The radiator is an integral part of your car's cooling system. If it is not functioning well, your engine overheats and leads to more problems. Since the engine has many components that rapidly work together, producing heat, the coolant you fill in your car absorbs the heat and takes it to the radiator for cooling. After cooling, it is sent back to the engine, and the process continues. Whenever your radiator is clogged or not working well, your engine does not cool, which causes your car to overheat, and that may result in more severe problems with the interior parts of your car. Here are the common tale-tell signs your car radiator is damaged.

High-temperature gauge readings

Always monitor the temperature gauge to check if the readings are higher than normal. Many modern cars monitor the temperature digitally and indicate a red warning when the temperature is too high. The standard operating temperature for many vehicles is 195-220degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature falls consistently on a higher level, your car may have a clogged radiator. It occurs due to corrosion, dirt, or rust, which prevents the coolant from moving freely to the radiator and your engine. Scheduling a radiator repair with a reputable auto servicing company such as Natrad is necessary to check the problem.

Discolored fluid

Your car’s coolant should be green or yellow and at times red or pink. It should be able to flow freely from the engine to the radiator and back. As your vehicle continues to operate, sludge and other internal deposits can contaminate the coolant, whereby it changes to a rusty color or the color of engine oil. You can check the color of your coolant from the coolant overflow tank. The contaminated coolant will also be slightly thicker; therefore, it will not move freely between the cooling system parts. That compromises your radiator by clogging it, but an immediate radiator flush can clean the system.

Blocked exterior radiator fins

Thin fin tubes run the front of the radiator to enable it to perform maximum cooling. The tubes carry hot coolant, and as you drive, the radiator fan rotates air around the fins to reduce the coolant's temperature before it gets back to the engine. Whenever these fins are blocked by dirt, leaves, bugs, and other contaminants, air does not flow freely; therefore, the coolant does not cool as much as it is supposed to. As such, the radiator may need some cleaning to improve airflow.

Damaged or bent radiator fins

Apart from blocked exterior radiator fins, they may also be damaged or bent due to blocked materials which prevent unrestricted airflow. A radiator inspection is necessary to examine the state of the radiator fins.

The heater for the passenger is not working.

Your car's cabin heater depends on the hot coolant passing through the core. It produces hot air, which gets blown into your interior part of the vehicle. Whenever your radiator is leaking or clogged with dirt, you will not get the warm air you need during a winter day. It can be an issue with a bad radiator or a damaged thermostat.


A green, yellow, red, or pink fluid may be leaking out from your car. That reduces the coolant level, and when there is not enough coolant, the engine will overheat. So, if you notice any leaks on your driveway, there is a problem with your radiator.


Knowing when your radiator is damaged helps you schedule repairs on time before expensive engine damage occurs.

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