Your car's radiator helps your engine to work properly. If there's a leak there, you may need to have it soldered or repaired by a knowledgeable technician. If this leak is not repaired in a timely manner, the engine may start overheating and get damaged. Below are important questions frequently asked about radiator damage and repair:
1. How can I tell my radiator is leaking?
Check under your car before driving off for pools of yellow, orange or green coolant (try to remember the colour of your coolant or write it somewhere). Sometimes you may notice only a few drops; other times it may form a puddle. You may also have a leak if you notice your car overheating frequently or you see steam coming from your radiator. If you can't immediately spot the leak, wash the radiator with water, turn on the engine and look out for any leaks. Be careful as some parts may be really hot.
2. How does the radiator get damaged?
Radiator leaks are most often the result of natural wear or a collision. As the car grows older, the radiator metal, which is delicate, begins to deteriorate and become thin. Travelling through a non-smooth road – with small rocks, salt or other debris – can cause a leak in the metal if the particles knock against the radiator. Collisions, even as mild as fender benders, can also cause radiator damage. In addition, using the wrong type of coolant or in the wrong dilution can damage the coolant.
3. Does soldering fix all radiator problems?
Soldering is generally safe for all radiators, but it may not necessarily work every time. For much older vehicles where the radiator system is falling apart or vehicles with very large leaks, soldering will not be effective. Such cars should be repaired with a leak-sealing product before soldering is attempted. This must be done professionally, since the radiator metal is sensitive and can easily sustain damage unless handled carefully.
4. Does the radiator fan remain on long after turning off the engine?
It is normal for the radiator fan to run for some minutes once you switch off the car. If it remains on for more than about five minutes, however, this could indicate a problem with the fan relay or sensor. The fan staying on also indicates that the radiator isn't working as efficiently as it should be. In such cases, you need to have the vehicle looked over by a professional. Regularly check that your coolant is at the right levels and get your radiator flushed to prevent this problem from recurring. Flushing improves the radiator's cooling ability.