When a car starts to overheat, the most common explanation is that there is something amiss with the radiator. When this occurs, most people assume they will then need to have the radiator replaced. But not all radiator problems warrant replacing the entire unit. Here are some of the most common radiator problems and how your car repair tech may be able to fix them.
Your radiator has hoses coming off it it. These hoses carry the refrigerant to the engine. Sometimes, a radiator hose may crack, become worn, or detach itself from either the engine or the radiator. This leads to radiator fluid leaks, and once a significant amount of fluid has escaped, the engine will start overheating. Luckily, if you catch the problem early and do not drive the car with an overheating engine, your mechanic should just be able to replace the damaged hoses and call it a day. In fact, your mechanic should be looking over your hoses during annual inspections so they can replace them at the first sign of wear — before they actually start leaking.
Air in the Refrigerant System
Sometimes air can be introduced to the refrigerant system, either when someone is adding coolant to the radiator or working on it. This can cause the car to run a little hot all of the time. It may not actually overheat unless you're driving really hard or on a hot day. Bleeding the system to remove these air bubbles is a simple task for your car repair tech to handle. It will probably only take them 10 minutes.
Leaks in the Radiator
If your radiator is leaking fluid, the hole may actually be in the radiator itself. If the hole is really large, your auto repair tech may recommend replacing the radiator, but smaller holes are not too tough to patch. In the meantime, you can add a stop-leak product to your radiator to reduce the amount of fluid you're losing. Keep adding fluid to keep levels up until you're able to get the car in for repairs.
If your vehicle is newer, it probably has a fan that assists with pushing air through the radiator. This fan can break down, which causes the engine to run hot. Luckily, most of the time, there's just an electrical connection that has come undone, and your auto repair tech can repair the wires and fix the problem quickly.
For more information, contact companies like Flint Bumper Mart.