Four Signs You Need To Repair Your Car's Radiator

Your car's radiator system is an extremely important part of your vehicle, helping to maintain the comfort levels in the exterior of your car during the winter months while also venting heat away from your engine system. A faulty radiator can pose a number of problems to you and your car, including reduced performance and comfort in the winter. Thankfully, there are a number of warning signs you can keep your eye out for to know when you should consult a mechanic about repairing or replacing your car's radiator.


Check underneath your vehicle after leaving it parked for a few hours. If your radiator's components have become damaged (the hoses in particular), coolant will leak out of your vehicle and pool underneath it. Coolant is a greenish or blueish color, with a sweet smell that should be easily distinguished from water or other liquids. This fluid is highly toxic, so you should clean it up as soon as possible and head to a mechanic to have your radiator system checked out.

Rust and Corrosion

Pop open the hood and take a look at the radiator. The location of the radiator will vary depending on the make and model of your car, but is generally located immediately above the engine block. Look for the radiator cap, which is a clearly marked tube extending upwards in which coolant is added. Inspect the radiator for any signs of rust or corrosion – if you see any, be sure to head to a mechanic straight away. Mild amounts of rust can usually be removed before they become a serious problem, but extreme corrosion can damage your radiator beyond repair.

Visible Damage

In the same vein, be sure to check out the non-metal parts of your radiator, including the fan belts and hoses that are attached to it, for signs of physical damage. Cuts and tears can lead to leaking coolant or improper venting of hot air away from the engine. Fans and belts are usually much easier and thus less expensive to repair and replace when compared to the radiator itself.


Another clear sign that your radiator isn't working properly is if your engine begins to operate at a higher temperature than usual, or begins to overheat. This can result in reduced performance, responsiveness, and fuel efficiency, which can affect how well you can handle your vehicle, especially on snowy and icy roads. However, an overheating engine can be attributed to a number of different automotive problems, so be sure to check with your mechanic, such as one from Foster's Auto Service Inc, before blaming your radiator.