Signs That Your Radiator Has A Leak

Posted on: 23 March 2019

If you have an older vehicle that you want to keep, then you need to be mindful of potential issues that may appear when it comes to your car. Radiator problems are quite common, and oftentimes if they are identified early, they can be repaired. Radiator leaks are typically the issue, so keep reading to learn about some signs that your radiator is leaking.

Puddles Under Your Car

Puddles underneath your engine are fairly common and typically the result of condensation from your AC system. Water can also become trapped in the engine compartment and drip down underneath your vehicle. Sometimes oil will leak as well in small amounts. However, if you are seeing larger puddles underneath your car and closer to the front of your vehicle, then this may be your coolant fluid.

To identify the fluid you want to start by moving your car so you can see the fluid clearly. You want to look at the color first. If it matches the color of your coolant, then you know that it is likely the radiator fluid. If you cannot tell what color it is, then dip your finger gently into the fluid and then rub it between your fingers. If it feels slippery, then look to see if it is translucent. Dark fluids are typically oil and more translucent ones are usually radiator fluid. 

Once you touch the fluid, just make sure to wash your hands with soap and water. You may also want to place a small container underneath your car where the puddle was located. This can make it easier to identify the fluid and you will not be contaminating the environment.

Warm Engine

Once your radiator starts to lose fluid, the part will not have enough coolant running through it. Since the radiator's job is to cool the engine compartment, you will usually notice that your engine is running hotter than usual. Look at the gauge in your car to see if the temperature is closer to the mid temperature or hot mark instead of the cool part of the gauge. If so, your radiator is probably not working well.

If your engine temperature is running hot, then you do need to worry about your engine overheating. Check the radiator fluid reservoir to see if it is missing any coolant. If it is extremely low, then you can add water temporarily until you have the radiator repaired.

If you want to know more about radiator leaks and repairs, speak with a mechanic like those found at Flint Bumper Mart.