Sterling Parts Blog

6 Signs that you need to change your radiator

October 25 2018

Posted in Car Engine

Tagged Car Radiator


Car parts in Australia are readily available and can be easily ordered online. But still, it requires the attention of the owner as to which car part needs to be changed and when. Just last week a customer came to us with a broken Hilux surf radiator. The reason? It crashed head-on with a Mazda mx6. This not only damaged the standard radiator but also the radiator support and the radiator hose kit. But what happens during usual wear and tear of a car? When do you know that your automobile needs a radiator change? First, let's understand what does it do.


Any car engine consists of mini-explosions which are being carried out to burn fuel and make the car move. This generates immense amounts of heat. If there is no cooling mechanism, the car engine will not even last few minutes. A car radiator is used as a heat exchange device for internal combustion engines to regulate the temperature. Generally, a water-based coolant circulates through the engine block, gets heated up and then through a radiator it cools down. There is usually a water pump to ensure circulation and a fan which blows through the aluminum grills of a radiator to cool down the coolant.


1. There is a Leak

By far the most common sign of a leaking radiator is leaking coolant resulting in low coolant levels. One of our clients had this issue in his mx-5 Miata and another had this in a ford ranger radiator. The reason for both these clients was a crack. If you find green fluid under your car, get your radiator checked for cracks and leaks. Small cracks can be dealt with patches. It is also possible that the crack is in the hose. It is essential to replace hoses regularly to avoid any rusting. On replacement, the cooling capacity is increased. Significant rusting throughout the radiator can cause massive damage to your cooling system. In addition to this, you should also check for leakages in your car’s overflow bottle.


2. Obstruction

The coolant flows in passages in the cooling system. Any obstruction can cause a non-availability of coolant to the engine and the radiator. This can cause temperatures to rise dramatically in a car engine. We have seen issues like this especially in Hilux Surf and Grand Cherokee radiators when their owners go for off-roading. It is important to remember to have small toolkits to repair auto parts on the go for such situations.


3. Water Pump Failure

The function of a water pump is to move the coolant throughout the engine block. It facilitates heat exchange. Usually, water travels through the radiator and then goes to the pump, engine and back to the radiator. On water pump failure, the temperature of the vehicle will rise in no time. You may hear the cooling fan increase its speed but that still won’t help.


4. Trapped Air Bubbles

Whether you have a Holden Barina radiator, Hilux radiator, Subaru radiator or an el falcon radiator, trapping of air bubbles is a common occurrence. Whenever this happens, the flow of the coolant is obstructed. The air bubbles in the system will heat up and will cause the engine temperature to rise. In such a case it is imperative to remove the trapped air bubbles.


5. Bad Thermostat

The function of a thermostat is to sense the temperature and take measures to control it. A faulty thermostat leads to the system’s incapacity to read temperatures and perform actions. This will cause your car to heat up fast.


6. Cooling Fans and Fan Shrouds

A missing fan shroud can reduce the effectiveness of the cooling system by 50%. This is sufficient for the engine to start overheating in summers or while accelerating hard. On average, the life of a fan clutch is the same as of a water pump. Also, broken cooling fan blades can reduce the cooling efficiency of the cooling system. Additionally, if you notice that your electric fan has stopped working, you should pull over to allow the engine to cool else that will send the temperature rocketing up.