Top 5 Warning Signs That Your Radiator is Acting Up

a man repairing a car radiator

Your radiator is a crucial component of your vehicle’s internal combustion engine. The engine depends on the coolant that passes through the engine block for absorbing and transferring heat. Your engine removes heat by forcing the anti-freeze or coolant through your radiator.

In the event that something’s wrong with your radiator, your engine would overheat and result in damage to various components of your engine. But how do you know if your radiator is acting up? Watch out for these red flags:


This is the most obvious warning sign that your radiator is in serious trouble because it’s already overheating. You’d know that your radiator is overheating when you see steam coming out from under the hood.

The Temperature Gauge Points to Hot

The most common reasons for your temperature gauge reading hot is either an issue with the thermostat or low fluid levels.

Rust or Discoloration in Your Radiator

If there’s a leak in a hose that’s connected to your cooling system or the radiator itself, it would most likely enable fluid to seep out onto the hot engine components. Jerry Lambert Automotive and other radiator repair specialists explain that it will then bubble off rapidly and lead to discoloration spots that would eventually rust.

Leaking Coolant

If you spot a leak that’s colored bright green, pink, or yellow, it’s highly likely that your coolant is leaking. The coolant, also known as anti-freeze, is responsible for preventing the engine from getting too heated during summer and frozen during winter. In short, your engine would overheat without a coolant.

Low Coolant levels

It’s crucial that you check your coolant occasionally just to see that your vehicle has enough of it. If after checking you determine that your coolant level is low, you need to figure out why.

If you spot any of these warning signs, it’s best that you have your vehicle inspected by a trusted mechanic to avoid more expensive damage and repairs later on. It’s also recommended that you get your radiator checked even if you’re not having problems with it to help prolong its service life.