Radiator is the part of the car that is responsible for preventing the engine from overheating. When a vehicle’s engine is in use, it puts off a lot of heat and friction. With the help of coolant, the radiator helps to keep the engine running at a temperature that is healthy for the vehicle.


  • Not enough coolant. Your vehicle needs to maintain a certain amount of coolant, or the engine can overheat. Check coolant levels at every oil change to avoid having them get low. If you notice a sweet smell, almost syrup like, coming from your vehicle, it may indicate coolant is leaking.
  • Failed thermostat. Though not technically a part of the radiator itself, the thermostat is often the culprit behind an overheating vehicle.
  • Leaking radiator hose. These are the most common source for leaks in your cooling system. The radiator hoses connect to the engine and allow coolant to flow between the two. Radiator hoses can fall victim to wear and need to be periodically replaced.
  • Radiator Leak. When the radiator itself leaks, the source can be harder to find than when it is a leaking hose. Steam or bubbles coming from the radiator may point to the location of the leak. These repairs are tricky and should be handled by a professional.
  • Broken water pump. This is a fairly common problem. The pump moves the coolant throughout the engine to regulate the engine temperature. When the water pump fails, the water will fail to circulate properly and your car will overheat.
  • Broken radiator fan. Most modern vehicles have an electric fan that pulls air through the radiator to help keep the car cool at low and idle speeds. If your car is doing well on the freeway, but it overheats in traffic or at idle, then your radiator fan may be broken.

When you bring your vehicle in for a coolant system/radiator check-up, there are several tests performed to make sure that everything is ok:

  • Pressure test on the System- to make sure the system does not leak under pressure
  • Thermostat Test- to make sure it is regulating the coolant flow properly
  • Pressure Test on the Radiator Cap- to ensure that it will release at the proper pressure
  • Fan Test- make sure the engine fan and all other fans are working properly