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Can A Radiator Leak Be Fixed? Yes, It Can! 

Can A Radiator Leak Be Fixed? Yes, It Can! 

If you're wondering, “Can a radiator leak be fixed?” The short answer is yes. Here is how you can fix the leak: 

Auto Repairs Are EXPENSIVE


  • Prepare all necessary equipment 

  • Inspect the vehicle for leaks locations

  • Select the proper method for fixing the leak 

  • Consult a mechanic if necessary

The radiator is one of the most important components in your vehicle’s cooling system that prevents engine overheating. The radiator removes any excess heat collected by the coolant after it runs around the engine to prevent engine destruction.

Dealing with a radiator leak is a very serious situation that might result in significant consequences, including damaging the entire engine. Unfortunately, engine damages are not simple, and many drivers might give up on their vehicle just because they can't afford to replace the engine. 

The good news is that there are some ways to fix radiator or coolant leaks, not necessarily by a professional mechanic, but there are things that you can try by yourself. However, in certain situations when leaks are severe, your only one option is to consult a professional mechanic.

This article highlights the main role of the radiator in your vehicle, the different causes for radiator leaks and helps answer the question “Can a radiator leak be fixed?” Finally, it highlights some things you can try at home to take care of any minor leaks. 

What is the radiator, and what does it do? 

Your vehicle's radiator is one of the most critical components within the cooling system. It is responsible for reducing the engine temperature and turning it to stay within a specified range to prevent overheating.

When the engine's temperature exceeds a certain threshold, the engine might stop working and get completely damaged just by the excess heat. Therefore, maintaining a properly working radiator is a must in any vehicle to eliminate and prevent major damages that could cost you a lot of money.

To better understand the radiators job in your vehicle, it is essential to step back and familiarize yourself with How the cooling system works and where in the process the radiator comes in: 

  • During the combustion process, the engine generates a lot of heat that prevents the engine from working properly.
  • Then, a fluid called the coolant runs around the engine to collect any excess heat and reduce the engine temperature.
  • After a certain point of time, the coolant becomes very hot and requires releasing its heat to something other than the engine. Otherwise, it won't be able to reduce the engine temperature as it should.
  • That's why the radiator comes into play. When the coolant runs around the radiator, the heat is taken away from the coolant, and the coolant becomes cold again to do its job and repeat the cycle. 
  • As the coolant enters the radiator tubes, the very helpful coolant forces the radiator cap to open after a certain level of pressure 
  • When the radiator drops the coolant temperature to a certain level, the coolant can then escape from the other side of the radiator.
  • Once the coolant is at the working temperature, it repeats the process and runs around the engine again to cool it down. 

What causes the radiator to leak? 

Like any other system in your vehicle that involves a certain fluid, there is a chance for coolant to leak out of the cooling system. However, it is most likely that most coolant leaks happen somewhere around the radiator, and that's why automotive experts typically refer to the coolant leak as “radiator leaks” on most occasions

  • Radiator clogging 

One of the most common reasons for radiator leaks is clogged radiator tubes. Over time of use, the coolant is expected to collect debris or contaminants as it runs around the engine. Unfortunately, when the coolant runs through the radiator tubes, it leaves much of this debris and contaminants resulting in a partial or complete radiator clogging.

When the radiator is partially or completely clogged, the pressure is disturbed around the tubes, and there is a very high chance for coolant to leak from weak areas through small or even larger cracks. 

  • Radiator corrosion 

Another very common cause for radiator leaks is corrosion building up around the radiator itself or the radiator tubes. Like any other internal component in your vehicle, rust can make its way to the radiator. When it does, it creates some holes that eventually become larger cracks allowing coolant to leak easily. Since coolant is at a certain pressure, it will find locations with the highest rust and most expected holes to escape to the outside of the cooling system. 

  • Loose or broken radiator cap 

Another potential cause for radiator leak is very simple, which has a loose or broken radiator cap. Therefore, if you notice any signs of a coolant leak from the radiator side, you need to check the radiator cap and make sure that it's well tightened or it's not broken.

This type of cause is very simple and will not cost you a lot of money because all it takes is either tightening or replacing the radiator cap. However, ignoring this problem leads to major troubles that could cost you thousands of dollars in no time. 

  • A blown head gasket 

If you don't already know, the head gasket is a very thin metal plate sitting on the cylinders to secure them and prevent any combustion gases from leaving the cylinders and at the same time preventing any coolant or oil from getting to the cylinders.

When the head gasket is blown, coolant can leak towards these cylinders, and also it might leak to locations around the radiator itself. 

Unfortunately, a blown head gasket is one of the most critical situations that any driver never wants to deal with because it costs a lot of money to be repaired. There are high chances for people to give up on their vehicles when dealing with a blown head gasket.

It's not expected that you will wait for a blown head gasket to detect the coolant leak because your vehicle will obviously show you many other symptoms indicating a blown head gasket before coolant leaks in the first place. 

