Your car’s radiator is an essential part of your vehicle, it cools the water that is being fed around your vehicle, effectively maintaining the temperature of the car. Of course, this doesn’t apply if you have an electric vehicle!
However, at the moment traditional combustion engines with radiators remain the norm. A radiator that is leaking can cause serious problems for your vehicle. That’s why it’s important you are aware of the most common warning signs that your radiator needs repairing or replacing. You can learn more here about getting professional assistance with this.
The Role Of The Radiator
Combustion engines get hot because of all the mini-explosions inside the block and the constantly moving parts. In order to keep them cool water is pumped around the vehicle. However, this would quickly heat up as well unless you have a way of cooling the water. That’s where the radiator comes in.
It’s comprised of lots of skinny passageways with gaps between them and the radiator sits behind the front grill of your car. This allows the air around the vehicle to pass through the radiator, effectively cooling the water and helping to maintain the right engine temperature.
If the radiator develops a leak it won’t adequately cool the car and you risk it overheating. This usually leads to the temperature becoming too high for the head and it will crack or warp. At that point the seal and close fit is damaged, effectively preventing the engine from working.
Here are the 4 most common signs you need to look at your radiator:*
- Temperature Gauge Climbing
Your temperature gauge should generally be static once the car has reached temperature. Most cars sit between ¼ and ½ on the gauge. However, if you notice that it keeps sitting higher than usual and you’re not experiencing heavy traffic, you have an issue with the radiator that needs looking at fast.
- Rust on Radiator
Rust only occurs when water, metal, and oxygen mix. If you’re noticing rust on a radiator then you probably have a leak. That means less fluid which means it will not be as efficient or as effective at cooling your engine.
- Liquid under car
If you have air conditioning in your car then you will probably be used to seeing a little water under your vehicle. It’s a result of the condensing system in your vehicle. However, this water is usually near the back of the engine bay. If you see liquid anywhere else, especially near the front of your car, you need to suspect a radiator issue.
- Coolant needs topping up often
Finally, you should be checking your coolant level every week, along with your oil. If you have to top it up every week then you have an issue. It’s likely to be a leaking radiator or pipe. You’ll need to get it sorted quickly to ensure you don’t create more problems, such as the head gasket.