How to Determine If Your Radiator Should Be Replaced

It is important that an individual can recognize if there may be a problem with his or her vehicle, which can save time and money if a repair needs to be made. A radiator is an integral part of a vehicle that helps it run smoothly. With the right maintenance, it should run without problems for a few years. If a vehicle’s radiator goes bad, then it could have an impact on the entire automobile. A radiator keeps an engine cool and functions by removing the excess heat that accumulates when the vehicle’s engine burns fuel. If an engine is not able to stay cool, then it can lead to other problems including transmission failure. Here are some common issues that can identify if your vehicle needs cooling system service or repair.

There Could be a Leak

One common sign a radiator is going bad is if it is leaking coolant, which can be caused by a crack. If there is green liquid found under a vehicle, then the radiator should be inspected to identify the area where the leak is present. A mechanic can perform a pressure test to determine the source of the leak. If the leak is not too big, then a mechanic can patch is or replace the broken part. A radiator hose can also be the source of a leak that is easily identified. More than likely if there is a leak, then it is located in the hoses. An individual can look to see if any steam is coming out of the radiator, which will identify the location of the leak. In order to keep a radiator running smoothly, it is important to replace hoses on a regular basis.

There Could be Rust

If there is rust present throughout the radiator, then it could cause significant damage to a cooling system. When a piece of rust falls into the engine, it can produce a thick liquid when it is mixed with the coolant, which will not cause the engine to cool. When this occurs, the radiator must be flushed in order to remove all the coolant that has acquired rust. Rust mixed with coolant produces a sludge that can lead to corrosion.

Overheating is a Sign of Radiator Problems

A radiator works by reducing the engine’s coolant before it circulates through the engine, which can loose effectiveness throughout time. When this occurs, an engine will run at a higher temperature than normal. Over time, this could lead to the engine overheating. A thermostat is present in an engine that records the coolant’s temperature. If the temperature gets too high, then a signal will be sent to your gauge. If an individual is driving and notices the temperature of the coolant reading too high, then it is important he or she pulls over and allows the the engine to cool. If an individual continues to drive, it could cause the engine to overheat.

A Thermostat Goes Bad

Another factor that can lead to radiator problems is if a thermostat fails. Although the thermostat is not part of the radiator, it is vital in helping the radiator function properly. The thermostat is one of the most common factors that leads to an engine overheating. If the thermostat fails, then the vehicle will start to overheat at a rapid pace.

Air is Present in the Cooling System

There are instances when air can become trapped in the cooling system. If this occurs, then it will prevent the coolant from flowing properly, which will result in the coolant not working like it should. If a vehicle is running hot due to trapped air, then a mechanic can remove air bubbles that accumulated in the cooling system.

The Water Pump Fails

If a water pump fails, then the cooling system will not be able to pump the coolant throughout the engine and regulate the temperature properly. As water travels through the radiator, it goes into the pump and the engine and then moves back into the radiator. When the water pump fails, then a vehicle will more than likely overheat because the circulation is no longer functioning effectively. A failed water pump is common among radiator problems.

An Obstruction in the Cooling System

If there is an obstruction in the cooling system, then it will block the the cooling passages. When the engine and radiator do not receive the right flow of coolant, then it it can cause radiator problems. Obstructions can also happen if air is restricted to flow through the radiator. When air is not able to flow through the radiator, then the radiator will not be able to properly transfer heat to the air.

If there are signs that your vehicle is overheating due to radiator problems, then it is vital to locate and repair the problem quickly. If a faulty radiator is not repaired, then it could also cause damage to the transmission if the transmission fluid is cooled using the radiator. It’s much easier and less expensive to correct a problem with your cooling system than it is to repair your transmission.

If you feel you’re experiencing any of the issues above then contact A&J Automotive today to schedule an appointment. If you’re in need of immediate assistance, come directly to our shop at 5001 Departure Dr in Raleigh.

Written by A & J Automotive