As your car’s cooling system, radiators prevent engines from overheating and engine blocks from cracking with heat. So if you start noticing signs indicated below, make sure you take your vehicle to the car servicing shop right away to prevent the damage from getting worse and car repair costs starts piling up.
1. Leaking Coolant Onto The Floor
The coolant, as the name suggests, helps the radiator to cool down. However, when there’s a leak or crack in the radiator, you’ll see coolant leak on the floor underneath your car, since the coolant flows through the radiator.
When dirt, bugs, or road grime gets stuck and accumulate in your radiator, it becomes harder for the air to flow through it. As a result, it’s harder to cool the engine especially when the vehicle is stopped and the radiator have to rely on just the fan to keep it cool which is why it overheats even when idle.
3. Sludge In The Radiator
The coolant in your vehicle should be yellow or green or red normally. As the radiator goes bad, contaminants discolor the fluid making it a rusty or oil color. This turns into sludge and the fluid will not be able to cool the engine efficiently because it will not drain properly and remain in the radiator. This can be from a failing radiator for vehicles that contain a transmission cooler inside the radiator. The barrier between the coolant and transmission fluid fails and the fluids mix. If you or a mechanic notice sludge in your radiator, it will need to be replaced as it can cause extensive damage to the engine and transmission.
4. Low Coolant
If the level is below the minimum line, top it up to the maximum line and monitor on a daily basis. If you have to top up the coolant reservoir each time it is checked, this could indicate a leak. If it seems that you vehicle is always low on coolant then it’s reasonable to suspect that your radiator have gone bad or at least failing.