Things to Know About Vehicle Radiator Replacement - information from the the pros at Shingle Springs Subaru serving Sacramento, CA

Any gas-powered engine produces an immense amount of heat for combustion. While this is great at making your Subaru do what it does best, it's also too much for the engine to handle on its own. Enter the cooling system, which does exactly what it sounds like. The radiator is a key component in this system, as it's what cools down the coolant once it's absorbed the excess heat.

So, if the radiator is damaged, the rest of your engine is in danger of overheating. At Shingle Springs Subaru, we believe that knowledge is power, and that knowing more about your Subaru can help you keep it well-maintained for years to come. With that in mind, we've gathered five common questions about radiator service.

The temperature gauge in a car, with the needle pointing too high.

5. What Are the Signs of a Bad Radiator?

A radiator that has been damaged will often spring a leak. In addition, a bad radiator can cause the engine to overheat. This is because the hot coolant that runs throughout the engine block goes to the radiator to cool down. Certainly, a leaky radiator is a problem, but that's not the only thing that might be wrong with the radiator. Sediment can collect in the small channels throughout the radiator core and prevent the flow of coolant, or something like a plastic bag can prevent the free flow of air over the radiator and reduce its ability to cool things down.

A new radiator installed.

4. Are There Other Components That Could Cause These Symptoms?

Symptoms of a damaged radiator can be caused by other problems. For instance, an overheating engine can be caused by problems elsewhere in the cooling system or a blown head gasket. And while it may seem easy to blame a leak near the radiator on the radiator itself, there are other causes there, as well. Coolant can also leak from the radiator hoses, thermostat gasket, or elsewhere. Because it's hard to pinpoint exactly what's causing the problem, we recommend that you make an appointment for an inspection with the people who know your Subaru best.

3. Can a Radiator Be Repaired, Or Does It Need To Be Replaced?

If the radiator itself is indeed to blame, it's generally best to replace it entirely. There are times when you can have the radiator core replaced rather than the entire unit. However, this is usually a better option for older vehicles that may not have a new radiator unit readily available.

A radiator with physical damage. 

2. Can I Fix a Leaky Radiator with a DIY Solution?

At auto parts shops, you may find solutions designed to seal leaky radiators without the expense of a complete replacement. However, these can cause just as many problems as a leak. The coolant moves through small channels in the radiator, and these DIY solutions can settle into these very same channels. When this happens, your radiator may get clogged.

1. How Can I Keep My Radiator from Going Bad?

If the radiator itself is damaged, chances are that a clog or a leak is the problem. This could be due to something beyond your control, like a rock that has ruptured the radiator core, a clog caused by sediment, or physical damage from an accident. However, a lack of proper maintenance is often behind many of the problems that require a radiator to need replacement. These can include the use of improper coolant, a stuck thermostat, or even a bad radiator cap. In cases like these, the best way to keep your radiator in good condition is to keep up with regular maintenance as recommended in the owner's manual or by an advisor at your local dealership service center..

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Shingle Springs Subaru

4045 Wild Chaparral Dr
Directions Shingle Springs, CA 95682

  • Sales: 530-677-8771
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