  • A failed water pump 

The water pump is one of the other important components within the cooling system. When the water pump fails to circulate the coolant around the engine, it results in some damages that could let a coolant leak in locations close to the pump's connections. 

  • A bad expansion tank 

The expansion tank exists in certain vehicles somewhere next to the engine. Since the tank is connected to the radiator from one side, when this tank fails, it impacts the behavior of the radiator and might cause the coolant to leak. 

Can a radiator leak be fixed? How to fix a radiator leak? 

Since radiator leak is a critical issue, many customers reach out to us wondering, “can a radiator leak be fixed?” If yes, how to fix the radiator leak? 

The good news is that radiator leaks are solvable in some scenarios and depending on the cause of the problem. Here's all you need to do to fix the radiator leak: 

  • Prepare all necessary equipment 

Before you start the job, you must prepare all the necessary equipment to prevent any delays that might take unnecessary time. In general, to fix the radiator leak, you'll need the following:

  • Safety protection items like safety glasses, protective gloves, says well
  • Cooling system pressure tester 
  • Your selected method for stopping the leak (will be discussed in detail below)
  • Inspect the vehicle for leaks locations

Once you have all equipment ready, the next step is to determine where the leak is coming from. You don't want to go blindly and try to fix the leak without knowing the exact location. Keep in mind that the leak might be happening from different locations that you need to identify in some instances.

One quick method to locate the radiator leaks is using the pressure tester. Perform a visual inspection and use the pressure tester around the area to check for the proper pressure level. Connect the pressure tester to your radiator and allow it to pump up to 15 PSI. This way, weeks will occur clearly. Keep in mind that if you post too much pressure, you can cause damages to the cooling system in areas that are not already damaged. 

  • Select the proper method for fixing the leak 

Once you detect the leak, the next step is to decide on fixing the leak. There are plenty of ways for taking care of coolant leaks that you might want to try. Every method has its pros and cons. 

The commercial stop leak 

One of the fastest ways to stop any radiator leak is to rely on some commercial stop leaks products. However, keep in mind that although this method is very simple, it is not recommended because it can't introduce some clogging and should be considered as the last option. 

The good thing about these commercial stop leaks don't only seal the leaks around the radiator, but also they take care of any leaks around the entire engine compartment.

Eggs 

Yes, many people used eggs to take care of any radiator leaks. However, this method is not guaranteed and might not provide you with reliable results. The other thing is that using eggs in the cooling system might cause clogging, which affects the entire cooling system pressure and prevents coolant from doing its job. 

Epoxy 

Epoxy is considered the best option among all listed above because it provides you with reliable results and doesn't require many skill sets to be applied. You can drain it in the radiator and allow the radiator to sit for a couple of hours for the epoxy to do its job and seal all cracks.

Weld or solder 

If you are driving a vehicle with a radiator made of brass or copper, you might want to consider the Weld or solder options for sealing any cracks. There are some welds available for vehicles equipped with aluminum radiators. 

  • Consult a mechanic if necessary

Although the mention techniques help resolve minor radiator leaks, they're not necessarily the permanent final solution for major leaks. In fact, there are some situations where the only resort is to reach out to your mechanic to get the problem resolved. 

Thus, if you could not fix the problem after trying these techniques, contact your mechanic before driving the vehicle because some major leaks do not allow you to drive the vehicle without causing damages to the engine. Once your mechanic gives you the green light for driving the vehicle to the nearest shop, you can do so. Otherwise, consider towing the vehicle to the nearest repair shop instead. 

Conclusion

Radiator leaks are one of the very serious problems that could impact the cooling system and therefore damaged the engine. Unfortunately, dealing with these leaks is not rare, and there will be a point in time where you might notice them.

This article helps you understand the main role of the radiator and the different causes for radiator leaks. It also answered the question of “can a radiator leak be fixed?” And as you noticed, yes, the radiator leak can be fixed in most scenarios.

If, for any reason, your mechanic concluded that the radiator got to a point where it's beyond repairs, the only option you have is to replace the radiator. However, if your vehicle has other major problems related to the engine or the transmission, it might not be worth investing the time and money in replacing the radiator. Instead, you recommend that you sell your car and take advantage of the money as a down payment to another better vehicle. Luckily, Cash Cars Buyer is one of the few list companies that accept your vehicle whether it has a major issue in the radiator or even the engine. 

Cash Cars Buyer is one of the top-rated car removal companies in the nation that guarantees to pay you the top dollars and will provide you with free towing despite your living location around the United States. 

Our process is very straightforward and doesn't take more than a couple of days to get your car removed safely and for the most money. 

All it takes you is to:

  • Describe your car’s type and condition
  • Receive our instant free quote
  • Accept the quote 
  • Get your car removed and receive your cash payment on the spot!

To learn more about our process and our teen, you can reach out to us by giving us a call at 866-924-4608 or visit our home page click on the free instant online offer.