Burlington Auto Repair

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Radiators in Burlington, ON

Radiator Services in Burlington, ON

A Radiator is simply a heat exchanger made to transfer heat from hot coolant to air moving around the radiator.

Modern cars use aluminum radiators. These radiators are made by attaching thin aluminum fins to flattened aluminum tubes to extend the cooling surface area exposed to air.  The coolant flows from the inlet on one side of the radiator to the outlet on the other by passing through a waffle of tubes and fins. As air is forced through, it transfers and disperses the heat to the air. 

What are the signs of a defective radiator?

  • Leaking coolant under the car.  The coolant flows through the radiator.  If there is a leak in the radiator there will be a puddle or drip under the vehicle
  • The car will overheat. If your car temp gauge is running higher than normal it could mean that something is wrong with the radiator.
  • Sludge in the radiator.  If coolant goes bad, rust or debris may contaminate the fluid making it turn the colour of rust or oil and it may thicken as scale begins to flake of hot surfaces. The flow of coolant through the radiator can be blocked or restricted with a build up of scale, sludge, or otherwise dirty coolant.
  • Low coolant levels are a good indictor that the coolant is somehow escaping the contained system.  Even a small steady decrease in coolant can indicate a problem radiator. If you need to add coolant – your radiator may need attention.

Is it safe to drive with leaking radiator?

Every car needs a fully functioning cooling system to remove heat.  For the system to work correctly, it must be sealed as the high pressure these systems generate raise the boiling point of the coolant. If the rad is not sealed, the coolant will boil, generate steam, and the liquid overflows.  Leaky radiators do not hold pressure.

The real problem is that an engine over heat can have disastrous consequences.  A blown head gasket can mean an expensive engine replacement and possible total loss of the car.  The inconvenience and minor cost of a tow truck is small by comparison.

What should I do if my radiator is leaking?

The only safe thing to do is to get the vehicle to a repair shop by tow truck.  Any attempt to drive the car to a repair shop is at risk of causing total engine failure.  The coolant system is second only to the oil lubrication system in importance.

The Auto Station has skilled and trained technicians that can diagnose and repair your vehicle quickly.  The most cost-effective solution is immediate attention. We offer radiator service in Burlington, ON. Contact us today!