Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Radiator

Schedule Vehicle Engine Cooling Inspection
Service Area

$0.00

Upfront, Transparent Price
Average rating from 130,153 customers who received a Vehicle Engine Cooling Inspection.

The radiator’s job is to keep the engine from overheating. The engine produces heat while it is running. Coolant absorbs this heat, then passes it through the radiator where it is cooled off. The coolant is then circulated back to the engine. The radiator is the main component of the cooling system, so it is important that it is in good working condition. If you suspect your radiator is going bad, watch for the following symptoms:

1. Leaking coolant onto the floor

The coolant flows through the radiator, so if there is a leak in the radiator, coolant will leak onto the floor underneath the vehicle. It may be while you are driving or while your vehicle is parked. To positively identify if you have a leak or crack in your radiator, the professionals at YourMechanic will need to do a pressure test to verify the radiator is the cause. During this test the radiator is pressured and colored dye is added to the cooling system, and if it leaks out then you may need to have your radiator replaced.

2. Vehicle overheats

If your vehicle is constantly overheating, the radiator may be going bad. One of the most common failures in the vehicles that overheat is a failing radiator since it is the only way engine coolant is cooled. It may not be to the point where it has completely failed, so the issue should be addressed immediately. If this problem is left unattended, then the engine will continue to overheat and cause the vehicle to break down. When this happens, the repair will be much more extensive, so it is a good idea to address the issue as soon as the vehicle starts to overheat.

3. Sludge in the radiator

The coolant in your vehicle should be yellow or green or red normally. As the radiator goes bad, contaminants discolor the fluid making it a rusty or oil color. This turns into sludge and the fluid will not be able to cool the engine efficiently because it will not drain properly and remain in the radiator. This can be from a failing radiator for vehicles that contain a transmission cooler inside the radiator. The barrier between the coolant and transmission fluid fails and the fluids mix. If you or a mechanic notice sludge in your radiator, it will need to be replaced as it can cause extensive damage to the engine and transmission.

4. Low coolant

If your low coolant light comes on or you are constantly refilling your coolant tank, there may be a leak in the radiator. Do not just keep refilling your coolant, take your vehicle to have it properly diagnosed.

As soon as you notice leaking coolant, your vehicle keeps overheating, you have low coolant, or sludge in your radiator, contact a mechanic to make repairs to your cooling system. YourMechanic makes getting repairs to your radiator easy by coming to your home or office to diagnose or fix issues. You can book a service online 24/7. YourMechanic’s qualified Technicians are also available for any questions that may arise.


Next Step

Schedule Vehicle Engine Cooling Inspection

The most popular service booked by readers of this article is Vehicle Engine Cooling Inspection. Yourmechanic’s technicians bring the dealership to you by performing this job at your home or office 7 days a week between 7AM-9PM. We currently cover over 10k cities and have 100k+ 5-star reviews... LEARN MORE

SEE PRICING & SCHEDULING

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Recent Vehicle Engine Cooling Inspection reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Vehicle Engine Cooling Inspection Service

Average Rating

4.9/5

Number of Reviews

130,153

Rating Summary
121,515
4,808
964
664
2,202
121,515
4,808
964
664
2,202

Jeffrey

26 years of experience
862 reviews
Jeffrey
26 years of experience
Volvo S60 - Check Engine Light is on - Fort Mill, South Carolina
Timely service. Very friendly, knowledgeable and trustworthy. Did a lot of research while on site on specific make and model to provide clear recommendations.
Honda Odyssey - Noise from engine or exhaust - Monroe, North Carolina
Jeff always goes above and beyond to make sure we are satisfied with his work. We are pleased to work with him.

David

9 years of experience
193 reviews
David
9 years of experience
Toyota Corolla - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Ardmore, Pennsylvania
David was kind and well informed. He was quick and efficient. Before he left, he gave me recommendations. Will definitely use him in the future.

Anthony

10 years of experience
103 reviews
Anthony
10 years of experience
Ford Explorer - Brake System Flush - Fort Worth, Texas
My experience was very awesome

Mark

10 years of experience
349 reviews
Mark
10 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Oil Pump Cover Gasket - Union City, California
It is hard finding a mechanic that you trust. Mark is that dude.

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE