The radiator is a key component of the cooling system in your car. If it malfunctions it can cause the engine to overheat which can result in serious and costly damage. Below is a list of common cooling system problems which can affect the performance of your car radiator.
Thermostat failure is a leading cause of engine overheating. The thermostats job is to control the flow of coolant in and out of your car radiator, which keeps your engine running at an optimum temperature. Failure of the thermostat results in uncontrolled coolant flow and overheating.
Leaking Radiator Hoses
If your car begins to leak coolant, this first thing you should check are the radiator hoses. The radiator hoses allow coolant to flow from the radiator to the engine. Over time, hoses can become worn and will need to be replaced.
Another source of coolant loss is a leaks which affects the radiator itself. Compared to a leaky hose, radiator leaks are more difficult to locate and fix. If you see steam or bubbles coming from a particular part of the radiator, this is a sign that this is the location of the leak.
If an object restricts air flow through the radiator, this can make it harder for the radiator to expel heat into the air. If your car is overheating, you should check the air-intakes on the front of the vehicle to ensure they are not blocked. Scale which builds up on the inside of pipes can also reduce the flow of coolant. If this occurs, the pipes will need to be flushed.
Air in the Cooling System
When air becomes trapped in your cars cooling system it can restrict the movement of coolant between the engine and the radiator. This reduces the overall efficiency of the cooling system and causes your engine to run hot. You will need to have the cooling system bled to remove any trapped air.
Water Pump Failure
The water pump is responsible for pumping coolant around the engine. During operation, water passes through the radiator, into the pump and then the engine. Once the engine has been cooled, the coolant is returned to the radiator and the process begins again. If you car suffers a water pump failure, the coolant can no longer circulate through the engine leading to overheating.
If you experience problems with overheating, it is best to have your car inspected by a radiator specialist.