RADIATOR PROBLEMS AND REPAIR
CAR REPAIR THE AMERICAN WAY
HIGH QUALITY, AFFORDABLE AND HONEST
You drive by that poor guy by the side of the road, the hood raised on his car and steam just billowing out everywhere. And you think, "Thank Goodness that's not me." But it easily could be if you don't regularly have your radiator, heating and cooling systems inspected.
When a car overheats, the radiator is the first point of inspection to determine any possible problem. Overheating could be caused by:
•low/empty coolant level •broken auxiliary fans or malfunction •broken hoses that result in coolant leak; and •broken/damaged or dirty radiator
When a car’s engine is in use, a lot of friction and heat is produced. The radiator prevents the engine from overheating through coolants. It is connected to the engine with channels through which the coolant is pumped. As the liquid passes through the engine, it heats it up and it is taken outside of the engine to cool down. Usually, the radiator is located in front of the vehicle’s grill to maximize the benefit from the airflow as the vehicle moves.
Your vehicle’s radiator is made of metal and is susceptible to rust. Newer radiator designs have a plastic top. The top typically is the area most prone to rusting so this is a huge improvement, but the internal radiator parts are consistently exposed to moisture as well and will eventually rust. To prevent rust from accumulating in your radiator, use high quality coolant or anti freeze mixed with adequate amounts of distilled water. Never use tap water to refill your radiator or reservoir.
To check your radiator fluid, with the engine cold, pop open the hood and remove the radiator cap. Check for coolant level and color. A brownish fluid would mean excessive rust inside the cooling system and flushing is then recommended. Inspect the radiator cap and the surrounding area for any signs of rust. Have the radiator inspected if excess rust is present.
What are the most common causes of radiator leaks?
Often, a radiator leak is caused by old age. In this case, the radiator should immediately be repaired or replaced.
Because it is located in front of the grill, an accident could cause radiator damage. In case of a road mishap, it is important to conduct a careful and thorough inspection of the radiator. Sometimes, the damage is not very evident but could later cause overheating if overlooked.
Flying stones or rocks on the road may ricochet and hit the radiator and cause a harmful leak. This could cause coolant loss and subsequent engine overheating.
If you encounter a persistent leak in your radiator, we recommend a radiator replacement to prevent any future headaches.
Every time you bring your car into American Auto Care, we inspect your car stem to stern checking fluid levels, belts, hoses, tubing, and systems to be sure it is not you stuck by the side of the road. Normal aging and every day wear and tear takes its toll on your car and the radiator system is one key area that can easily be prone to leaks, rust, a failed pump, fan or thermostat, or an obstruction. These are all small things when caught early. But not caught, and you may be that person standing by the side of the road, steam pouring from your car, a perfectly good day ruined.