A car’s radiator prevents the engine from overheating by removing heat from the coolant. It is one of the most essential components of a car, and any damage to it should be taken care of right away. Car radiators should be able to last up to 10 years if properly taken care of, but sometimes they become so damaged or worn out that it’s necessary to replace them by either going to a shop or buying auto parts online.

Leaking Fluid

Check your driveway or the floor of your garage for leakage. Coolants come in different colors, but leaking fluid will probably either be orange, green, or pink. You can also check for leaks in the engine bay. Leaking coolant is sometimes a sign of a minor problem, but it can also signify serious damage to your radiator. If you do discover leaking coolant fluid, clean it up quickly and thoroughly.

Drop in Coolant Level

A drop in the coolant level in the coolant reservoir is another sign of leakage. A small change in the coolant level is normal, but if the level drastically drops, you probably have a leak. Fill the coolant reservoir and check the level after a couple of days to be sure the level has dropped dramatically.


The radiator’s job is to prevent the engine from overheating, so an overheating engine is often a sign that something’s seriously wrong with the radiator. Even if the engine only overheats a little, it can be a sign of a damaged radiator. Your car’s temperature gauge should notify you if the engine starts to overheat.


Both the inside and outside of your radiator can rust, but interior rusting is usually more severe. The coolant can sometimes indicate rusting. It should remain its original color, and if it looks watery or sludge-like and has floating debris, the radiator probably has severe rust. If you notice small amounts of rust on the outside of your radiator, you will probably not need to replace it. Large quantities of rust on the interior require the radiator to be replaced.

Drop in Pressure

Corrosion in the radiator leads to a drop in pressure levels. To measure the pressure levels, you can use a pressure gauge, which attaches to the top of the radiator cap and measures the pressure as the engine runs. Normally, radiators should produce between 10 and 12 PSI.

If the radiator keeps running while it’s severely damaged, it can cause permanent damage to the engine. Auto parts in Canada are easy to come by, so it’s vital to fix or replace a radiator right away if you notice any problems.

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