Have you ever experienced a kind of overheating effect in your car? This could be a symptom of the blocked radiator, which could lead to other hoards of troubles too. Let us see some of the symptoms of a blocked radiator here and also learn the simplest method to get rid of this trouble.
What Causes A Clogged Radiator?
A Clogged Radiator is generally caused due to the old radiator fluid or a cooling system which hasn’t been serviced and flushed regularly. The fluid which sits for comparatively longer periods without the engine in use, or the one that has never been changed invites sediments and rust that blocks the radiator pipes and fins.
Symptoms Of Blocked Radiator:
When your radiator gets clogged, you could experience the following symptoms in your vehicle:
- Overheating Effects : A clogged radiator would always lead to engine overheating. The water pump present is hardly able to circulate proper coolant inside the engine block and back to the radiator, because of blocked radiator tubes. Also, the heat cannot be effectively removed from the hot radiator fluid since it can’t flow through the clogged radiator tubes where the radiating of engine heat to the outside air takes place.
- Poor Internal Heating : A clogged cooling system and heater core could lead to lack of heat inside the vehicle due to the inability of the hot engine coolant to pass through the heater core.
- Leakages : The cooling fins of the radiator can develop corrosion due to contaminated radiator fluid, which leads to visible leaks of the coolant. These leakages get worse with time and are enough to damage the radiator permanently.
- Water Pump Malfunction : Clogged radiator indicates that the engine coolant is old, contaminated and its lubrication and anti-corrosive properties are gone. The result can be damages to the water pump of the engine, which leads to improper circulation of engine coolant.
- Leaking or damaged head gasket : A clogged radiator can result in engine overheating which in turn can cause serious engine damage such as a leaking or blown head gasket or cracked cylinder head which is a serious and expensive engine repair. The result will be excessive white smoke coming from the exhaust, excessive use of coolant, rapid engine overheating and rough running of engine.
How to Confirm Radiator Leakages?
In order confirm radiator leaks, look for any signs of steam produced when the engine is hot. A “sweet” musty odor you can smell is also an indication that radiator fluid is leaking. A leaking radiator may produce coolant “steams” from the core or a radiator tank-seam and you may also see visible drops or stains or your garage floor or driveway.
What Are The Consequences Of Incapable Radiator?
A radiator that is not properly working may suffer a drastic decrease in its cooling abilities. And as this happens, the other components of the cooling system too could start deteriorating, which will have a severe impact on the engine’s performance and reliability.
Is a Clogged Radiator The Only Cause To Vehicle’s Overheating?
Not always. Vehicular overheating could also be caused when the radiator fan doesn’t operate or the coolant level is low. The radiator cooling fan is extremely important especially in hot weather and stop-and-go driving since it is needed to draw air through the radiator to remove heat from it when the can is stopped or moving slowly. Electric fans can fail especially when it is on more often such as when the air/conditioning system is on. Without the fan, it is impossible to remove almost half of the waste heat of the engine. Radiator caps also need to work correctly with no leaks. The cap keeps the system under pressure and increases the boiling point of the coolant. A defective cap will cause overheating.
What Is The Cost Of Repairing The Radiator?
When replacing the radiator hose, it could cost you around $35 to $65 and this is a comparatively easy job. For a complete replacement of radiator, be ready to spend around $300 or more, and this also depends upon the kind of vehicle you possess.
Handling A Clogged Radiator:
A clogged or blocked radiator of your car could be redressed in a few easy steps which are as follows:
- While the engine of your car is cool enough, park it on a level platform. Take a bucket and place it under radiator drain petcock . Drain the radiator completely.
- Get a bottle of some heavy duty radiator flush (such Gunk C2124). Removethe radiator fill cap and pour the radiator-flush into the radiator. Then fill the remainder using fresh water. Replace the cap back.
- Switch on your vehicle and allow it to run for about 15 minutes so that the radiator-flush moves completely through the cooling system. You may need to run the engine longer depending on the severity of the contaminants and accumulation in the cooling system. Switch the engine off and allow it to cool before proceeding towards the next step.
- Remove the radiator fill cap and open the drain petcock. Allow the radiator fluid pass into the bucket that is already present.
- Get a water hose and put it inside the radiator fill cap to allow water inside vehicle’s cooling system. Wait until the escaping water is clear and smoothly draining. Through this, you could ensure that your radiator clog has been cleared.
- Shut off the water and allow it to drain completely. Then fill the system with the appropriate antifreeze/ coolant and add water until the system is full.
- When done, make sure the radiator is full and the overflow tank is at least half-full, then replace the radiator cap. Then start the engine and check for leaks. DO NOT attempt to drive the vehicle yet. It is EXTREMELY important that you ensure that all air is removed from the system before driving the car or the engine may overheat. To do this, let the engine idle for 15 to 30 minutes (do not drive). During this time, the coolant level in the radiator will drop significantly when a valve in the cooling system (thermostat) finally opens as the coolant and air circulates and air is bled from the system.These air pockets will flow into the radiator after the thermostat opens when the engine reaches a certain temperature, usually about 180°so it’s important that the air pockets are replaced with liquid coolant. You can check that the thermostat has opened by feeling the upper radiator hose with the engine running (it will feel hot if the thermostat has opened). The next step can be a little tricky since it will require re-removal of the hot radiator cap so the coolant level can be topped off. You will need a rag to grab the cap, or you can wait until the engine re-cools (recommended). Be careful because the coolant will be VERY HOT, so make sure you stand out of the way in case the cap comes off. Then re-fill the system until it is full(may require 1 or 2 quarts or more coolant), and replace the cap.
Follow these steps whenever you experience symptoms of the clogged radiator. Clogged radiator may cause overheating of the engine and also make the engine noisy. Prevent the damage soon, before it damages the engine completely.
If you are purchasing a used vehicle and suspect its radiator to be clogged, you could contact ‘Car Inspectors’ to get the vehicle checked completely and also get legible and comprehensive reports for the same.
Also, if you need to get on-site car repair services, contact ‘Car Inspectors’ to get both minor and major repairs completed in a cost-effective manner.