Despite the fact that you are a good driver and love doing additional tweaks to make your car good looking or better in performance, repairing something or any part is still a big deal. We are not talking about wheel change or fixing brakes; it is about some unusual problems that might occur suddenly.
Well, we are talking about a car radiator, which seems like the simplest part but plays the most important role. It helps to reduce the temperature and to provide you a smooth performance every single time. Mileage of car improves if the engine is not overheating, and it boosts the performance by significant times.
Over time, manufacturers started choosing sturdy and premium material for car radiators. Even though you examine cars properly, the maintenance check of the radiator is easy to leave behind. Due to heating or driving your car without coolant can create small holes. These holes empty the coolant tank under a couple of minutes.
Replacing the whole radiator is going to be the costly option, and it would be effective if you considering fixing it. When it comes to repairing your leaking car radiator, you need some basic tools and a little knowledge of opening a few bolts. It doesn’t matter which car you have; fixing a radiator is almost the same with every vehicle.
The whole process begins by figuring our whether the radiator has a leak or not. There are several ways to ensure if there is any leak or not.
Easy and Effective Methods to Figuring out the Leakage
Addressing a radiator leak is easy and requires a little bit of inspection. Here are five easy to follow methods to figure out the issue –
1. Overheating or Poor Performance – The common sign of radiator leaks is easy to notice with overheat related factors. You can turn on the car, and when you drive it for a couple of minutes, you can address a sudden increase in temperature, and your engine makes slightly extra noise because it is heating. It also affects mileage, air conditioning, and performance. If you drive on a daily basis, you can easily address this change.
2. Empty Radiator – The second thing you can do so far is to add coolant or water inside the radiator. If you keep adding coolant, but it is not filling to the top, then it is a sign of a radiator leak. You might find that the radiator is full, but after a couple of minutes, the coolant level goes down. It depends on the hole size. If the hole is small, then it might take a couple of hours to empty. But, if the hole is large, you can keep pouring coolant, but it won’t full.
3. Look Under the Car – The third and last sign is to look under your car after filling coolant. If you find something dripping, then it might be coolant. The radiator is on the front verge of the car, and the water drips under it. By looking at such signs, you can figure out the issue, and it is the most effective method to trace such problems. From drops to the sudden flow of coolant, you can find both types of situations.
4. Marking Coolant level on Reservoir – The fourth method is to mark the coolant reservoir using a pen or marker. It is right next to the radiator. There are high and low marks given which can help you take a reading. Open the bonnet and take a reading. Do the same thing after a couple of hours. If you are finding a sudden decrease by a few millimeters, then there might be a hole. Coolant lasts for quite a long time, and it takes time to finish.
5. A Visual Inspections – The last method to figure out a leak is a visual inspection. Start opening the car’s bonnet and looking at the radiator from all possible angles. By this method, you will have a clear view, and you can find any kind of leak with ease. Make sure that you don’t press hard against the car radiator to look down because it can puncture radiator valves by a hard press.
These are five common ways to figure out a radiator leak, and most of the mechanics also follow the aforementioned steps while addressing the issue.
Step by Step Sealing Car Radiator Leak
Once you are sure that there is a leakage, it is essential that you keep the leakage spot in your mind. You can take pictures as if you want to. Follow the below-given methods to fix radiator –
1. Wait for Cooldown
Once you are sure about the leakage, it is important that you wait for a proper cooldown. Park your car and open the bonnet so that you can give it some time for cooldown. If your car has overheated, then it might take a little time so you can pour a little water. You might have to wait for few hours for the heat to dissipate effectively. A proper cooldown is important so that you don’t burn your hands. Even the sealant won’t work perfectly as if the radiator is hot.
2. Put on Safety Gears
No one would like to have sealant on his/her hands for hours. The chances of touching sealants are low but don’t take a risk and use the right safety gear to avoid facing any problem. You can find the right type of gloves in any hardware store also. These gloves prevent you from harsh chemicals, and these are cheap at the same time. You can find some of the best safety gear online. When it comes to working under the vehicle, it is important that you wear safety glasses also.
3. Wash Radiator
Use a hose to wash your car radiator and to remove all the dirt around the leakage area. By this method, you will have clean working experience. On the other hand, you can have a clear view, and you can use sealant in an effective manner. You won’t have dirt on your hands, and fixing the leak will be an easier option also. This is the major reason that most of the people look after a proper cleanup.
4. Start Your Car
Now, start the car and fill the coolant reservoir. If there are more than one leaks, you have the right time to figure them out, which will take lesser time. It is also the most effective option to avoid facing any trouble lately. You can use pressure tester and look after new holes. If the leakage is from a small spot that you have already figured, you can fix it, but don’t leave this chance of fixing all the problems at once. Do a little hard work and address other holes as there are.
5. Use Commercial Leak Sealant
There are a number of sealant manufacturers, but the best ones are offered by reputed manufacturers. Look out for professional leak sealant, which will be the most effective option. Buy leak sealant and apply it at visible leaks. You can use epoxy at the spots which are causing the damage. You have to turn on the car five minutes before starting this whole process. Once you have applied the leak sealant, you can find no leakage even after a couple of hours. If you haven’t applied the sealant properly, it might be a problem, and you have to follow the same process again.
6. Wait Overnight
After applying the sealant, you have to wait overnight before turning on the car. Do not rush and give it some time because most professional mechanics also avoid starting the car when coolant is applied. Once you have followed the complete method, your car will be offering great performance and you can find better cooling. You won’t have to worry about mileage related issues after that.
The Final Verdict
It is important that you always take care of your car’s radiator and opt for proper maintenance. There are several easy to follow maintenance tips which will assist you to avoid facing issues like leakage. On the other hand, you can opt for additional easy to follow tips to avoid overheating related issues.
A radiator can enhance performance and mileage because it prevents your car from overheating. There are better quality radiators which are made of highly reliable metals. They can offer better cooling and better performance, but the vulnerability of leakage depends upon the usage. So, you have to be careful and look after proper maintenance.
One more thing, if you don’t have proper knowledge of using tools, then avoid fixing radiators on your own. Using the leak sealant is easy to use, but if you are not taking precaution and end up pouring it into the radiator directly, then you might have to replace the whole radiator. This is an important factor that you shouldn’t be avoided at all.