Signs My Car’s Radiator Is Too Old

Your automobile relies on the radiator to store and cool off the coolant. This keeps the engine’s temperature within the normal range. The average lifespan of a radiator varies between three years and 10 years. In some cases, the radiator can last longer than 10 years. Thankfully, the radiator will give you some signs that it is too old and it needs to be replaced. Here are the signs.

Coolant Leak

The radiator can start leaking engine coolant if it is corroded. The radiator is metal and the coolant is liquid. This is a bad combination in the long run. Eventually, the liquid will corrode the metal and the corrosion will eat through the bottom of the radiator. Consequently, you will end up with a puddle or spots of coolant on the garage floor depending on the severity of the leak.

Rusty Coolant

If you look at the coolant, you may be able to see the rust that is in it. There may be metal flakes in the coolant or the coolant may look orange. Either way, you need to replace the radiator because the corrosion is damaging it. In addition, the corrosion can be circulated through the cooling system and damage or clog the cooling system, including the radiator hoses.

Damaged Fins

The radiator can also get damaged by road debris. Specifically, anything that is large enough to fit through the grille can pelt the radiator mercilessly. In some cases, this will cause damage to the radiator fins and inhibit airflow through the radiator. The fins are not something that can be replaced independently. Unfortunately, the radiator must be replaced if the fins are damaged.


Finally, all of the above will cause your engine to overheat when it is running. Unfortunately, you should not drive your automobile if the engine is overheating. Excess heat can blow the head gasket or crack the cylinder block. It can also crack the exhaust manifold. As such, we recommend that you play it safe and call for a tow truck to bring your automobile to our shop.

We are here to help you with all of your automotive service and repair needs. This includes the radiator. Give us a call today to schedule a service appointment so we can inspect the cooling system. We will take a good look at the radiator and advise if it needs to be replaced.

Photo by superohmo via Canva Pro

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