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4 Signs of a Faulty Radiator

The radiator's main role and crucial function is to prevent your car’s engine from overheating. The failure of a radiator to perform as expected can cause a wide range of issues. Keep reading to discover four signs of a faulty radiator.

radiator in need of vehicle maintenance

1. Vehicle Overheating

When a car overheats often, even under typical driving circumstances, it usually indicates that the radiator is faulty. The engine's temperature is maintained only by the radiator. While an overheating engine could just mean the coolant needs to be replaced, if enough heat has been created to melt internal parts, the engine may need to be replaced.

2. Radiator Leaking Coolant

Leaking coolant, which may be a vivid yellow, green, or red liquid, is one of the most common signs of a failing radiator. Whether the source of the leak is the radiator, a hose, or the engine block, it must be fixed as quickly as possible. Low coolant levels can cause the engine to overheat, leading to serious engine damage.

3. Coolant Discoloration

When clean coolants are introduced to the cooling system, they get contaminated with other substances, such as rust from the radiator, oil leaks, and transmission fluid, causing them to change color or become viscous. If you notice the coolant has become a rusty hue or is sludgy, it might be time for a radiator flush.

4. Bent or Broken Radiator Fins

The thin metal blades extending from the radiator's sides and rear are known as radiator fins. They aid in cooling by increasing the available surface area where air may flow. Normal wear and tear on a vehicle, as well as road debris, might eventually cause damage to these fins. When they're broken, they can't keep the engine cool; therefore, the engine overheats.

Contact Our Auto Repair Professionals

Taking action if you experience any of the above signs is essential. Maintaining a healthy engine requires regular radiator inspections to detect any signs of damage and subsequent repairs if required. At Custom Complete Automotive, our expert technicians know how crucial it is for you to have a functioning radiator and car heating system. To learn more about our heating service and repair, or to schedule an appointment at one of our locations in Missouri, contact us today!

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About the Author
Eric Riddles

Eric Riddles is an ASE Certified Master Automobile Technician who has been working as an auto mechanic since 1998 and originally joined the team at Custom Complete Automotive in 2005. Eric has numerous certifications in various aspects of car repair and spent 10 years training the next generation of auto technicians at a local high school Auto Shop classroom.

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