Bad Radiator

5 Key Signs Your Car Has a Bad Radiator

Is your car’s radiator not functioning properly? 

Your radiator is a key part of the cooling system in your car. If your radiator is bad, the rest of your car won’t operate properly. It’s important to learn the warning signs of a bad radiator, so you can identify the problem early and get your car to the mechanic before it causes a lot of damage. 

If you think there’s something wrong with your radiator but aren’t sure what it could be, here are five common signs of a bad radiator that are important to recognize right away.

1. Your Engine Overheats Often 

If your engine continues to overheat, even under normal driving conditions, your radiator likely isn’t working, because its main job is to keep the engine cool. 

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Overheating can cause engine failure, so you should take your car to an expert like Delta Automotive right away when you notice overheating. 

2. Heater Isn’t Functioning Properly 

The HVAC system in your car can often tell you when something is wrong internally.

When the heat in your car stops working, in particular, it can be a sign that your radiator isn’t working. Your heater needs a coolant from the radiator to function, so when something is clogged or malfunctioning, you won’t be able to heat up your car. 

3. You Notice a Leak 

A leak is often a sign that something is wrong with your car. Check under your car often for signs of a leak, specifically any yellow, green, or red liquid. This is the leaking coolant, which indicates that your radiator could overheat. 

Radiators are made of both plastic and metal parts, so it’s completely normal for these parts to wear down over time. As they wear, cracks will form and fluid can leak out. 

4. Low Coolant Levels 

Similar to leaks, low coolant levels signal that something is likely wrong with your radiator. If the coolant levels are low, there is probably a leak somewhere, even if you don’t notice any fluid. 

Fill up your car with new coolant and see how long it takes to go down. If you notice that you’re out of coolant very quickly, you probably have a leak somewhere that will cause your radiator to overheat. 

5. There’s Sludge Buildup in Your Radiator 

As we mentioned earlier, the coolant in your car should be bright yellow, green, or red in color. Make sure you form the habit of checking your coolant levels often.

If you notice that the liquid is discolored or that sludge is building up, you’ll need to take your car to a professional and get it checked out. 

Learn More About Fixing a Bad Radiator 

Fixing a bad radiator is an important step to keeping your car running smoothly for years to come. The sooner you notice the signs that your radiator isn’t working, the sooner you can fix the situation and prevent an expensive radiator replacement. 

For more helpful car maintenance tips, make sure you check out the rest of our website.