How to Tell If It’s Time to Replace Your Radiator

Radiators are crucial to our vehicles. Without them, our engines would overheat extremely easily. This is because radiators are actually heat exchangers. They take the heat generated by the vehicle’s engine and cool it. If you have a problem with your radiator, it can seriously impact the health of your vehicle. 

Watch out for these four signs that it is time to replace your radiator. 


Signs you need to replace your radiator

If you are unfamiliar with vehicle maintenance, you may miss some of the subtle signs of a radiator failure. The four signs listed below are the most overt ways to tell it is time to replace your radiator. 


1) Overheating.

Radiators are heat exchangers. They rely on coolant to cool down the heat from a vehicle’s engine. If that coolant is leaking, then they will not be nearly as efficient. This will cause your engine to overheat. 

Another reason for the loss of efficiency in radiators is a build-up of sediment. Sometimes particles, dirt, and other debris will collect in the radiator. When this occurs, you can have regular coolant levels and still have an overheating engine. If your vehicle is showing signs of overheating like a hot hood, temperature gauge spiking, or a hot smell, it is time to have the radiator evaluated by a professional. 


2) Coolant levels are low.

When you think that your vehicle may be overheating, your first stop should be the coolant. You can easily check the coolant levels. Just open the cap on the radiator and look for the coolant level. If the liquid is at the “full” line, then there is no coolant problem. 

Coolant levels below the “full” line are considered low. In this instance, you should look for signs of a coolant leak. It will also be time to take your vehicle to a mechanic to have the radiator replaced. 


3) See evidence of a leak.

Now that you know your coolant levels are low, it is time to look for a leak. Antifreeze looks like a puddle of green liquid under your vehicle. Sometimes antifreeze will look orange or pink. It depends on the type of antifreeze your vehicle uses. 


4) Smell antifreeze.

A final overt sign that your radiator has a problem is if you smell antifreeze. Antifreeze is mixed with water to create the coolant in your radiator. In addition to its unique color, it also has a distinctive smell. If you smell something sweet, almost like maple syrup, then you likely have a coolant leak, which will in turn cause your vehicle to overheat. 


What to do if your radiator needs to be replaced?

Experiencing any of the four signs mentioned above means that you should take your vehicle to a certified mechanic as soon as possible. Your radiator will likely need to be replaced. Residents of the Cache Valley should contact Ethan’s Honest Automotive Service & Repair for all of their radiator needs. We offer the best and most professional vehicle repair services anywhere in the area. 

Don’t let a radiator problem destroy your engine. Contact Ethan’s Honest Automotive today.