Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Radiator Drain Cock

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The radiator drain cock is located on the radiator of modern vehicles. Its job is to make draining the radiator much easier and the radiator fluid serviceable. It is located underneath the radiator and can be spotted by the winged threaded bolt. Older vehicles do not have a radiator drain cock. Instead, to replace the fluid in the radiator on these vehicles the fluid must be drained by removing a radiator hose which can be time consuming and messy. The radiator drain cock in modern vehicles makes it easy for mechanics to drain and replace radiator fluid and saves customers time and money on repairs. However, this part does come with some potential for issues.

Over time, the radiator drain cock can become damaged, leak, and fail. The following are a few symptoms to watch for if you suspect you have a failing radiator drain cock:

1. Leaking coolant

Since the function of the radiator drain cock is to keep coolant in the radiator, any leaking coolant should be a red flag that the drain cock is not working properly. The fluid is normally green in color and has a sweet smell to it. As soon as you notice leaking coolant, contact a professional mechanic to have your radiator drain cock inspected and replaced. It should be noted that leaking coolant can be a symptom of a leaking radiator, so it is best to have a mechanic inspect the entire coolant system.

2. Leaking around the drain cock

If you suspect there is a leak and you are able to physically inspect the drain cock, check to see if there is leaking coolant around the radiator drain cock. In many cases the radiator drain cock is plastic and can fail due to heat and age over time. There should be no fluid in this area if the drain cock is working properly.

3. Threads are stripped

If you are able to get underneath your vehicle and inspect the radiator drain cock, check to see what condition the threads are in. If the threads are stripped, you will need a new radiator drain cock. Radiator drain cocks are most often plastic and are easy to over tighten and strip. This should be replaced by a mechanic to ensure the entire coolant system is sealed without air in the system and working properly.

A leak in the radiator drain cock should not be left for too long as it is a vital part of your vehicle’s cooling system. YourMechanic makes getting repairs to your radiator drain cock 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.


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Bernie

50 years of experience
41 reviews
Bernie
50 years of experience
Honda Accord - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
I specifically asked for Bernie to come back, since I was so pleased with the work he did on our other car. This time I got to meet Bernie personally. He is a kind family-man who exhibited the quiet confidence of someone you would expect with the 50 years of automotive experience that he has. I felt very comfortable giving him the key to my car. Two of my kids (ages two and four) came out to greet him, since they remembered him from his first visit. Bernie is great around kids and was very kind to my two-year old son who was trying to "help" Bernie do his job. Thanks again, Bernie!
Honda Odyssey - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Phoenixville, Pennsylvania
I was very pleased with Bernie's work, professionalism, and courteousness. Best brake job I have ever had, and I have had many done (and several done myself, but not on this vehicle). This was a maintenance appointment -- not a repair of something broken -- so I was surprised when the brakes felt so much better after Bernie did the work. You can really see the care he took with our vehicle when I examined everything after he was finished. Thanks, Bernie!

Daniel

9 years of experience
17 reviews
Daniel
9 years of experience
Hyundai Sonata - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Sacramento, California
Awesome customer service. On time and answered my questions with patience. Listened to my concerns and made helpful suggestions. Seemed very knowledgeable and experienced. I will be glad to request him again. Thank you!!

Breck

18 years of experience
532 reviews
Breck
18 years of experience
Toyota RAV4 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Conroe, Texas
Breck was awesome! He called ahead of time and asked if he could arrive early. He was friendly and easy to talk to. He made me feel comfortable with the service he was going to provide and explained things clearly to me. He smiled and made this experience a good one. I will absolutely be booking future appointments with Breck and I will recommend him and Your Mechanic services to others I know. Thank you!

Brian

19 years of experience
101 reviews
Brian
19 years of experience
BMW Z4 - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Phoenix, Arizona
Brian knows what he is doing and I am so happy yourmechanic.com suggested him for my Z4 car inspection prior to purchasing and even happier he was available to perform my 1st service on the vehicle I purchased. His knowledge on the brand gave him ability to to an in depth inspection and he communicated very well informing me what to prepare for in ownership of my BMW. When he came to perform maintenance on my vehicle he shared so many tips with me. I will absolutely be having Brian come back out when I need future servicing on my car.

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