Cash for Clunkers

Tara Hornor
Written byTara HornorUpdated - October 19, 2023
Tara Hornor
Tara Hornor

Tara Hornor is an experienced writer and entrepreneur with over two decades of experien... | See full bio

John Rush
Edited and Fact-Checked byJohn RushEditor
John Rush
John Rush
Automotive Content Accuracy Auditor|||

With over four decades of experience, John Rush is a highly accomplished business owner... | See full bio

When Should Car Radiator be Replaced

It is highly practical for a car owner to have the skills and knowledge to recognize problems with his or her vehicle. As a car owner, being able to identify car trouble correctly can help save extra costs in repairs before the problem gets out of hand. One such car problem that is important to catch early on is anything related to the car radiator.

car radiator

Why pay attention to the radiator?

Any vehicle with a faulty radiator will eventually lead to major car problems.  A car radiator replacement is one of the most expensive repairs a car owner could face. This is because the radiator is one of the most important parts of your vehicle in keeping an engine cool and running smoothly. If anything happens to the car radiator, your engine could quickly overheat, especially in hot weather or when idling.

In short, the car radiator removes excess heat from around the engine. When driving, heat accumulates as the engine burns the fuel to run your car. A ton of energy is needed to run a car, and that energy generates heat, so just imagine how hot the engine could get if it is unable to keep the temperature down.

Even if the radiator does not need an urgent replacement (related to malfunctioning mechanics), a car owner must still pay close attention to maintenance to avoid costly repairs. A car’s maintenance schedules for routine services determine the correct time to visit your radiator service mechanic and complete maintenance that will keep your car radiator up to par. Often, some of these visits will also include a replacement of the coolant (which is usually done from 25,000-40,000 miles) to keep your car in optimum condition.

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car radiator

When is it necessary to replace a car radiator?

If you have an old car that has not kept up with maintenance and is running rough, then you might be wondering if it has to do with the car radiator. The following are some of the most common symptoms of radiator trouble and signs that it might need to be replaced:

car radiator

Leaking fluid

This is one of the most common signs of radiator failure. If your car is leaking coolant because of a crack, the radiator won’t be able to run well. To identify the location of the leak, look for steam coming out from the car radiator. This will help you locate the leakage. Replacement of the hose on a regular basis is really necessary to keep the car running effortlessly. If you catch this problem early on and repair it, a complete replacement of the radiator probably won’t be necessary.

Rust within the radiator

Remember that presence of rust in your car radiator will signify serious damage to the cooling system. When a piece of rust gets into the car’s engine, it can create a viscous liquid when mixed with the coolant. This will hamper the engine from cooling down. Whenever this happens, the radiator should be flushed out in order to remove the coolant that has mixed with the rust. A sludge (results from mixing of coolant and rust) will eventually cause corrosion of metal parts of the car. Again, if you can catch this early enough, you can save your car radiator from needing to be replaced.

These are just some of the things you should pay attention to when you want to avoid an expensive car radiator replacement. Always keep in your mind that routine car maintenance is really important. Once the car is on schedule for maintenance work, you should follow the details and the schedule. This will help you keep the integrity of your car over a period of time.

car radiator

At Cash for Clunkers, we encourage car owners to keep up the maintenance for their vehicles. We also understand that maintenance might have not been possible, or perhaps the previous car owner avoided keeping up maintenance work. If your car radiator is in need of more repairs than you are willing or able to complete, we can help take your clunker off your hands and put cash in your hands instead! Should you be interested, please visit, call now, or get an instant quote from Cash for Clunkers for more information.





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