Amy's Amazing Auto Service and Repair Blog

Common Issues That Could Be Plaguing Your Car's Radiator

by Derek Davidson

Your vehicle's radiator has the sole function of ensuring that excess heat that is generated by the engine is appropriately dissipated to prevent overheating. Thus, the radiator is one of the critical components that make up your car's entire cooling system. When your radiator breaks down, it can be quite dramatic, and you will definitely require immediate car servicing. One of the first symptoms of a radiator in decline is steam hissing out of your bonnet. This piece highlights a few of the most common issues that could be plaguing your car's radiator.

A damaged water pump

The water pump, as its name suggests, has the responsibility of transporting water around your vehicle's cooling system. Water will move from the radiator, into the pump and finally to the engine before it makes its way back to the radiator. If the pump is damaged, the water is unable to circulate, so your engine is at a higher risk of overheating. Nevertheless, broken pumps are relatively common, so your mechanic will be able to fix this for you in no time.

Obstructions in the cooling system

Your radiator can also start to act up if obstructions are collecting inside the cooling system. The most common obstruction is engine scale, and this tends to block the passages located in both the engine and the radiator. The bigger the blockages, the more challenging it is for coolant to circulate from the radiator to the engine. Another type of obstruction to be wary of is external damage to the system, such as physical damage from a fender bender. It is judicious to take your car in for a service so that a mechanic can diagnose whether this is the reason for radiator failure and what is causing the obstructions.

Leaking hoses

When your engine starts to overheat and you suspect it is a radiator problem, you should check for leaks. Once the leaks occur, you will typically notice drops of coolant forming under your car, and this is a serious sign of the potential failure of both your radiator and your engine. However, contrary to popular belief, the leaks do not originate from inside the radiator; instead, they stem from the hoses. These hoses do not have a long lifespan, and your mechanic will usually tell you that they are a component that requires routine replacement. So if you have not replaced the hoses in a while, they will probably have reached the end of their lifespan and have unrepairable holes in them.

Contact a car service centre for more information.