No matter what the temperature is outdoors, your vehicle has moving engine components operating in sweltering conditions. The radiator comes into play by circulating coolant throughout the engine. The radiator helps keep the engine cool enough to function but hot enough that its moving parts can still convert energy. It's common knowledge that the radiator is an essential part of the cooling system, but it's difficult to detect when something is wrong. Below are a few symptoms to look out for that may indicate the radiator isn't working properly. This isn't an exhaustive list, and you may notice more than one symptom happening at one time.
Depending on the type of coolant your vehicle uses, the coolant may be green, red, or yellow. Its primary function is to cool the engine. The radiator is composed of metal and plastic parts. Over time the plastic material may start to crack or become brittle. If there's a radiator leak, you may notice coolant leaking from under the vehicle. If you see a coolant leak, it's essential to have this inspected right away to prevent the engine from overheating.
The Engine is Overheating
The radiator chills the coolant to cool the engine; if there's a problem within the system, the engine will overheat. The engine overheating doesn't mean the radiator has completely failed. There may still be enough time to inspect your vehicle and have the issue diagnosed before the problem becomes severe. Neglecting an overheated engine can cause a car to break down, making repairs more extreme and more expensive.
Sludge Build Up
As you drive, contaminants can enter the coolant and discolor the fluid. As a radiator goes bad, the coolant will look rusty or dark like oil. With time, contaminated coolant can turn into sludge, preventing it from adequately draining. If the radiator has sludge build-up, it may need to be replaced altogether.
Low Coolant Level
It's essential to check your fluid levels on a regular service schedule consistently. If the coolant light illuminates on the vehicle's dashboard, the coolant is too low. If the coolant levels are low, topping off the fluids should resolve this issue. However, if the coolant levels consistently remain low, this may indicate there's a leak. If your vehicle requires a routine coolant replenish, bring your car in for a diagnosis.
The Passenger Heater Stopped Working
A leaked or clogged radiator will not allow the hot coolant to pass through the heater core to produce hot air. The passenger heater can also stop working if the thermostat goes bad. This makes it especially important to have an expert inspect the issue to find the exact cause.
Radiator Inspection and Repair in Huntington Beach, CA
As soon as you notice any of the above symptoms, contact HB Auto & AC. Keeping your radiator in working conditions is essential in maintaining your vehicle's overall health and performance. We are the automotive radiator experts in Huntington Beach, CA. We specialized in all vehicle makes and models. If you have any concerns with your car, don't hesitate to reach out to us at 714-316-0412 or click here to schedule an appointment.