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A radiator has the bad habit of breaking down at the most inopportune times. Usually on the hottest day of summer, you will be cruising down to the beach with the A/C on full blast when you notice the temperature gauge has creeped into the red. Or maybe it jumped, and what you notice is smoke pouring out of the front of your car. Either way, the only thing you can do is pull over, wait out the storm and then assess what is going on.
What Damages a Radiator?
There are many things that can cause your radiator to suddenly stop working. The most common is a leak, created by a hole or crack in the aluminum. Since water runs through the radiator, rust can develop making the metal susceptible to damage. Being located at the very front of the car further contributes to this by putting it in a prime position to be struck by road debris. This can form a hole in the radiator that will begin leaking out your engine coolant fluid.
Rust also causes other problems in your radiator. As pieces of rust break off, they join the engine coolant in circulating through the motor. This will cause the coolant to thicken and clog the small tubing that makes up your radiator. Without sufficient amounts of fluid to pass, your engine will begin to overheat. You may be able to temporarily fix this problem with a radiator flush, but with a rust build up inside the problem will just resurface again in a few months.
How to Tell If the Radiator is Damaged
To check for a leak in the radiator first hose it off. Then make sure there is sufficient fluid inside and start your car, allowing it to get hot. Once the engine coolant begins to circulate you should be able to pinpoint exactly where, if any, the leak is.
If you can’t locate a leak, check the output hose that is running away from the radiator to the engine. There should be fluid flowing through it when your engine is running. If not, then it is most likely a clog in your radiator that is causing the problem.
Whether it is a leak or a clog, both issues warrant that you replace the radiator with a new one. Order a new one through CarPartKings.com to ensure that you get the radiator that is right for your vehicle without paying the inflated prices offered by your car dealership. You should also consider changing the hoses at the same time since there is a good chance they were put under pressure during the engine overheat.
Tools For the Job:
Getting the Job Done:
Adding the Coolant:
You should now be good to go with a new radiator that is not going to go up in smoke.