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Your radiator is essential for maintaining a safe operating temperature in your engine. Without a radiator, a running engine can overheat to the point where parts fuse and break, which can completely total your engine. So, simply put, it’s crucial to maintain your radiator to ensure that your engine is appropriately cooled. So let’s get down to brass tacks about your radiator. Here are the answers you need for the radiator questions you might ask:


Radiator flushes should be performed regularly, although they don’t have to be performed with the same frequency as an oil change. The frequency at which you should change your radiator fluid depends largely on the kind of vehicle you are operating. For example, some vehicles, like many models made by Subaru, the recommended replacement period more than a decade over time or over 100,000 miles driven. Ford vehicles, meanwhile, may need a flush every 50,000 miles. Take a keen look at your owner’s manual, or consult your mechanic to choose the most effective practice for your specific vehicle and engine.


Radiators protect your vehicle, so a problem may put your vehicle out of commission. Don’t drive your auto with an overheated engine; bear in mind the temperature gauge as you drive– do not let it reach the red portion of the gage. That said, there are a variety of issues that can cause your radiator to malfunction and your engine to overheat. Here’s our list.

Bad Hoses: If you have hoses that are leaking or kinked, your radiator may overheat. Low levels of fluid will cause a temperature spike, and reduced flow will do the same. Again, this is a relatively inexpensive repair. You may have the ability to see kinked or leaky hoses. Have a look at dripping radiator fluid if you suspect that you have a bad hose. You may also notice an odor and steam if your fluid is leaking onto the engine.

Cracked Radiator: If your radiator has cracked, you’ll have to replace it. This is a more expensive fix since the entire radiator will have to be removed, replaced, and installed. A cracked radiator will also leak, which will cause overheating. You may see steam and smell radiator fluid once your radiator cracks.

Bad Temperature Gage: Your temperature gauge should be accurate. If you have a gage that doesn’t show any heat in the engine (after running the engine for 10 minutes), it’s likely that your temperature gauge is broken. Your gage may also get stuck showing a high temperature. Regardless, you’ll have to fix the gage to ensure that you can monitor your engine temperature in the future. Take your vehicle to your mechanic for a replacement; this is a relatively inexpensive fix.

Fluid Obstructions: Whether brought on by particles or pinched pipes, an obstruction within your radiator line can damage your pump and cause the coolant to seize. Your engine can release various particles as it runs, and these particles can make your radiator fluid more viscous. Eventually, with enough build-up, your radiator can malfunction and cannot cool your engine.

Bubbles in the Line: A radiator line should be without bubbles. Air actually reduces the efficiency of your radiator. You may need to have your radiator line bled if you have air pockets throughout the line. This procedure is not expensive.

Bad Fan: Your radiator depends on a fan to pull air through your radiator fins (which cool the fluid). If you have a broken fan, your vehicle is more prone to overheat. You may notice that your vehicle overheats while idling, yet it remains cool when you reach higher speeds (since the airflow triggered by these speeds suffices to cool the radiator fluid). The cost of replacing a radiator fan corresponds to the cost of replacing a broken water pump.

Broken Water Pump: If your pump isn’t working, the fluid won’t flow as needed. Instead, cool antifreeze will remain in the radiator, while hot antifreeze remains in the engine. Once more, your engine will overheat. Replacing a broken water pump will usually cost between 300 and 750 dollars, because of the amount of labor necessary to remove and replace the pump.


Your radiator is full of fluid, called antifreeze or radiator fluid, which aids in cooling your vehicle’s engine. The coolant cycles through the radiator and engine. When heated fluid reaches the radiator, it cools off, and as it moves through the engine, it heats up again and the cycle continues. Gradually, radiator fluid breaks down, which means that it loses its cooling capability. Fortunately, vehicles can operate on the same radiator fluid for many years at a time, and for thousands of miles.