What are the reasons why my Radiator Leaks and how can I fix them?

Every day, your radiator, like many other parts of your vehicle, takes a hit. The generated heat dissipates as antifreeze flows through the engine, allowing the engine to run at exceptionally high rpm for extended periods of time. Needless to say, a lot of heat is produced. It’s amazing how much abuse your radiator endures. To handle it, the cooling system must be in tip-top form.

When your automobile overheats, your engine is difficult, and numerous parts of your car, including the engine, gaskets, thermostat, and other cooling system components, might be destroyed. It’s also possible that the radiator will be harmed. This is why It’s critical to understand how to repair a radiator leak before the vehicle overheats and know the reasons why they leak.

car radiator leak

Read more: Understanding Automobile Radiators

Why is the radiator important in my car?

The radiator is the key component of your vehicle’s cooling system, and its job is to keep the engine coolant fluid at the right level. The coolant circulates throughout the engine, preventing overheating of the engine components.

A radiator is important since it is the primary means through which your engine vents heat while it is running. Overheating most cars can cause substantial engine damage if the radiator fails. The rising smoke on the side of the road is generated by faulty radiators, as you can see.

Physical damage is the most common reason for radiator failure, which necessitates the replacement of one or more of its components. Expired coolant or low coolant levels can impede radiator performance, which can be remedied with a coolant flush.

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How do I know my radiator has issues?

This section is for you if you’re worried about determining whether or not there’s an issue with your radiator. We’ve supplied you with a step-by-step approach that should make it easier for you to inspect the car. These steps include:

  • Parking your car
  • Doing thorough checking
  • Seeking professional help

Parking your car

Your car must be parked in order to inspect the radiators. You won’t be able to check the item if the engines are running. As a result, your automobile must not be started and the engine must be allowed to cool for at least two to three hours. After that, before you do anything further, remove the radiator caps.

Doing thorough checking

Now is the time to start your vehicle’s engine. And then wait at least two minutes before doing anything else. This is done to ensure that the coolant inside your car begins to move.

Then, with your flashlight, focus it directly on the radiator. As a result, the prior step was to guarantee that the coolant was flowing freely, allowing you to check whether the flow was even or not. If the flow isn’t smooth, it’s a sign that the equipment isn’t working properly.

Asking someone to crank the engine while you check under the hood is a quick technique to check the radiator’s flow. Also, make sure you’re squeezing on the radiator’s hose as you’re doing so. As a result, if the hose becomes stiff due to a blockage or a defect, pressing on the tube becomes difficult.

Seeking professional help

Your car is a complex piece of machinery, and tampering with it is dangerous, especially if you don’t know what you’re doing. As a result, if you notice any flaws, call the mechanic and have them fixed.

Read more: How to pressure test an engine cooling system and why

How to check my radiator coolant flow?

Checking your radiator coolant flow will help you detect if your thermostat is stuck or working fine. The followings are the steps in checking your radiator coolant flow:

  • Begin with a cold engine.
  • Remove the radiator cap from the radiator.
  • Start the engine and let it idle for a while.
  • Make sure the coolant isn’t flowing.
  • Look through the radiator filler neck to see if this is the case.
  • The coolant should be turned off.
  • As a consequence, the coolant has not achieved a temperature high enough to open the thermostat.

If the coolant is flowing, you have a thermostat that is stuck open, causing more thermostat problems. As a result, you’ll need to replace your thermostat.

  • If the coolant is not flowing, run it for about 20 minutes to get it up to operational temperature.
  • Around this time, the coolant should start to flow through the radiator filler neck.
  • As a result, the coolant starts to flow since it has reached a temperature high enough to open the thermostat.

So, if the coolant isn’t flowing, the thermostat is trapped in a closed position. As a result, you’ll need to replace your thermostat.

Read more: Understanding automobile cooling fan

What are the causes of radiator leaks and how can I fix them?

One could count the number of possible reasons for a car radiator leak on one hand. Corrosion in the radiator is the major and most common reason. Radiators, hoses, and hose connectors acquire dirt and rust, which can puncture radiators over time.

Overheating can be caused by a lack of coolant in some cases. Poor service procedures can potentially harm the radiator; however, this should not be an issue if it is serviced by a professional.

Overfilling the radiator, for example, can result in leaks due to increased water pressure. Excessive heat and pressure on the radiator might also be caused by a faulty thermostat or heater core. While you’re at the service station, check the level of your radiator and the strength of your coolant. When the engine is cold, inspect the radiator; never when it is hot.

