No matter what you drive, car, truck, or SUV, it uses a cooling system to regulate the operating temperature of the engine. This ensures that it doesn't, quite literally, melt itself. One of the main components of the cooling system is the radiator. This part reduces the heat of a specialized fluid called coolant that is pumped through the engine to keep it cool. If you run into any of the following issues it could mean it's time for a cooling system or radiator repair.
Rising temperature gauge
The first, and most basic way to see if a car is in need of a cooling system inspection is if your temperature gauge rises. Most vehicles have a dashboard temperature gauge that lets the driver know the current operating temp of the engine. If it is ever pointing to the hot zone it could indicate failure of some cooling system components, including the radiator. Shut the vehicle off asap to avoid additional overheating issues. Do not drive a vehicle if the temperature gauge is rising. You can cause complete engine failure.
White steam coming from engine
Another symptom of a cooling system failure is white steam coming out from the under the hood of your vehicle. Once this happens, get your vehicle off the road and shut it off right away. A failed or leaking radiator, water pump, thermostat, hoses, etc can result in a car that will no longer be able to regulate the engine operating temp. We have seen a simply hose clip failure cause a lot of smoke! It can be scary to experience, but important to get the car checked out right away.
Low coolant levels
Perhaps your coolant level light has come on the dash. This could indicate a leak in the system, it could indicate a sensor failure, or it could indicate service due. It is important to conduct routine maintenance from time to time, which includes keeping tabs on your coolant levels. Do not check this fluid while the car is hot because you can physically harm yourself or others. Be sure to only check this fluid level when the engine has been off for some time so that it is cool. If you find low coolant levels it is likely that you have a coolant leak somewhere.
White exhaust smoke
Another symptom of a coolant system failure is white puffy exhaust smoke. This is caused by coolant leaking into the combustion chamber. We definitely recommend a highly experienced and educated technician look at this problem as there are many things that can cause this. This may indicate a larger engine problem as there could be a head gasket failure, cylinder head damage, or even a crack in the block.
Visible coolant leak
A final visible symptom is that of coolant leaking under the vehicle. Coolant has a strong scent. Many smell syrup and some smell nail polish remover when coolant is leaking. If you notice green, gold, blue or pink liquid dripping from your car it means that there is a leak in the radiator or another component of the cooling system. The vast majority of cars on the road have gold or green coolant. Be sure to have this repaired quickly to avoid major engine damage.
Never put off having cooling system issues checked out, doing so could result in massive engine damage. If you believe you need cooling system or radiator repair in Lowell, AR or the neighboring communities you will want to visit NWA Car Clinic. We offer professional, full service auto repair for all makes and models. Give us a call at (479) 756-8886 to request more information about our shop or schedule an appointment.