With the summer season at its highest point right now, the thought of having car radiator problems ought to send a chill down your spine. The whole dramatic malfunction of dealing with a stereotypical cloud of steam coming from your hood followed by a lot of heat combined with pressure isn’t something you want to experience at all especially during summer.
To save yourself some trouble, here are the most common car radiator problems and how to fix them.
- A failed thermostat
Unknown to many common folks, thermostats are often the culprit for overheated vehicles. They aren’t part of the car radiator itself but instead acts as the regulating valve over how much coolant flows in and out of your radiator. By having a functional valve, i.e., an operational thermostat, you help maintain the engine to work at an optimal temperature. If your thermostat fails, your car becomes susceptible to quick overheating. The solution to the problem? Change your thermostat.
- A leak in the radiator hose
When it comes to a leaking cooling system, the root of the problem is often the radiator hose and not the radiator itself. The radiator hose creates the link between radiator and engine thus allowing coolant to flow between them to regulate the temperature. As radiator hoses are susceptible to wear and tear, they should be periodically replaced irrespective of performance as older radiator hoses are prone to increased risks for failure.
- Trapped air in the cooling system
When air becomes trapped in the cooling system, it restricts the flow of the coolant which in turn affects efficient performance. To get rid of bubbles in your cooling system, bleed it by mixing water and antifreeze in equal parts, pour it into the radiator and coolant reservoir up to the rim. Leaving the radiator cap off, turn on the engine and run it until your radiator bleeds out air. The coolant levels will drop as any trapped air is cycled out and you should monitor the temperature gauge to see if it decreases back to normal.
- Radiator leak
A leak in the radiator is more difficult to identify and repair compared to the above problems. A good giveaway for a leaky radiator is bubbling or steaming from the radiator itself which may signify the problem area. Some radiator leaks can be patched, however, this job is best left with the professionals due to the complications that may arise if done wrong.
- Obstructions in the cooling system
Materials such as debris or engine scale in the cooling system can create blockages in the flow of coolant between the engine and radiator. Any restriction of efficient coolant flow will result in non-optimal temperature regulations. To get rid of debris or engine scale, you will have to flush out the cooling system. Obstructions can also interfere with an efficient air flow through the radiator which results in heat transfer problems thus resulting in increased temperatures. An obstruction which interferes efficient air flow often comes as a result of bent fins or body damage. In this case, you will need to get the body of your car fixed back into good condition to remove the obstruction.
Now that you know how to fix the five most common car radiator problems, you’re all set to keeping cool in your car this summer!