Cooling System – Common Symptoms of Failure

This article is intended to educate you (the owner) about many common symptoms indicating some form of cooling system failure. Hopefully after reading this article, it is easier for you to diagnose & troubleshoot your car. Here are some common symptoms of cooling system failure. If you have any questions, please contact us at

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Leaking – The most obvious symptom of cooling system issues is leaking. If you notice a puddle of liquid collecting underneath the engine bay when the car isn’t in use, CHECK your cooling system. The coolant in your radiator is typically red or green and slimy in texture. REMEMBER, coolant (otherwise known as antifreeze) is toxic and should always be cleaned up. Leaks can be a result of a bad hose or a cracked radiator. The easiest way to deal with a leak in your system is to determine the origin of the leak and fix it by replacing the necessary components.

Overheating – Overheating is yet another obvious sign of a failing cooling system. The radiator’s main purpose is to maintain the engine’s normal operating temperature. Therefore, abnormal heat levels are a clear sign that something is wrong. If your vehicle is overheating, do NOT continue to operate the vehicle. If you continue to drive, you can cause further (and more expensive) damage to the vehicle. There are a variety of different factors that could cause you vehicle to overheat, so it is ABSOLUTELY necessary to have the system checked for flaws as soon as you can.

Drop in Pressure – If your radiator has been corroded and the core has been deteriorated, it will produce lower pressure levels than normal. Radiators typically produce between 10 and 12 PSI of pressure. If the pressure levels are not within that range, then there is an issue within the system. It is a simple task to test the system for low pressure. Attach a pressure gauge to the radiator cap and observe the gauge. If the pressure is not within the PSI range indicated above, then you know a component is operating incorrectly.

Low Coolant Levels – While coolant DOES naturally deplete over time and should periodically be replenished, a sudden drop in coolant level typically indicates a leak in the system. To determine the origin of the leak, check all of the hoses and connections within the system to make sure everything is properly constructed. You can also top off the system with water and run the vehicle, making it obvious where the leak is coming from.

Rust – Rust can be a common symptom for radiator failure. When a radiator leaks, the hot coolant spills onto the core and causes the metal to rust. It is a clear indicator of a leak & system flaws.

– For pricing and availability on a new, factory replacement radiator, visit

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