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How To Identify And Resolve Radiator Leaks Or When It’s Time For Radiator Replacement

Your car’s radiator is responsible for keeping your engine cool during operation. It does this by circulating coolant (antifreeze) through the engine, which absorbs heat and sends it to the radiator, where the heat is dissipated before recirculating. Given its role, keep your radiator in top-notch condition to avoid overheating or engine damage. But how do you know when your radiator needs a fix or replacement? Stick with us as we break down the signs of radiator leaks and provide proper solutions to restore your car’s optimal performance.

What Causes Radiator Leaks?

Several factors can cause radiator leaks, including corrosion, worn-out parts, and physical damage. If you notice any signs of your radiator malfunctioning, immediately take it to a trusted mechanic. Some common warning signs of radiator problems include the smell of antifreeze, steam from the engine compartment, or a greenish or brownish puddle/crust under the car.

How To Check For Radiator Leaks

Suppose you’ve noticed a decline in your car’s performance; check for radiator leaks. To do so, pop the hood after turning the engine off and wait for it to cool off completely. Next, locate the radiator and check for any cracks, loose hinges, worn pipes, or other signs of wear and tear. If you cannot pinpoint the issue, contact your mechanic for professional help.

Radiator Leak Repair Solutions

Fixing a radiator leak depends on the severity of the damage. Some minor leaks can be repaired with a patch or sealant. However, a complete radiator replacement may be necessary if the damage is extensive. At this point, seek professional help, as DIY attempts may lead to further damage and cost you more in the long run. Your mechanic may also recommend a coolant flush to prevent contaminants from entering the fresh radiator system.

Radiator Replacement Vs. Repair

A common question car owners have is whether to repair or replace the radiator. A repair may suffice if the damage is minor and confined only to specific components. However, if the radiator or its main components are significantly damaged, replacement may be the best solution. Your mechanic may recommend replacements where it’s more cost-effective to replace than repair the radiator. Additionally, a newer radiator may improve your car’s overall performance and reduce the risk of future leaks.

A well-functioning radiator is crucial for keeping your car’s engine cool, which helps prevent costly repairs and engine damage. Always be aware of warning signs, such as leaks, steam, or burning smells, and take immediate action. Repairing a minor radiator leak could save you money and prolong the life of your car’s radiator. Regular maintenance of the radiator can prevent future radiator leaks and optimize your car’s performance. Consult a professional mechanic for any repairs and replacements for your safety and peace of mind.

Image by Sorapop from Getty Images via Canva Pro
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