Signs that Your Radiator is Due for Replacement


Man calling insurance agent for car trouble

If you’ve been a driver for quite some time now, you’ll notice that, of all the essential car parts, the radiator is often the one that is always in need of repair. While some damages can be resolved through a basic, auto-repair regimen, some of the more serious problems will compel us to replace our radiator with a new model. There are the top 5 radiator conditions that could tell us if we already need to replace our radiator.


Rusting can start spreading outside or inside your ever-important radiator. When metal flakes start appearing on the radiator’s body, there is already extreme rusting in your radiator. Minimal rusting outside the radiator doesn’t really need to be replaced immediately. But! If some spots of external rusting have spread to the core of the radiator, then it must be replaced.

Also, please be mindful of the rusting inside of your radiator, for it will cause the most damage. If there is an excessive internal rusting, there will be a change in the color of the radiator’s coolant. Rusting is indicated if the coolant appears too watery and if it contains floating debris. Rusting inside the radiator may also cause the coolant to develop a distinct, sludge-like appearance.


To check for leakage, turn off the engine of your car and flush out the coolant. Take note that the engine hasn’t been used for at least 3 to 4 hours as you approach the coolant section. After emptying the coolant, flush the radiator with cold water. It’s best to use a garden hose for pressurized water, for it helps weather away coolant debris. It is ideal if you insert the hose in the radiator cap for at least 15 minutes to allow thorough cleaning. After that, withdraw the hose and let all the water drip away. If there is water leaking, then you have to replace your radiator.


Not all signs of leakage are visible; fluid may still be escaping by turning into steam. This indicates that your cooling system is malfunctioning, which may ultimately result in the overheating of your engine.


If your car heats up repeatedly, then your radiator is underperforming. Try to replace your coolant and water, but your engine continues to overheat, then there’s really something wrong with your radiator. Overheating would also lead to quick depletion of the coolant, so if this happens consistently, you would be forced to replace your radiator.


When a coolant leaks, it flows through the bearing and washes out its grease. If this happens, the bearing will overheat and cause a groaning or grinding sound to be emitted from the water pump. This noise can be heard from the outside of the engine compartment, and it will get louder as the engine speed increases. This problem can break the bearing apart so in order to avoid this, it’s good to replace your radiator.

This post is also available in: Spanish, Portuguese (Portugal)

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