Car repair man checking the coolant system
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Has your car overheated recently?

If you’re experiencing overheating during normal driving, this is a pretty good sign something might be awry with your cooling system. Overheating is typically thanks to coolant leakage, which means the system can’t effectively keep the engine cool.

Overheating can damage components within the engine bay, and continued leakage is not good for any element of the system. It’s important to get the problem checked out as soon as it’s noticed in order to determine the severity. We’ll discuss this more in-depth below.

Nip into Natrad where a qualified technician can perform a free cooling system check! Find out how here.

Can I drive with a car radiator leak?

Depending on the cause of leakage, you may get away driving with a radiator leak for a short time. Eventually, the lack of coolant will cause your car to overheat – which may in turn precipitate damage to various engine bay components. That’s why it’s a good idea to stop and inspect the issue as soon as you notice it.

Signs and symptoms of radiator leakage

Close up of green fluorescent coolant liquid leaked out from the engine coolant

Some key indicators that your radiator may be leaking include;

  • Temperature gauge spike (if the car has one)
  • Overheating
  • Coolant pooling underneath your car
  • Sweet smell
  • Low coolant level in radiator

Sometimes the leak may be small and you may be losing coolant slowly. If that’s the case, you probably won’t notice until the car overheats. It is then a good idea to check your coolant levels regularly to see if it needs a top up or is losing coolant frequently. This can help prevent overheating or alert you to a possible complication early on.

Causes of radiator leakage

There are several reasons why your radiator might be leaking, some more serious than others. If you notice any of these, notify your nearest Natrad as soon as possible;

  1. Radiator cap malfunction: the radiator cap keeps the required pressure inside the cooling system. Without it, coolant may boil over or escape from the radiator. You can read more about this here.
  2. Broken or disconnected hoses: this one is pretty obvious. Over time, radiator hoses can crack or become disconnected, which can lead to coolant leaking. This is likely to leave a puddle under your car and is luckily a pretty easy fix if nothing else is wrong.
  3. Radiator corrosion: corrosion breaks down a radiator and causes deterioration in the materials. This can allow coolant to leak from it where the metal has weakened.
  4. Header tank leak: sometimes weak stress points such as where the header tank meets the radiator can become perforated or crack. This may allow coolant to escape.

If you’ve identified a car radiator leak, talking to a cooling specialist at Natrad can help determine how serious the leak is. It could be as easy to replacing some hoses or hose clamps to replacing the entire cooling system.

If you’re in need of a replacement radiator, Natrad has a high quality range suited to a large variety of vehicles. Contact your local store today to find out more about our 3 year nationwide warranty on radiators.