Three Signs Your Car Needs Radiator Repair

Posted on: 29 June 2018

Your radiator is a central part of your vehicle's operation, as it distributes coolant throughout your engine and related systems. However, your radiator is not a component that you will pay particular attention to during normal driving due to it's behind the scenes nature. However, a radiator that is no longer operating properly can have a hugely negative effect on the general performance of your car's engine. Understanding some of the early warning signs associated with a radiator that is in need of repair can help you determine when you should get in touch with a car repair service.


The first and most obvious sign that you have some sort of issue with your radiator is if you notice that your engine's operating temperatures are steadily rising, especially if you experience any sort of overheating or steam or smoke coming out from under the hood. This can be attributed to a lack of coolant being dispersed throughout the engine, which can be because of a leak or some sort of damage to the pumps within the radiator. In either case, higher operating temperatures and chronic overheating can cause a great deal of physical stress to your engine, and can cause more expensive and complicated mechanical issues as a result if left unchecked.

Leaking Coolant

Another indicator that you may need to get in touch with a mechanic about the physical state of your radiator is if you notice that there is a pool of coolant underneath your vehicle after leaving it parked for a few hours. Coolant and antifreeze are blue or green tinted in color: you can determine the color of a leak by blotting it up with paper towel. Leaks are caused by rust, physical damage, and age, and can be repaired fairly simply. Keep in mind that if the leak is another color, you should still contact a mechanic, as another system within your vehicle has been damaged.

Rusty Coolant

You should also regularly inspect the coolant within your radiator to check it's condition. A radiator that has not been regularly flushed and maintained can develop rust over time, which can transfer into the coolant. You can check this fairly easily yourself by unscrewing the cap and removing the dipstick: check your owner's manual to see where your coolant reservoir is located in relation to your engine block. However, be sure to only check the coolant after the car has been sitting idle for several hours: otherwise, the coolant may be extremely hot and unsafe to handle. Any signs of orange or red flecks in the coolant will warrant a trip to the mechanic straight away, as your radiator is suffering from corrosion.