In all combustion engines, a radiator plays the major role of a heat exchanger. The coolant, after absorbing heat from the hot engine block, passes this auto part, wherein it is cooled down with the help of an electrical or belt-driven fan, and returns back to the engine. In this way, the radiator serves as a heat exchanging system for the coolant. Structure wise, a car radiator consists of several folds and chambers for increased surface area to aid in effective cooling of the system.
Car radiator leaking occurs with time and requires instant fixation. The most obvious signs of this problem are a low coolant level and overheating of the engine. If you continue to drive with a leaked radiator, soon you will smell burnt coolant from the underside of the car hood. At the same time, you will notice a slimy puddle leaking from the car. This is nothing but the anti-freeze coolant dripping from the defected radiator. Repairing it is an easy procedure, which you can perform on your own, if you have the knowledge of some basic mechanical skills.
If you know the location and function of a radiator, you are at an added advantage and you will fix it in no time. For temporary fixing, many people prefer using ground black pepper and duct tape. You can also find a car radiator leak sealant, which is specifically meant for fixing radiator leakage. Depending upon the model of your car and whether the radiator is made up of copper or aluminum, you will find different radiator sealants.
The first thing to do is to detect the leak spot. Check for a hole and/or puddle deposits in the radiator. An easy approach is to wash the hose and the radiator with water and then look for leakage signs. In case, you cannot locate the leak this way, consider removing the radiator to check for it. You can dip the radiator in a tub filled with water and see if there are any air bubbles escaping from the radiator.
The next step is to patch up the leak. In case of leakage in the hose pipe, use duct tape to fix the problem. If the leak is in the radiator itself, then use the car radiator leak sealant, as per the directions provided in the kit. If you are using pepper, open the radiator cap and pour 1-2 teaspoons of ground pepper powder. Pepper powder is a good sealant, which automatically lodges into the leaks. And after coming in contact with water, pepper swells up, thus fixing the leaks properly.
Once you have used the sealant or pepper powder, add coolant up to the correct level. Then close the cap of the radiator and check again for leaks. If there is any, proceed with the above mentioned steps again until there are no more signs of any leaks. But, it is to be borne in mind, that this is a temporary solution and you need to contact a professional mechanic as soon as possible.
Regular inspection of the radiator is important to avoid leakage and other major car problems. As stated above, you can check the coolant level by opening the radiator cap. If it is low, then chances are high that your car radiator requires repairing. Though repair can be done on your own, it is always better to call a professional to solve the problem. By doing so, you can ensure smooth functioning of the radiator and your car engine.