Fixing Your Car Radiator

When it comes to car problems you don’t want to deal with while driving in the middle of nowhere, a busted radiator is high up on the list. Responsible for helping to keep your car cool and thus preventing your car from overheating, a radiator is essential to keeping your car running smoothly, and thankfully, routine leaks are not too difficult to fix on your own.


Let’s consider the above scenario. You’re driving down the road and you notice your car is starting to overheat. You obviously can’t take your radiator out and fix it on the side road, mainly because the average person doesn’t keep sealant in their car, or the necessary to with which to remove it. If you find yourself in such an emergency situation, then a simple jug of water and some black pepper may save your life.

If you suspect your radiator is leaking, then all you need to do is remove to cap once the engine has cooled down and inspect to see if the radiator fluid is low. If it is, then a leak the likely culprit. The water will help cool down the engine and the pepper, which expands in water, can occasionally be used to fill some very small leaks. Of course, this is a temporary measure and you should thus get your car to a mechanic as quickly as you can.

A leak in a radiator can typically be discovered with the presence of collected radiator fluid under the car. If there is no visible leak, then you or a mechanic should take the radiator out of the car and use a radiator pressure kit to test for leaks. This works by filling the radiator with air, then submerging it in water to look for bubbles, which are caused by holes.

The holes in a radiator can be fixed a few different ways. Most auto shops sell cans of stop-leak that can be added that plug up the holes. For larger holes, a soldering gun or epoxy gun can be used, though this depends on the material of which your radiator is made. If you have no experience working any of these items or no real familiarity with auto repair, then you should take your car into a trusted mechanic to do the work for you.

While the cost of fixing your radiator yourself is far cheaper than taking the car to a mechanic, that’s nothing compared to not knowing what you’re doing and inadvertently causing more damage. As such, you should always know exactly what you’re doing before attempting car radiator repair yourself.

Posted on June 11, 2012 at 9:00 AM