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How to Tell If Your Radiator is in Need of a Service

A car’s cooling system is among the blood supplies of the engine. Similar to the human body, the engine may overheat if it is not taken care of properly. A failed radiator or cooling system may result in big problems for your car.

A radiator responsible for controlling the temperature is made of several components, like coolant and fan. If any of these parts start to malfunction, they will make your car overheat and experience other problems. To help you prevent your car from overheating, here are some of the signs you may use to tell if your radiator needs service:

Coolant Leak

Over time, radiators may develop minor cracks, which make coolant seep out. Rust may make this process happen quickly. If these cracks become big, you may start noticing that coolant under your car.

Coolant may also leak from different parts of the cooling system. Technicians familiar with radiator repair in Sydney can carry out a pressure test so as to determine the cause of the leak. Some technicians may also advise you to replace your radiator when the leak continues, even after repair.

Sweet Maple Syrup Smell

Among the distinct signs indicating that you need a coolant flush is a radiator smell, reminding you of pancakes. Coolants have ethylene glycol, majorly known for its sweet-smelling characteristics.

As your vehicle burns through antifreeze, it might put off smells, which most drivers usually compare to butterscotch or maple syrup. Although the smell is nice, it could be a sign that your radiator requires your attention.

Malfunctioning Thermostat

While thermostats are not part of radiators, they are important in helping them function the right way.

Thermostats are among the common factors, which result in engine overheating. If your vehicle’s thermostat begins to fail, the car may start overheating rapidly.


In case you pop the hood of your vehicle and realize discoloration spots on the surrounding engine parts or radiator, there is a chance that fluid splashed out or leaked.

When the radiator fluid boils and evaporates, it usually leaves behind a burn spot that may quickly begin to rust.

Low Level of Antifreeze

Among the key steps, car owners need to consider is to ensure they remember checking the antifreeze level periodically. If your antifreeze level is low, your coolant light may turn on. This means there is no enough antifreeze for your engine to work properly.

In this situation, you need to add a 50/50 mix of distilled water and antifreeze to the cooling system reservoir or radiator to determine whether there are leaks, which might result in a low coolant level.

Presence of Sludge

The antifreeze in your car needs to be red, yellow, or green. When the radiator starts to malfunction, contaminants will discolor the antifreeze, making it become an oily or rusty color. Eventually, this changes into sludge, and the fluid may not be able to cool your engine properly since it will remain in the radiator.

If you or your mechanic notices sludge in your radiator, ensure you replace it immediately because it might result in extensive damages to the transmission and engine.

Final Thoughts!

Engines operate at extremely hot temperatures. For you to prevent your radiator from overheating, it is important to control the engine’s temperature. This may also prevent gaskets and seals from breaking, resulting in oil leaks.

If you experience one of these signs, ensure you have an appointment with a nearby local auto repair workshop so as to fix the issue immediately before it becomes costly and causes serious damage.