Your radiator is one of those components of your automobile that you rarely consider unless there is a problem. Your automobile’s cooling system is comprised of the radiator, thermostat, and water pump, and if there is a problem with any of these, the extremely high temperatures generated by your running engine would cause the car to overheat and possibly fail. Your engine operates at a high temperature — approximately 200 degrees Fahrenheit — and without adequate cooling, this heat may wreak havoc on the other components under the hood.
The radiator protects the engine from overheating by cooling the fluid that circulates around the engine block and distributes the heat generated by the engine. When smoke begins to emanate from the radiator, it indicates that the radiator has failed to perform its function and the automobile is overheating as a result.
As a result, it’s critical to understand the most frequent radiator problems, how to avoid them, and how to repair them in order to keep your automobile as healthy as possible.
While faulty hoses are the most frequent source of radiator leaks, you might also have leaks in the radiator itself, which can be a more serious problem. The constant flow of coolant from the radiator to the hot, running engine and back produces a great deal of pressure. That pressure buildup will eventually cause your radiator hoses to fail.
The hoses will deteriorate or break, enabling coolant to exit the system and eventually cause overheating. If you notice green fluid beneath or near your car and smell something sweet, this is an indication that your radiator is leaking. If your radiator is excessively rusted, even if the hoses are intact, this might result in a leak in the radiator’s body.
Replace radiator hoses on a regular basis as part of routine maintenance.
The Five Most Frequent Radiator Issues
RUSTY RADIO GENERATOR
You’re certain to notice if the outside of your automobile rusts. However, just because you cannot see it does not imply it is not occurring in your vehicle. When air, metal, and liquid come together, oxidation and rust are inevitable. All of these components are present in your radiator, implying that rust is a genuine possibility. If your radiator becomes excessively rusty, it may develop holes and begin to leak or malfunction.
If your vehicle is running too hot, inspect the radiator for corrosion. On the outside, it should be obvious, but you can also detect if the color of your coolant turns brownish. If you drive your automobile in cold areas, you need be extra cautious of rust.
Every 20,000 or 30,000 miles, do a coolant flush with Hy-per Lube’s Hy-per Cool Radiator Cleaner & Super Flush. This product rapidly neutralizes corrosive acids. This means it will remove existing rust from your radiator and help prevent new rust from developing.
GUNK AND OTHER INTERFERENCES
Another typical radiator issue is the accumulation of mineral deposits, which are sometimes referred to as muck. When you see muck, you recognize it – it’s a thick, ugly, gooey material that appears to exist primarily to block things up. Mineral deposits, by-products, debris, and other clogs in your radiator make it more difficult for the radiator to circulate the correct quantity of coolant to the engine. If your automobile is overheating or becoming too hot and there are no signs of rust, leaks, or hose detachment, inspect the radiator for muck accumulation.
Once again, a thorough coolant cleanse is the solution. Just like draining the coolant removes rust, it also removes junk from your system. Hy-per Cool Radiator Cleaner & Super Flush thoroughly cleans the whole coolant system, eliminating coolant gel and deposits, and assisting in the prevention of scale and deposit formation. Ensure that you flush the system rather than simply draining and replacing the coolant, since draining will not remove all the muck from the system, and you will have to deal with the problem all over again when the gunk contaminates the new coolant.
WATER PUMP OR THERMOSTAT FAILURE
Bear in mind that your radiator is only one component of a larger, linked coolant system, and that all components of that system must function correctly to keep your engine cool. If the thermostat fails, the system will be unable to determine when to discharge fluid into the radiator, and if the water pump fails, the system will be unable to circulate the coolant due to a lack of pressure. If one of these events occurs, the radiator will fail to function properly.
In these instances, the only remedy is to replace the defective thermostat or water pump.
OVERHEATING WHILE NOT IN USE
An overheated radiator or engine is a common symptom of a cooling system issue. However, if you find yourself with a temperature gauge that rises when you’re stuck in traffic or idling for whatever reason, a typical cause is a broken radiator fan. Another component of your coolant system, particularly if you own a contemporary vehicle, is an electric fan that pulls air into the radiator to keep it cool while idling or traveling at low speed. When this fan fails, idle overheating is a frequent occurrence.
Unfortunately, once again, replacement is your only option.
MAINTENANCE COSTS FOR RADIATORS
Replacement of a radiator hose typically costs between $150 and $200. A coolant flush can cost between $35 and $100, but by performing it yourself, you can keep the expense to simply the flush solution and antifreeze. A thermostat replacement should cost between $200 and $250, whereas a water pump replacement can cost between $300 and $750, depending on the labor-intensive nature of the replacement. Replacement of a radiator fan can cost between $500 and $750.