The Heat is On! The Best Way to Tell Your Radiator is Broken

The Heat is On! The Best Way to Tell Your Radiator is Broken

Is Your Car Feeling the Heat? Signs Your Radiator Might Be Failing

Our Wichita weather is finally warming up (if only just a little). And, while we welcome the rising heat, what we don’t welcome is rising heat when it comes to our cars and trucks.  But, luckily, our vehicle’s radiator keeps our “hot” rods in check. Because, our car’s radiator is the crucial component of its cooling system, responsible for keeping the engine from overheating during operation. But unfortunately, radiator issues often go unnoticed until they lead to more significant problems. And this can lead your to ask friends and family: “can you recommend a car repair near me?”

So, whether you’re a seasoned driver or just getting started, understanding the signs of radiator failure can save you from costly repairs and unexpected breakdowns. Therefore, the experts at Tracy’s Tire Pros explore some common indicators that your vehicle’s radiator might be in trouble.

Rising Temperature Gauge

One of the most obvious signs of radiator trouble is an overheating engine. So, keep an eye on your temperature gauge. Because, if it consistently creeps into the red zone or spikes unexpectedly, it’s a clear indication that your radiator might not be functioning properly. And ignoring this warning sign could lead to severe engine damage, so it’s crucial to address it promptly.

Coolant Leaks

Coolant (also known as antifreeze) circulates through your radiator and engine to regulate temperature. So, if you notice puddles of bright green, pink, or yellow fluid beneath your car after it’s been parked, it’s likely a coolant leak. Leaks can occur due to corrosion, worn hoses, or damaged seals within the radiator. And, promptly repairing leaks can prevent your engine from running dry and overheating.

Discolored Coolant

Healthy coolant should be a vibrant color, typically green, pink, or orange, depending on the type used in your vehicle. So if you notice that your coolant has turned murky or rusty, it’s a sign of contamination or corrosion within the cooling system. And this can lead to blockages and reduced cooling efficiency. So, flushing and replacing the coolant, along with addressing any underlying issues, is essential to prevent further damage.

Steam Under the Hood

If you see steam rising from under the hood while your engine is running, it could be overheating. And, this could be caused by a variety of issues, like a malfunctioning radiator cap, a cracked radiator, or a blown head gasket. So, pull over safely and allow the engine to cool down before investigating further. Because continuing to drive with an overheating engine can cause irreversible damage.

Unusual Smells

A failing radiator may produce weird odors that indicate trouble. For example, the sweet, syrupy smell of coolant could signify a leak. While the scent of burning rubber might indicate overheating components, such as hoses or belts. And ignoring these odors could lead to more significant issues. So, it’s essential to address them promptly.

No Heat Inside the Cabin

Your car’s radiator not only cools the engine but also plays a role in heating the interior cabin. So, if you notice that your heater isn’t producing warm air as it should, it could indicate a problem with the radiator or the coolant circulation system. And this symptom is particularly noticeable during colder months when you rely on your heater for comfort.

Visible Damage

Inspect your radiator visually for any signs of physical damage, such as cracks, corrosion, or bent fins. Additionally, check for loose or disconnected hoses and clamps that could lead to coolant leaks. And, if you notice any visible damage,  it’s key to address it to prevent further damage.

Tracy’s Automotive | Wichita Auto Care | Wichita Radiator

Avoid Costly Repairs by Knowing When to Your Car is Too Hot to Handle!

Your vehicle’s radiator is an important part of its cooling system. And failure to address issues promptly can lead to costly repairs and potential engine damage. So, by recognizing the signs of radiator failure early on, you can take proactive steps to save a hit to your wallet. But, if you have any questions or are unsure, Tracy’s Tire Pros is here to help.

Tracy’s Tire Pros can help you with any automotive issues that you may have. And they have three locations for your convenience:  West Maple Street auto care and auto repair, East First Street N. and West 21st Street N. And, Tracy’s Automotive is a proud dealer for Jasper Engines and Vogue Performance Exhaust systems.

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