Radiator is the main component of the cooling system of a vehicle. Even though radiator lasts for many years, there may occur some problems over a period of time. Here are some of the signs of bad radiator.
Coolant leakage: The purpose of the coolant is to cool down the car engine when it is heated. If the radiator of your car is damaged then the coolant will automatically leak out. But, detecting the leakages in the coolant is a difficult task because it may leak when you are driving or when you park the car. But, once you identify the leakage in the coolant you can recognize that there is some problem with the radiator of the car.
Overheating: If your radiator is not in a good condition, the cooling capacity of the car may degrade or fails completely over time leading to over heating or break-down. This usually causes when you accelerate it hardly or when you drive at high speed. This shows that your radiator is effected and it also indicates with a fault thermostat or with a failing radiator cap.
Cracked hoses: To identify bad radiator you need to inspect the hoses of the radiator. Swollen or cracked hoses indicates that your car radiator is damaged.
Hard or spongy radiator hose: When your car engine is hot start squeezing the radiator hoses particularly at the bends in the radiator. During squeezing you need to identify the radiator hoses. If they are firm then they are in a good condition otherwise the hoses will be hard, spongy or else soft. This shows the radiator is not in a proper condition.
Sudden raise in operating temperature: Usually the car engine is designed to operate in normal temperatures i.e., in between 195 to 220 degrees. So, if you find that engine temperature gauge is operating at high temperature than the normal or there is sudden increase or spike in the operating temperature this shows the radiator is in a bad condition. You should constantly monitor the temperature to identify and rectify the problem when it is cool and never touch when it is hot.
Smoke or steam from engine: When there is smoke or steam coming out of the engine, this shows there is some problem with the radiator.