As the primary component of your vehicle’s cooling system, the radiator has a big job. Since the engine is a veritable fire pit, coolant absorbs excess heat and sends it to the radiator to cool off. Once the job is done, the radiator sends this cooled air back into the engine. If this part wears out and begins to fail, it can cause a mess of trouble for the engine. Here are signs your radiator needs servicing or replacement:
If the radiator can’t properly cool the engine, it will overheat. Although this problem can stem from other issues, an experienced mechanic will generally look to the radiator first. In some cases, a few repairs can regenerate the radiator, but often you will need a new one. If your engine overheats and you’re able to get it cooled again, don’t neglect to take the car in for professional evaluation. The first sign of overheating is cause for concern, as a cooling issue left unattended can create even more damage to the engine.
Since coolant flows through the radiator, if this part gets damaged, coolant will leak under the vehicle. To positively diagnose a leak, a technician will perform a pressure test to make sure the radiator is the source. If it is, only a new radiator will fix the issue.
Consistently Low Coolant Levels
Even if you don’t see a leak, low coolant levels (after top-offs) point to an escape route somewhere.
Clean coolant should be red, green or yellow. If contaminates in the system degrade coolant, it will turn rust colored. With time, dirty coolant will continue to create grime and turn thick and sludgy (like old oil). As this happens, it won’t cool the engine properly, and you run the risk of overheating the engine. Also, as this situation continues, coolant and transmission fluid can become mixed (the barrier between them can fail as sludge grows) and damage the transmission along with the engine.
Your vehicle’s cooling system shouldn’t be neglected, so if you notice any of these symptoms, take the car in for evaluation as soon as possible. To avoid radiator trouble, make sure to follow the maintenance guide in your owner’s manual. It will tell you when to service the cooling system and ensure it doesn’t fail you at the worst possible moment.
For all your car’s maintenance and repair needs, remember to call Kirk’s Auto Care in Livonia, MO at 734-402-8722 today!