5 Common Symptoms of a Problematic Radiator

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Written By Berry Mathew

Oftentimes,  car owners really don’t care that much for their car’s radiator. What you need to see is how important it is to your cooling system. As well as how much trouble you’ll be in once it fails. The car’s engine creates a large amount of heat and friction, so your radiator must be one of the things included on your car maintenance checklist. 

The question now is how can you tell when something is wrong? Spotting the signs of a bad radiator isn’t something that most drivers know how to do. Here are 5 common symptoms that will tell you that you have radiator issues:


You can often detect coolant leakages beneath your car. Leaks are often observed on the radiator hoses that connect the radiator to the engine. This occurs as a result of the hoses becoming worn or loose. Leaks, on the other hand, can come from the radiator itself, which is a much larger problem that must be addressed. 

These leakages may occasionally be repaired, but it is a challenging task. To do the task, you would want the assistance of a car mechanic. Furthermore, adhering to scheduled service intervals and doing thorough preventative maintenance can help avoid these troubles from worsening. Moreover, it will allow you to detect problems at an early stage.

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Rust Build up

Rust is one of the most serious threats to your car’s radiator. Even though today’s radiators have a plastic top, the inside parts are constantly exposed to moisture and can corrode. When your radiator rusts, it may develop openings, leaking, or otherwise dysfunction. This necessitates a radiator repair.

Rust from the outside of your radiator should be obvious. Yet you can also detect this if the color of your coolant turns brownish. A brownish coolant shows that there is considerable rust all through the cooling system. This only indicates that the cooling system should be flushed as promptly as possible. When this happens, search for a car repair shop right away. 

Failed Thermostat

One of the most prevalent reasons for engine overheating is a faulty thermostat. It functions more as a form of a regulator, controlling the amount of coolant that may circulate into and out of the radiator. As a result, if it malfunctions, the car will rapidly overheat since it has little control over the coolant it gets. 

Consult your car manual for suggested maintenance schedules for the thermostat and other parts. Alternatively, request your chosen auto repair shop to inspect it on your next maintenance visit to avoid damage and have it changed.

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Overheating Engine

When your engine begins to overheat, it is a frequent symptom that something is seriously wrong with the radiator. Though a defective thermostat may be to blame for this as well. The engine will overheat and fail if a faulty thermostat does not operate. However, if you encounter a rise in temperature gauge while you’re stuck in traffic or sitting idly, a failing radiator fan is a typical issue. 

A radiator fan is another component of your coolant system. If you particularly own a new vehicle, this is an electric fan that sucks air into the radiator to keep it cool while resting or traveling at moderate speeds. Idle overheating is a frequent symptom of this fan malfunctioning. Sadly, replacement is typically your sole option. When this happens, you’ll need to browse for “car repair near me”.

Blocked or Damaged Exterior Radiator Fins

Radiators require optimal airflow to function effectively. These are the narrow tubes in the front of your car which resemble fins. What it does is, move the hot coolant out from the engine. Air travels over the fins as your car accelerates. This lowers the temp of the coolant. However, anything in the air can become entangled in the fins. So the bugs, leaves, and dirt can be stuck there. Over time it can create a blockage in the fins.

Because these fins are sensitive, there is a chance that they will be damaged. This will result in an overheated engine. Thus, you’ll be needing to search for “auto repair near me” for this issue right away.


Your car can potentially overheat or even catch fire if your cooling system is not working well. Thus, your radiator is your number one defense against high engine temperatures. To ensure that this part is working properly. Whenever you are in the area, you can check for auto repair California for assistance in your car’s radiator leakages, rusts, failed thermostats, overheating, and blocked or damaged exterior fins. 

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