How to Know When You Have a Radiator Leak

Think you have a problem with your radiator?

Radiator-Car-Problems-AllBrandsAuto-AZIf your radiator has a leak, coolant will accumulate under your car when it’s parked. Usually the leak will be at its worst right after a drive, when the radiator gets hot, cracks in the welds or hoses expand, allowing fluid to seep out. Check under the front of your car for accumulated green or orange liquid to determine if you have a leak.

Most modern cars also have sensors to determine when your radiator fluid is low. Once enough fluid leaks out, your “check engine” light will come on. When that happens, take your car to a mechanic and have them diagnose the “check engine” code. If it’s due to low coolant levels, your radiator probably has a leak.

Check Your  Hoses

Your radiator is connected to your engine with rubber hoses. The hoses are fastened to the radiator with metal ties. Over time, the fasteners can become loose due to engine heat and vibrations. Use a wrench to tighten up the hoses and see if that fixes your problem.

Heat can also cause the hoses to crack over time. If your radiator leak is coming from a cracked hose, it’s best to replace the hose entirely. Patches can temporarily fix the problem, but the leak will most likely come back until you install a new hose.

Check Your Car or Truck Radiator Welds

The welds throughout your radiator are another common place for cracks to develop. If your hoses are tight and undamaged, your leak is most likely coming from a crack in one of the welds.

Start by checking the welds around the radiator inlet and outlet, the places where the hoses connect. Those are the areas most likely to crack due to engine vibrations. Use a flashlight and look closely for accumulated fluid on the metal. Even tiny pinholes which are hard to see will let fluid seep out. If you don’t find any cracks there, move on to the welds along the edges of your radiator.

Don’t Put off Fixing the Problem

If you find any cracks in the welds, you need to have your radiator repaired or replaced as soon as possible! Avoid getting stranded on the side of the road by taking care of the issue as soon as it arises.

No matter how slow your radiator leak is, it’s important to fix the problem immediately. Even the smallest cracks can suddenly expand while you’re driving. If that happens, all of your coolant will leak out and cause your car to overheat.

Depending on how severe the cracks are, a mechanic may be able to patch the holes for you. If not, you’ll have to replace the whole radiator with a new unit. Please contact here if you have questions or want us to give you a free diagnosis of your car or truck’s radiator