Without a properly functioning radiator, your vehicle will inevitably overheat, and if the engine gets too hot, it can suffer permanent damage that’ll require expensive repairs. Luckily, it’s pretty easy to tell when your radiator is having problems because it’ll exhibit several hard-to-miss warning signs.

What are they? Read on to learn about the four most common signs of a leaking radiator.

1. Puddle Beneath the Vehicle

If you ever notice a puddle of fluid beneath your parked vehicle, that may be a sign of a radiator leak. But not all puddles are worth worrying about. Puddles of water typically result from air conditioner condensation, and those are perfectly normal.

Green-ish puddles, on the other hand, should set off alarm bells as they almost indeed indicate a leak in the radiator. If you can’t tell what color a puddle is, grab a paper towel, napkin, or old towel and dab at the fluid to find out. If it’s green, you probably need radiator repairs.

2. Decreased Coolant Level

It’s normal for coolant levels to drop while a vehicle is operational since coolant must circulate through the radiator and around the engine cylinders to maintain a healthy engine temperature. But when you notice a drastic decrease in the amount of coolant in your vehicle’s reservoir, you likely have a leak. The reservoir itself could have a tiny leak, the radiator may be damaged, or one of the hoses may have a crack or may have detached.

Check out how to properly maintain your radiator, so you can keep your engine from overheating. 

3. Corrosion or Discoloration

When coolant leaks out of the radiator, it can cause discoloration or even corrosion if the leak has been present over an extended period. Check the underside of the radiator and any nearby components that may have come into contact with radiator fluid. If you can see any signs of corrosion or discoloration, it’s in your best interest to have a radiator repair specialist take a look at your ride.

4. Repeated Engine Overheating

If your engine starts overheating frequently, that’s a sure sign something is going on with your radiator since it’s the radiator that prevents the engine from getting too hot. But a radiator leak isn’t the only issue that might cause engine overheating. Frequent overheating can also result from other issues, including:

●        A damaged or nonfunctional water pump

●        Faulty radiator fan

●        Clogged, damaged, or detached coolant hoses

To find out exactly what’s causing your vehicle to overheat repeatedly, you’ll need to have a radiator repair specialist take a look. And if you do end up needing extensive radiator repairs, it may end up being more cost-effective to get a high-quality used radiator installed instead.

Are you thinking about buying used? Then you’ll definitely want to check out our tips for selecting a quality used radiator.

Get a Quality Used Radiator for Less at Ace Auto Parts in St. Paul

Worried your radiator is on the fritz? Let our team at Ace Auto Parts help you out! We stock high-quality used radiators, as well as a wide variety of other used car parts, including radiator hoses, clamps, coolant reservoirs, and much, much more.

Whether you’re on the hunt for a quality used radiator or something else, feel free to use our parts search tool to see if we have it in stock. You can also give us a call at 651-717-4299 for more information or stop by our St. Paul location, and we’ll get you taken care of!