Signs My Car’s Radiator Is Bad

It may be time to replace the radiator in your car if the radiator is over 10 years old. This is generally the maximum lifespan you will get out of the radiator. This part of the cooling system stores the coolant and reduces its temperature so it can reduce the temperature of the engine. Ideally, your engine’s temperature should never exceed 220 degrees Fahrenheit. Your radiator may give you signs that it is going bad. Here is what the signs are.

Coolant Leaks

If your radiator has started leaking coolant, you will have spots or puddles on the garage floor underneath the automobile toward the front of the engine. As an aside, this can also be a sign that the water pump is leaking. The radiator can start leaking because corrosion can eat through the bottom of it. When this happens, the coolant leaks out of the bottom of the radiator.

Rusty Coolant

If you check your coolant when the radiator is cold and you see rust floating in it, it’s a safe bet that the radiator is corroded. Even if you don’t have a leak, we need to replace the corroded radiator. Eventually, it will start leaking. In the meantime, the water pump will circulate rust throughout the cooling system.

Clogged Fins

As we mentioned above, the radiator keeps the coolant cold. It does this by using fins that allow air to flow over the coolant. It also uses a fan. The fan can malfunction, and this will cause your engine to overheat. The fins can get clogged by the dirt and debris that flow through your automobile’s grille. By the time the fins get clogged, the radiator has likely reached the end of its lifespan.

Damaged Fins

The dirt and debris that flows into the engine can also hit the fins and damage them. Consequently, we cannot replace the fins alone. If they are damaged, we will need to replace the radiator. In fact, it may be possible that the radiator has also been damaged by dirt and debris if the fins are damaged.


Finally, your engine is going to overheat all the time if the radiator needs to be replaced. There is no way around this. Whether the radiator is leaking and you have low coolant levels or the radiator is damaged, the engine temperature will rise until the needle is in the red zone.

Call us today if you believe that your car needs a new radiator. We will schedule an appointment for you.

Photo by nomadsoulphotos via Canva Pro

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