Your radiator has one job, and it’s a major one, it’s tasked with keeping your vehicle from overheating. If your engine over heats, it could leave you stranded on the side of the road, and not addressing the problem right away could lead to serious and permanent damage; thus, it’s a problem that many people just want to avoid all together. If you think that your radiator may be showing signs of an issue, you will want to have it resolved before you have a much larger problem on your hands. Most people aren’t experts when it comes to their vehicle’s radiator, so we are going to review some signs that your radiator may be in need of repair.
What’s Your Vehicle’s Radiator and Why is it Important?
As we said above, most people aren’t experts when it comes to their radiator, so before we jump into signs that yours may be in need of repair, we wanted to first cover the basics.
The radiator is the central component of a vehicle’s cooling system and is what connects all cooling components to one another and ensures cooling fluids successfully get to their intended destinations, as needed. The primary function of the radiator is to monitor and regulate a vehicle’s engine’s temperature and prevent it from overheating.
If there are issues with the cooling system, your vehicle can overheat and not only could you end up on the side of the road, overheating can cause a lot of damage to other parts of your car, truck, or SUV. When there’s a problem within the cooling system and it can’t properly control the heat, engine components can melt or bond together and lead to total engine failure. Your vehicle’s radiator is critical to keeping you on the road safely. Radiators can develop a number of problems. If your radiator is leaky, clogged, bent/damaged, or if the radiator fan is not operating properly, heat won’t be able to escape your vehicle correctly, causing overheating.
Signs That Your Radiator May be in Need of Repair
Being aware of any critical issues or signs that your radiator may be in need of repair is crucial for your vehicle. Some indications that yours may be on the fritz are below:
- Vehicle Overheating: This one is rather obvious. If your engine starts to overheat, especially under normal driving conditions, it is almost always a sign of a problem with your radiator. The radiator is the only thing that keeps the engine cool. Keep in mind, overheating doesn’t necessarily mean that the radiator has failed, it could be as simple as replacing the coolant or another smaller issue.
- Leaking Coolant: The cooling system uses coolant (antifreeze) to keep the engine cool in the warmer months and to prevent it from freezing in the colder months. If you see coolant (usually a bright yellow, green, or red liquid) pooling under your vehicle while it is parked, you have a leak. A coolant leak is a sure sign something is wrong. It’s important to check the coolant levels and ensure the fluid is where it should be. The engine should always have the proper level of coolant in it before you drive.
- Coolant Color Change: As mentioned above, coolant is key to your radiator functioning as it should. Car coolant is a bright green color when it is new, but over time it will change to a rusty brown color. This change can be caused by old coolant or because the radiator is rusting on the inside and contaminating the coolant. Corrosion can lead to serious car troubles, including a blown engine. Keep an eye not only for leaks and on coolant levels, but also on the color of the fluid.
While we have reviewed some signs that your radiator may be in need of repair, there could be other indications that problems are looming, so if you think your cooling system isn’t operating as it should, you should visit a Phoenix automotive expert to help you identify if there is a problem.
Your vehicle’s radiator is important to not only getting you safely to your final destination, but also in preventing total engine failure.
Advanced Transmissions & Emissions aims to make radiator and cooling system services more accessible and cheaper for our customers. Having cooling system issues is never a good thing. At Advanced Transmissions & Emissions we have years of experience fixing these issues at cheaper rates than you will find elsewhere. Our expertise and diagnostic tools allow us to locate the source of the problem to make only the needed repairs. That’s how we save our customers so much money.