The radiator is an integral component of your vehicle’s cooling system. Nonetheless, problems such as a leaking radiator can arise and cause overheating. The telltale sign is a temperature warning or when the temperature gauge reads high.
How do You Tell the Radiator is Leaking?
The first step is usually to check the level of the coolant in the see-through reservoir. If it is empty or less than half full, check the level in the radiator. However, you must first make sure that the engine is not hot. Overheating can be from an insufficient amount of coolant.
If it becomes clear that you are losing the coolant, the radiator should be your first pit stop. A puddle under the radiator is the best indication of leaking. Check the bottom and the seams of the radiator. Typically, holes from flying debris and rust inside the radiator are the usual culprits.
And even though aluminum cannot rust, it will still develop pinhole leaks and can corrode. Sometimes you can see dripping or seeping. Other telltale signs are discoloration spots and rust on the radiator.
If everything appears ok, there are still several possibilities of leaks. It can be from the radiator cap or the hoses connecting the radiator to the engine. The problem can also be the thermostat, heater core, or engine block, among others. A blown gasket between the engine block and cylinder head, causing a coolant leak into the combustion chambers, is also possible. If that happens, you will see thick smoke coming from the tailpipe.
Sometimes, the leak happens under pressure when the engine is running. The coolant escapes in the form of steam, leaving no trace at all. In such a case, you can seal the small leaks with a stop leak additive from your favorite auto parts store.
The folks at A1 Performance Auto Repair can help you with radiator troubles. Contact us!