About Me

Angela's Articulate Collection of Car Service Secrets, Tips and Tricks

Hi, my name is Angela, and as the wife of a mechanic, I was constantly tripping over car parts and complaining about the rows of project cars lining our garden. However, after a few years, I quit complaining and actually found joy in the art of auto repair. Inspired by that classic book, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance", I decided to start working on cars with my husband. This blog is the culmination of everything I have learned and more. I hope you enjoy reading it and that my tips and ideas guide you toward a healthier car and a happier, safer driving experience.


Angela's Articulate Collection of Car Service Secrets, Tips and Tricks

Keeping Your Cool(ant): 5 Signs You Have a Leaky Radiator

by Keith Simpson

Your car engine gets extremely hot. To prevent it from overheating, the radiator on your car pumps coolant around the engine. If your radiator begins to leak coolant, it can cause catastrophic and costly damage to your engine. Below are 5 signs that your radiator is leaking.

Coolant Level Drops

As you use your vehicle, it is normal for the coolant level to slowly drop. This is why you should check the coolant level at least once a month, topping it up as needed. However, if you notice a dramatic drop in the coolant level and find yourself constantly having to refill it, this could indicate a leaky radiator. Do not open the coolant cap while the engine is hot, as this can cause hot water, steam and coolant to escape, which could potentially cause burns.

Engine Overheating

If you notice that the engine is running hotter than usual and beginning to overheat, you should pull over as soon as possible and let the engine cool off before continuing your journey. Overheating is a classic sign that you have a problem with your radiator and you should avoid driving until it is fixed.

White Smoke

White smoke rising from beneath your bonnet or exiting your exhaust are caused when leaking coolant begins to burn off as it comes into contact with hot parts of the car. If you notice white smoke, you should pull over at the first opportunity and allow the car to cool before continuing to a garage.

Rust or Discolouration

If you notice any rust or discolouration on the radiator or other engine parts, it is likely to be caused by leaking coolant. You should examine the understand of the radiator for signs of rust and discolouration. When it has been parked for some time, you may also notice a puddle of bright green fluid underneath your car. This is the liquid coolant; it is highly toxic so you should wear gloves when cleaning it up and ensure not of it contaminates the surrounding environment.

Faulty Hoses

With continued use, the hoses which connect the radiator to the engine will being to degrade and wear away. The clamps that connect the hose will also tend to loosen due to vibrations from the engine. Worn hoses and loose connections are the primary causes of coolant leaks. You should carry out periodic checks for damaged hoses and clamps.

If you notice any of above signs, to prevent damage to your engine, you should make an appointment to have your radiator repaired by a qualified mechanic as soon as possible.