Signs of a Damaged or Clogged Radiator

Your vehicle’s radiator has the important job of keeping the engine from overheating. The coolant circulates throughout the engine to absorb the heat, and then passes through the radiator to cool down. If the radiator isn’t working properly, this can lead to serious problems for your vehicle. Here are some of the common signs that indicate your radiator is damaged or clogged:

  • Coolant leaks. This will result in coolant leaking underneath the car, and you will see drops of coolant on your driveway. The most common cause of your radiator leaking coolant is from faulty hoses. You can inspect the hoses and connection clamps, checking for damage. If your car’s radiator is clogged, the housing unit can develop cracks and small holes. Rust may have formed inside the radiator and eaten away at the radiator tank.
  • High temperature gauge readings. If your car’s engine is overheating, this is a key indicator of a faulty radiator. A radiator that has been corroded due to rust or clogged with debris will cause your car to run hot. You can monitor your car’s temperature gauge to see if the readings are consistently higher than normal.
  • Discoloration of coolant. The coolant in your radiator should be bright green or yellow. If the coolant becomes discolored, this is a sign of sludge built up in the radiator. Contaminants in the radiator will greatly impact its performance and cause the coolant to become a dirty rust color.
  • Low coolant levels. If the “low coolant” light on your car’s dash keeps coming on, or you are constantly having to add coolant to the radiator, it probably has a leak.
  • Damaged or clogged radiator fins. Most modern cars use aluminium radiators with fins that can get bent or damaged, usually from gravel or debris hitting them while driving. When many of the fins get damaged or clogged with debris, this will block the flow of air in the radiator causing the engine to overheat.
  • Poor internal heating. A clogged radiator can lead to a lack of heat inside your car due to the fact that hot coolant is unable to pass through the heater core.

Once your car’s radiator has trouble working properly, other parts throughout the cooling system will begin to fail. If you suspect that your vehicle’s radiator isn’t working properly, it is important to get to a service station immediately. Give Accurate Service a call today at 520-620-9129 or schedule an appointment online at your convenience!