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When you’re at the garage, ask a mechanic to check the fluid. When mechanics replace the oil or perform other engine-related work, they check for a radiator leak. Frequently, the invoice contains checkmarks that a mechanic does on a car on a regular basis.

If you have any concerns, speak with the mechanic regarding the radiator. They’re professionals who can see a problem as soon as they see it. Also, while purchasing coolants, avoid the low-cost options.

When it’s time to change your radiator fluid, make sure the system is flushed first. Rust and sediment can build up in the passageways and hoses, causing a clog. This could lead to radiator leaks and overheating of the engine. Rust eats away at the radiator, literally eating holes in it.

Read more:  Understanding automobile thermostat

What are the top signs my car radiator is leaking?

Rather than risking a more serious breakdown that could leave you stranded, consider these top three symptoms that the leak is actually coming from your radiator and how to effectively address the problem. These signs include:

  • Coolant Puddles
  • Finding Leaking Spot
  • Detect as the engine is running

Coolant Puddles

A puddle of antifreeze beneath the automobile is the most visible indicator of a radiator leak. Of course, not all puddles suggest a coolant problem, and not all fluid pooling has anything to do with the radiator.

Examine the puddle carefully. It’s most certainly coolant if it has a green, yellow, or blue tint, but you may double-check by feeling it with your fingertips to see whether it’s greasy. Coolant has a pleasant odor, which is another tell-tale sign that you’re not dealing with basic water condensation from your air conditioner.

Finding Leaking Spot

The next step is to try to find where the leak is coming from in your vehicle’s cooling system, which is made up of a number of hoses and clamps that might all be the cause of the puddle you’re witnessing on the ground.

A radiator leak typically begins within the cooling fins, along with any plastic or welded seams, at the filler neck/spout, or at the bottom, where the drain petcock is located. Check each of these areas with the vehicle’s engine turned off and cool to determine whether they are wet, dripping, or showing any evidence of being wet in the past.

Detect as the engine is running

It’s possible that you’re dealing with a leak that only happens when the engine is hot and the system is pressured. You’ll need to perform the same inspection as before, but this time with the vehicle warmed up to operating temperature.

Because a pressured leak can squirt or spray out of the radiator unexpectedly, take the proper precautions and wear safety glasses while doing so. Avoid coming into contact with any heated parts of your vehicle.

Read more: How can I replace a bad thermostat in my car?

How do I fix a radiator leak?

Studying how to repair a radiator leak entails first learning your alternatives and then selecting the best one for you. The most common and simplest method for repairing a radiator leak is to use a stop-leak product that you simply pour into the radiator.

After you’ve poured it in, check your coolant level and fill it off if required, then go about your day knowing your radiator leak is no longer a problem. If you don’t have any stop-leak goods on hand when you notice the radiator leak, there are a few other options for stopping the leak temporarily until you can safely drive to the store to acquire some. Using egg yolks is one option.

This may seem strange, but the eggs will coagulate and plug small leaks, and the effect should last long enough for you to find a better solution. Just remember to separate the egg whites from the yolks of around four eggs before pouring only the yolks into the cooling system.

Then start your engine to assist the eggs in moving far enough through the system to coagulate. Note that black pepper has the same effect, as it will plug the leak if you pour roughly half a pepper shaker’s worth of this substance into the cooling system. Just remember that both eggs and black pepper are only temporary solutions and should never be used to halt a radiator leak permanently. They should give you just enough time to get a stop-leak product and repair the problem.

Of course, certain radiator leaks necessitate assistance beyond what a specialist can supply. If, for example, you check for leaks and notice that your coolant is running out of your radiator rather than just trickling, it’s probably time to take your car to the shop. However, for most radiator leaks, a simple stop-leak product should suffice.

Watch the video below to learn how to stop a radiator leak:

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In Summary

Radiator leaks are an issue that can cause severe damage to an automobile if not considered. Car owners or drivers need to be conscious of the signs and causes of radiator leaks which I have discussed above. And if you notice you have a radiator leakage you can try the methods given. As a car owner, you should master why your radiator could leak.

That is all for this article, where reasons why radiator leaks and how to fix them are being discussed. I hope you learn a lot from the reading, if so, kindly share with others to save them from radiator leaks. Thanks for reading, see you around!