Fixing Radiator Leaks
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated May 28, 2010)
Radiator leaks are typically recognized rather quickly since there will either be a huge puddle of coolant or water under your car or the engine will quickly overheat and lock up. Fixing radiator leaks is not a particularly difficult task as long as you know what to look for. Here is what you do.
Locate where that leak is coming from. There are several different locations within the engine to check. Below is a list of these common locations, as well as the best way to fix it if necessary.
• Water Pump. If the leak is coming from your water pump then there's not much you can do to fix it short of replacing this faulty part. With most other fixes you can use a type of product called "stop leak" to, well...stop the leak. You can easily replace your own water pump, just be sure that you have the repair manual that corresponds with your vehicle and the correct part.
• Radiator. Sometimes the leak is in the radiator itself. The easiest solution is to simply pour some sealer (be sure that you use only cooling system sealer) into the radiator. This is only a temporary solution though. Take the vehicle to a professional for repair.
• Hoses. One of the more common reasons for radiator leaks is due to old dried out hoses. This is one of the easiest problems to fix because you can just replace the old hose with a new one. This is a task that even a novice can accomplish.
• Caps. Radiator caps can often be a source for leaks. Check to make sure that the cap is properly tightened. If the gasket or seal around the cap is damaged, or the cap does not seal properly for whatever reason, then purchase a new one.
Of all the causes of radiator leaks, the one that is most easily fixed is a damaged radiator hose. Replacing a radiator ...