What Are the Signs of a Bad/ Failing Car Radiator?

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When buying used cars in Dubai, it is important to check if the car radiator is in tiptop shape. A car radiator, an essential component, has one major function: to cool off the car’s engine via the coolant to make sure it stays in good shape. Of course, this makes it imperative for a faulty radiator to be spotted and treated at one’s earliest convenience. 

Carswitch.com presents some tell-tale signs of a bad or failing car radiator:

1. Check for coolant leakage

Since the radiator of a car is filled with coolant, any break in the radiator’s body could result in leakage of the coolant. 

To ascertain whether or not this is the case, it is best to conduct a pressure test of your radiator via a professional mechanic. The process includes adding both pressure and colour dyes to the radiator’s cooling apparatus. If as a result dye leaks out, then it is time to call for an entire radiator replacement. 

2. Is your car overheated?

While the occasional overheated vehicle is not a big deal, a common occurrence is indeed worrying. 

More often than not, an overheated vehicle is a result of a broken or faulty radiator. If you’re lucky enough and the radiator has not completely given up on you, then it is a good idea to get this checked. 

On the flip side, your vehicle might break down and will be much more expensive and time-consuming to fix.

3. Check the texture of the radiator coolant

Radiator fluid, also known as coolant, comes in the shades of green, yellow, and red. 

One of the main signs of a bad radiator is when the coolant starts to turn a rusty, oily colour. This is the starting stages of turning into sludge. Since sludge is too thick to easily pass through the radiator, it becomes lodged and disrupts its functioning. 

4. Are your coolant levels low?

If your radiator’s coolant levels are constantly running low, this could be a sign of a radiator leak. Instead of topping up your coolant regularly, it is a better idea to consult a mechanic and get the radiator break repaired.

5. Has the water pump failed?

The water pump in the car is used to move the coolant around the engine which encourages heat exchange. The water has a set course: it flows through the radiator, pump, engine and then makes its way back to the radiator.

In case of a water pump failure, heat exchange fails, which will result in a rise in car temperature within minutes.

6. Air bubbles have been trapped

No matter which radiator you have, it is common for air bubbles to be trapped.

In the case of trapped air bubbles, coolant system or flow is disrupted and the car system will heat up which will cause the engine to heat up.

7. The thermostat might be faulty

A car thermostat has one main function: to constantly record the car temperature and take actions to control it when it goes too high or low. 

If your thermostat is faulty, the car will not notice, for example, the rise in vehicle temperature and hence, will not take the safety measures to cool it in time.

What will it cost to replace a car radiator?

As a benchmark, it will cost between 735 AED and 1850 AED to replace the radiator of an economy car. The parts will cost between 600 AED and 1600 AED, while the labour will cost between 370 AED and 735 AED.

So, the main takeaway is to get your radiator checked and repaired as soon as you find out something is wrong. Of course, you should only trust a professional mechanic for this purpose to ensure that your car stays in great shape. If you are interested in buying well-maintained cars in Dubai, head over to CarSwitch.com and start shopping!

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