It's that time of year again when people are starting to plan their spring and summer road trips. A breakdown on the side of the road is always unfortunate, but especially when you're ready for some fresh scenery after the cold and dark days of winter. An important part of your vehicle to have checked out before you head down the road is the radiator and cooling system. Watch out for these signs of a bad radiator so that you're not trapped in a strange town looking for a radiator replacement.
The following are three common signs that your radiator may be broken, cracked, or simply clogged with debris and corrosion:
- Overheating - An overheating engine indicates that the coolant cannot get where it needs to go because the radiator is not functioning properly. Depending on the model of your vehicle, you may see a warning light first, or the temperature gauge on the dash may clue you in. It's important to get your car off the road quickly to avoid other problems.
- Coolant Leaks - Check for a tell-tale puddle on the garage floor. If there is a cracked hose, or the radiator is corroded with rust, you may notice the smell of antifreeze if you are losing coolant from the radiator.
- Smoke - If you see and smell smoke coming from under the hood, a coolant may have leaked onto the engine and is being burnt. Smoke coming from the muffler is especially not a good sign because it could mean that the head gasket has been damaged.
Why is radiator service important?
Routine radiator service is important to prevent an untimely and costly radiator replacement. This is the time your mechanic will check the hoses and radiator unit for leaking, and either flush the entire cooling system or at least top-off with the correct antifreeze/water mixture.
Watching for the signs of a bad radiator? Contact our ASE Certified technicians at Kestner Automotive today for more information about radiator replacement and service and to schedule an appointment. Our auto shop proudly serves residents in Columbia, SC, and the surrounding area.