Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Radiator

Our certified mechanics come to you · 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

GET A QUOTE Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront
Red-stars EXCELLENT RATING ON

Cost of Replacing a Bad or Failing Radiator

Common signs include leaking coolant, vehicle overheating, sludge, and low coolant. Our certified technicians can come to you and diagnose the problem. You will receive a $30 credit towards any follow-up repairs that result from the diagnostic. Following are example prices for Car Radiator Replacement. Click on the button below to get an upfront quote for your car.

Cars Estimate Parts Cost Labor Cost Savings Average Dealer Price
2008 Isuzu Ascender $457 $275.09 $182.00 17% $554.59
2011 Mitsubishi Outlander $390 $236.46 $154.00 17% $472.96
2013 Volkswagen Beetle $548 $358.63 $189.00 15% $648.88
2013 BMW 750Li $805 $636.81 $168.00 10% $894.81
2007 Mercedes-Benz SLK350 $700 $594.58 $105.00 7% $755.83
2005 Ford Mustang $391 $223.31 $168.00 18% $481.31
GET A QUOTE FOR YOUR CAR Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront

How to Diagnose a Bad or Failing Radiator?

radiator

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.

coolant
Radiators
Cooling System
leaks

Fast and easy Car Radiator Replacement service at your home or office.

GET A QUOTE FOR YOUR CAR
Get a fair and transparent estimate upfront

Recent Car Radiator Replacement reviews

Excellent Rating


YourMechanic Car Radiator Replacement Service

Average Rating

4.7/5

Number of Reviews

1,143

Rating Summary
1,066
45
5
7
20
1,066
45
5
7
20

Patrick

12 years of experience
251 reviews
Patrick
12 years of experience
Patrick arrived early, did a great job, excellent communication and was able to finish well within the time quoted. Would definitely use him again. Highly recommended.
2010 BUICK ENCLAVE - RADIATOR - ASHLAND, VIRGINIA

William

31 years of experience
68 reviews
William
31 years of experience
Dave is the best! This is the 2nd repair I've had done by him. He is timely and professional. I've already booked another appointment for next week!
2005 DODGE GRAND CARAVAN - RADIATOR - PHOENIX, ARIZONA

Chris

19 years of experience
1126 reviews
Chris
19 years of experience
arrived early got to work solve the problem. finished early within budget and everything works beautifully. thanks for your great work Chris
2003 FORD EXPEDITION - RADIATOR - LAKE FOREST, CALIFORNIA

Ruben

20 years of experience
35 reviews
Ruben
20 years of experience
Highly knowledgeable. Great work ethic, explained everything that was going on with the process. Would use him again!!!
2007 LEXUS RX350 - RADIATOR - SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA

More related articles

P0222 OBD-II Trouble Code: Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input
P0222 code definition Throttle/Pedal Position Switch/Sensor B Circuit Low Input What the P0222...
Rules of the Road For Iowa Drivers
Driving on the roads requires knowledge of the rules, many of which are based on common sense and courtesy. However, even though you know the rules in...
How to Get a Louisiana Driver's Permit
s licensing program. The first step in this program is to obtain...

Related questions

Q: No heat and the temperature gauge goes down.

Hi there. Check the heater control valve on the heater hoses under the hood. The valve is controlled by vacuum. Check the vacuum lines and see if they have came off or split. With the engine at operating temperature, check...

Q: Explorer leaking coolant.

I would return to where you had the radiator installed so they can check the radiator for leaks. It is possible that a hose clamp may have been left a little loose or something minor like that. It happens to...

Q: disaster

Leaks can be repaired and some leaks are frankly trivial issues in terms of difficulty of repair and cost. So, it's only a disaster if it's a "bad" leak where bad means "costly" to repair. As long as you didn't...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1-800-701-6230 · hi@yourmechanic.com