How to stop radiator leak? What causes them? Does it happen all the time?
It is concerning when you see a puddle of dark liquid in front of your car. You will not take a long time before figuring out the liquid is leaking from your radiator. It can be very time-consuming and expensive to stop radiator leaks. This is especially true when you may have to replace the whole radiator.
On the other hand, if you do not fix it, there are consequences. Your vehicle can lose a lot of coolants and overheat the engine. Further, this will lead to a decrease in the engine’s efficiency as well as mileage.
However, you may be able to fix it with few methods. In this article, we shall discuss what these measures are and how to pull them off. Besides, there are several tricks you can learn to help you with small leaks.
What Happens If You Don’t Stop Radiator Leak?
Radiators, like many other parts in your vehicle, work hard to get you moving. You must be aware that there is a lot of heat output from the engine. The radiator helps in controlling the vehicle from overheating.
The antifreeze liquid will circulate throughout the engine. They help in dissipating the heat engine generates. This will allow the engine to run at high speed for a longer time.
Radiators ensure that the engine does not face any damages that can be caused due to overheating. Therefore, the cooling system must be in good shape to handle the rising temperature.
With a faulty cooling system:
- The vehicle can overheat, and the engine will be in trouble.
- It will damage numerous other parts such as thermostats, gaskets, and exhaust systems
- The radiator itself can get damaged affecting your vehicle’s efficiency and performance
- They will burn a hole in your pocket by reducing mileage and cost a lot of money to fix the damages
Therefore, it is important to stop radiator leaks before your vehicle overheats. It is more convenient as well as safe. You can also go for a high quality radiator fan to prevent this.
What Causes A Radiator Leak?
It is important to know the cause of a radiator to find a solution. There are several reasons why a radiator can leak. Here are some of the most common causes for radiator leaks.
Corrosion Of Radiator
Radiators, like any other metals, collect layers of sediment on the surface. This will lead to the formation of rust over time. These rust particles can start punching holes in the radiator leading to a leak.
Sometimes, the coolant you are using may be a low-grade product. Some manufacturers sell low-grade coolants with inefficient components.
A weak coolant will not be able to stand the overheating in the engine conditions and will start leaking. Therefore, it is vital to buy a high-quality coolant for your vehicle.
Poor Service Practices
Sometimes you may have changed the coolant yourself, or there could have been a human error. Poor service practices lead to leaking of coolant from the radiator.
For example, if you overfill the radiator, it can increase water pressure and cause leaking. Hence, it is important to get a service from professionals or experts.
If your thermostat is too old or is too bad, it can lead to a radiator leak as well. You must be aware that a dysfunctional thermostat can cause overheating and excessive pressure on the radiator.
It will lead to an alarming level of leaking. Hence, it is crucial to check your thermostat during every service.
Every time you get the fluid in your radiator replaced; it is vital to get a full system flushing. If you fail to do so, sediment will collect on the hoses and other pathways. This will further lead to rusting.
Furthermore, rusting will form holes in the radiator. This will cause leaking as well.
How To Stop Radiator Leak?
Here follows a step-by-step itemization of methods to stop radiator leak. Follow them carefully to fix your problem effectively.
Identify The Leak
Firstly, you need to identify the leak. The temperature gauge in your dashboard may climb high. If that does not happen, you may notice that your vehicle is warmer than it has to be.
You can also identify the leak by taking note of the puddles. If you find puddles of liquid underneath your vehicle, there may be a leak. Also, if you find any discoloration or rust around the vehicle’s radiator, the coolant is likely leaking from the radiator.
Locate The Leak
Secondly, you need to locate the leak. You will have to allow your engine to cool to find it. One way to do it is by opening the vehicle’s hood after you park it.
You may have to wait for a few hours for the engine to cool down completely. You can work on the vehicle only when it dissipates all the heat. Also, remember to use a pressure tester to locate leaks accurately.
Stop Radiator Leak
The final step is to stop the radiator leak. You can use a commercial sealant to close the leak. There are hundreds of products available in the market that provides an easy and quick fix.
Even though there are numerous ways to fix it, there are some standard steps you must follow. The first one is to wait for the radiator to cool completely.
Remove the cap and pour out all the contents of the sealant into the cooling system. You can add a coolant or a water mixture as well and close the radiator using the cap.
Start the engine and run it for about ten to fifteen minutes. After that, allow the sealant to work overnight.
Remember, this is only a temporary solution. You will have to take it to a mechanic sooner to fix it using epoxy.
In some cases, if the leaks are tiny, you can use sealants as a permanent solution. However, you will have to raise the issue with professionals during the vehicle service.
On the other hand, in some worst cases, you may have to replace the radiator if you can’t stop radiator leak. We hope that you will be able to fix it without having to go through many hassles.