a robust configuration of wires, terminals, and connectors to deliver electrical signals from the fluid level switch to the ECU, offering real-time data to the engine dashboard.

#2. Perkins Coolant Level Switch – CH12541  

The part number CH12541 is compatible with Perkins engine models in the 2306, 2506, and 2806 series. It also integrates with the engine cooling unit in the 4219DF and 6329D models.

#3. Cat Coolant Temperature Switch – 271-6700

Cat coolant temperature sensors are the best-in-class devices to detect the rise in coolant temperature. This helps the operator to know the accurate temperature in the engine cylinder. The overheating in the engine can happen due to:

  • Low coolant level in the cooling jacket
  • Thermostat failure
  • Faulty water pump

#4. Cat 1.6mm Thick Coolant Line Gasket – 341-9211

A.k.a. head gasket, part number 3419211 seals the combustion chamber during coolant and lube oil application. This 1.6mm thick gasket offers protective shield support for the compression in the engine. The leakproof structure blocks coolant and oil from leaking into the combustion chamber. Leaking unwanted fluid in the engine can cause fire, overheating, and damage to the engine parts.

#5. Cummins Coolant Tube A063K544

Part number A063K544 is a sturdy and flexible tube. It connects the water pump to the other engine components, including the engine block and the radiator.

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