A car radiator is an auto part which helps to cool the engine. The engine encounters excess heat produced due to the movement of its various parts. Parts of the engine are exposed to continuous movement, causing friction which leads to the production of excess heat. If not attended in time, these problems can lead to overheating of the engine and consequently cause other problems--such as a breakdown.
Friction between the various parts of a car engine produces heat and obstructs the sliding of the piston. For absorbing the excess heat, anti-freeze water mix or coolant is filled in the engine chambers. It works on the principle of increasing the surface area through folds, which results in greater absorption of heat when the coolant enters the car radiator. There are various problems which can obstruct sound functioning of the cooling system. Some of them are given below:
Electrolysis: Electrolysis can be defined as the process of decomposition of electrolytes due to electric currents. Using water which is high in mineral content, or contaminated water in a radiator accelerates the process of electrolysis, causes sediment deposits, and wear on its interior. You can use a cleanser to remove this deposit or scrub it with a brush.
Damage to the Fan: An inappropriately installed fan can cause abrasion due to friction when it gets rubbed or stroked against the radiator. This lowers the cooling efficiency due to the damage caused to the radiator core. In most cars with a front wheel drive, an electric fan motor is lodged in front of the radiator. A cooling fan is meant to provide improved airflow through it. The fan functioning is regulated by sensors which control the engine temperature. Malfunctioning of sensors may lead to increased temperatures and car overheating. You should visually examine the radiator core frequently to avoid any further complications due to this.
Leakage in the Seam: With usage, car parts are subjected to wear and tear. Car radiator components such as fittings, seams, and hoses deteriorate with use. The parts such as clamps get corroded and rusted, seams start to leak, and sometimes overfill bottles also leak. In case of a seam getting broken or cracked, you will have to fix it with a sealant. In more severe case, you will have to weld the gap. Most often, the seam causes seepage of the coolant at the junction of the tank and radiator core. To avoid leakages and wear and tear, you should carry out periodic maintenance of the radiator.
Cooling Fins Damage: Continuous contact with water or coolant and dirt can cause the cooling fins on the core to wear, corrode, and get damaged. Periodic examination and maintenance of the core can enhance its life. The radiator core is glued to the tank by solder, where the damage occurs most often.
Engine Overheating: Sometimes, anti freeze circulation gets obstructed due to a bent radiator hose or malfunctioning of the thermostat. It results in water accumulation, reduces the coolant flow, and causes engine overheating. In this case, you will have to disengage the radiator for cleansing and replace the hose.
Drop in Coolant Level: Leaks contribute to the drop in the anti freeze levels. You can see the level in the radiator by taking off the cap. If you are required to add a pint of radiator fluid, it indicates engine coolant leak. In case of any prominent leak, you will notice a fluid pool beneath the engine on running it for a few minutes.
These were some very common problems faced with car radiators. However, periodic maintenance will help in detecting a problem and fixing it in time.