Amy's Amazing Auto Service and Repair Blog

Car Radiator Problems and Their Repair Options

by Derek Davidson

The radiator is a vital component of a car's cooling system. It stores the coolant when the vehicle is idle. Once you ignite the engine, the radiator becomes a heat exchanger. It transfers heat from the coolant to the atmosphere, thereby reducing the coolant temperatures. Below are some common radiator problems and their repairs.

Radiator Leaks

Leaks occur when the radiator gets punctured. For example, when your radiator gets hit by hard objects such as rocks. Rust can also cause radiator leaks. Leaks are easy to detect since the coolant levels will reduce. Radiator stop leaks are products that can seal small punctures. Check internet reviews or seek testimonials from fellow car enthusiasts to ascertain the functionality of the product your purchase. You will need your mechanic's help if the radiator is severely punctured. He or she could either patch the radiator or advise you to purchase new equipment. 

Radiator leaks could also occur when you have a faulty radiator cap. If this is the case, your radiator will produce a hissing sound from the inlet. Replace it to resolve this problem. Loose or worn out radiator hoses will leak. These are an easy DIY fix.  

Failing Thermostat

The thermostat regulates the flow of coolant inside the engine. It releases coolant once the engine attains maximum operating temperatures. As such, it speeds up the rate at which the engine warms. A faulty thermostat will release coolant at the wrong time. In some cases, it will not release any coolant. As such, the engine will overheat. Faulty thermostats should be replaced.  

Faulty Water Pump

The water pump pushes the coolant in the radiator to the engine and back. A faulty water pump may have worn out seals and gaskets. As such, the vehicle may have a coolant leak. The engine may also produce a whining sound. The car will overheat since the coolant is not circulating. Your mechanic will examine the extent of the damages to determine whether they can replace or repair the water pump. Car radiator problems will cause the vehicle to overheat. If you drive with an overheating engine, internal engine components such as the pistons will get damaged. Besides, the cylinder head will warp. In severe conditions, the engine block will crack. 

Routine service and maintenance will help prevent most radiator problems. Clean the radiator to get rid of the gunk that might cause rust. Besides, install a sump guard to protect the vehicle's underneath. Change the thermostat and water pump during engine overhauls. Learn more by contacting car radiator repair companies.