Heat is the enemy of many auto parts, especially the engine. The cooling system is designed to keep the engine from overheating; coolant absorbs the heat from the engine, and then the coolant is transferred to the radiator where it is cooled down before being cycled back to the engine. Having a radiator in good working condition is essential to engine longevity. Unfortunately, radiators do not last forever, so it is important to know the symptoms of a failing radiator. Some of the most common signs a radiator needs to be replaced include:
If you notice that coolant is leaking from your automobile, you should never ignore the problem. In many cases, a coolant leak is the result of a cracked radiator. Any time you see coolant leaking, it is in your best interest to visit an auto repair shop as quickly as possible. In order to determine if the coolant leak is the result of a cracked radiator, a mechanic will add colored dye to the coolant and pressurize the radiator. If the colored dye leaks out, it means that your radiator is damaged and needs to be replaced.
When your car's engine gets too hot, it will overheat and your vehicle will stop running. If you notice that your car has started to overheat frequently, there is a good chance that the radiator is failing. When a radiator ceases to operate properly, it can't cool down the coolant to the right temperature before it cycles back to the engine, thus the engine gets too hot. Continual overheating needs to be addressed right away in order to prevent irreversible engine damage-- it is substantially less expensive to replace a bad radiator than it is to buy a new engine.
As an auto owner, it is a good idea to check the coolant levels in your car on a regular basis. If you notice that your coolant levels are always low, don't just pour more coolant into the reservoir. Low coolant levels mean that there is a leak somewhere, and there is a good chance that the leak is coming from the radiator. Your best bet is to take your car to a mechanic so the entire cooling system, including the radiator, can be inspected. The sooner the reasons for the coolant leak is identified and repaired, the safer your engine and other parts in your vehicle will be.