Common Problems That Often Occur in Radiator And Cooling Systems

Common Problems That Often Occur in Radiator And Cooling Systems

If steam is pouring from under your hood, a temperature warning light is glowing bright red on your dashboard or the needle in the temperature gauge is cozying up to the High mark, it’s time to pull off the road and shut down the engine before it fries: You’ve got a problem with your car’s cooling system, and you want to do everything you can to keep it from overheating — a much bigger problem.

The most common cooling system problems fall into three common areas such as overcooling, high heat and noise. The fourth problem is internal engine overheating. This is visualised as burned valves or scuffed pistons or rings, caused by overheating of the internal parts.

The radiator is one of the most important parts of your car. Make sure you avoid the most common radiator problems by putting into practice what you learn in this article.

This guide will help you to take the first step in identifying Common Problems That Often Occur in Radiator And Cooling Systems by explaining what could go wrong.

Radiator

1. Radiator hose leaks

Radiator hose leaks are by far the most common problem from which a radiator can suffer.

The hoses allow coolant to flow between the radiator and the engine.

These hoses wear down with time and they need to be replaced at the recommended intervals, regardless of whether they are working or not. By doing this, the development of leaks can be avoided.

2. Radiator leaks

This problem is a lot harder to locate. A tell-tale sign would be bubbles or steam from the radiator.

3. Rust or mineral deposits

All radiators, even the modern ones with plastic components, are prone to developing rust in some parts of the coolant system. If your car is overheating, always check the colour of your coolant to make sure it’s not the source of the problem.

4. Thermostat problems

While the thermostat isn’t actually part of the radiator itself, it helps the cooling system greatly. When this valve fails, it increases the risk of overheating.

When you suspect this to be the problem, replacing the thermostat as soon as possible is recommended.

 

Cooling System

1. Loss of liquids coolant due to leaks

The liquid coolant may leak from the cooling system. The External leaks can be noted by inspection, as the coolant comes out from the system.

The internal leak may allow some coolant to drain into the engine oil and are caused by a faulty head gasket, loose cylinder head, cracked or wrapped head or cracked engine block.

If the leak is very great, it will raise the lubricating oil level in the oil pan. An internal leak may also produce clouds of white vapour in the exhaust gases.

2. Overheating

Overheating are one of the main cooling system problems. It is caused by the insufficient quantity of water in the cooling system, coolant loss. Overheating without coolant loss. Overheating caused by factors outside of the cooling system.

It is also caused by the clogged radiator and water passages, slipping from a belt, inoperative thermostat, late ignition timing, incorrect valve timing, pre-ignition, too tight bearings, too low engine oil level, clogged exhaust system, etc.

3. Overcooling

An engine is said to be overcooled if it is running below the normal operating range. This problem generally appears in the winter because the heater does not work. Overcooling is caused by a thermostat that opens too soon or remains open at all times.

It is also caused by the coolant by pass valve remaining open. The thermostat is usually located inside the upper coolant outlet of the engine. Remove the thermostat, test for its faults and then replace it.

An overcooled engine can suffer from the following :

  • The engine does not achieve full power.
  • Increased cylinder wear.
  • Lower thermal efficiency i.e. more consumption of fuel.
  • The oil does not thin out properly and increases the amount of fluid friction loss.

4. Incorrect Temperature Gauge Reading

The temperature indicator or gauge fitted on the instrument panel may be faulty to give the incorrect reading. If it is faulty, it should be either replaced or correct.

A rapid check is no measure of the temperature of the cooling water in the radiator upper tank with a thermometer and compares it with the reading of the gauge.

5. Noise

Noises in the cooling system may occur due to the dry bearing, a loose pulley on the pump shaft, an impeller loose on the shaft, or two much end plat in the shaft.

Some pumps require the addition of a special water-pump lubricant to the coolant by which the operation becomes noiseless.

6. Frozen Coolant

The water may freeze in the cooling system, especially when the car is parked where the temperature is below the freezing point. This fails the cooling system completely and may cause serious breakage of any part of the system. It is always advisable to check the cooling system for possible damage by the frozen coolant before operating the vehicle.

If the coolant is frozen, the engine can be tun at idling speed until it reaches a temperature of 200°C. During this operation, any loss of coolant due to the formation of steam must be continually replenished in order to keep the system as nearly as full as possible. The vehicle should not be driven until the entire coolant is in circulation in the system.


Checking your engine coolant level in the overflow tank on a regular basis can help avoid disasters. If you have to keep topping off the coolant, that’s an indication of leaking that should be taken care of before it becomes a major one where you’re paying for a more serious issue with overheating in your cooling system.

Having your coolant tested and the entire system inspected by a mechanic every couple of years is an even better way to prevent cooling system problems.