5 Symptoms Of A Clogged Or Bad Car Radiator

July 28th, 2022 by

5 Symptoms Of A Clogged Or Bad Car Radiator


car radiator is as crucial as the engine block to keep your car cool. The radiator’s job is to transfer heat away from the engine using a network of tubes and fins. The car coolant circulates through the engine, absorbing heat, then travels to the radiator, cooled, and returned to the engine again.

There are many parts involved in the process. Radiator hoses, the water pump, the thermostat, and the radiator cap are all integral to the system. If even one of these mechanical parts fails, it can also cause your radiator to fail. You might need a radiator replacement in Buena Park, CA, which is a costly repair.

There are some symptoms of a clogged or faulty radiator that you can watch out for.

1. Temperature Gauge Reading Higher Than Normal:

The temperature gauge indicates the temperature of a car coolant. It tells you whether your car coolant is cold, warm, or hot. If the temperature gauge reading is higher than usual, it means that the car coolant is overheating. If the coolant isn’t effectively pushed through the cooling system or there’s a radiator blockage preventing adequate airflow, the coolant will overheat. These issues can cause your radiator to burst!

2. Radiator Leaking Coolant:

Leaking coolant is one of the most common signs of a bad radiator. If your car is leaking coolant, check the radiator hoses for any cracks or leaks. You should also check the radiator cap to see if it’s loose or damaged. If the radiator is leaking coolant, it needs to be repaired or replaced as soon as possible at the hands of a certified Honda technician. Low radiator coolant levels can cause the engine to overheat, which can lead to severe engine damage.

3. Radiator Hose Troubles:

Another symptom of a clogged or faulty radiator is if the radiator hoses are hot to touch. The hoses carry the car coolant from the radiator to the engine. If the hoses are hot, it means that the coolant is not flowing correctly and the engine is overheating. You can also check for your collapsed radiator hose by feeling for any bulges or kinks in the hose. If you find any, the hose needs to be replaced as soon as possible.

4. Coolant Color Change:

Car coolant is a bright green color when it is new, but over time it will change to a rusty brown color. It could be because it’s old or because the radiator is rusting on the inside and contaminating the coolant. Corrosion can lead to serious car troubles, including a blown engine. A foul odor, thick consistency, or gritty texture are also signs that the coolant needs to be replaced.

5. Radiator Fins Bent or Broken:

It’s important for a radiator properly dissipate heat, and bent or broken fins can cause big problems. Fins are the thin metal pieces that protrude from the radiator’s sides and help dissipate heat. If they are bent, it prevents air from flowing over the radiator properly, which will cause your car to overheat. Broken fins can also cause coolant and radiator fluid leaks. The culprits are usually small rocks or debris that kicked up while driving.


A car radiator replacement is an expensive repair that can be avoided if the radiator is appropriately maintained. Be sure to check the car coolant levels regularly and have any leaks fixed as soon as possible.

If you notice any clogged or faulty radiator symptoms, Scott Robinson Honda, serving Buena Park, CA, can help. Our certified Honda technicians will be happy to book your car for radiator replacement in Buena Park, CA, and get it running smoothly again.

Schedule an appointment today!

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