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January 4th, 2024 by

If your radiator is acting up, it’s essential to know the signs and symptoms of a bad radiator. In this blog post, experts at Headquarter Nissan will discuss the most common ones so you can identify them early on and get your radiator replaced before it causes more damage. We’ll also talk about the replacement cost of a bad radiator, so you’ll have a good idea of the money if you need to go through with a replacement.

What Does a Car Radiator Do?

Before we get into the signs of a bad radiator, let’s first go over what a car radiator does. A radiator is responsible for cooling your engine by circulating coolant through it. The coolant then goes back to the radiator, cooling off before being circulated through the engine again.

If your radiator isn’t working correctly, it can cause your engine to overheat. This can lead to severe damage and even a total engine failure. That’s why it’s essential to be aware of the signs and symptoms of a bad radiator so you can get it replaced before it causes any severe damage.

Signs and Symptoms of a Bad Radiator:

01: Overheating Engine

An overheated engine is one of the most typical symptoms of a faulty radiator.

Here’s how it happens: When the engine heats up and the thermostat opens to let coolant from the radiator into the engine, the radiator may not transmit coolant into the engine because it is defective (damaged), which would increase the heat level within the engine and eventually result in overheating.

If the thermostat indication is always in the red zone and your engine frequently overheats, your vehicle’s cooling system must be malfunctioning.

02: Low Coolant Level

If you find that your radiator’s coolant level is low, there could be a problem.

It could mean a leak somewhere in the cooling system, causing coolant leakage. To check for leaks, look around the radiator for any signs of wetness or coolant on the ground.

If you don’t see any leaks, then it’s likely that the coolant is just evaporating out of the system. In this case, you’ll need to check your cooling system for proper operation.

03: Rust or Corrosion in the Cooling System

If you notice a thick, sticky liquid while draining your coolant, it’s a sign that the radiation cooling system is not functioning correctly.

Although it can also be blue or orange, coolant is frequently neon green in color. It’s usually time to change the coolant if it appears dark brown or black. Old coolant, motor oil, or an excessive amount of sludge can all cause radiator clogs.

04: Damaged Radiator Fins

The fins will be dispersed and improperly positioned if you have a faulty radiator. The radiator cannot perform correctly if the damaged fins get clogged, blocking airflow. If you notice damaged fins on your radiator, it’s essential to have them repaired or replaced as soon as possible.


If you need Nissan service and repair, Headquarter Nissan, serving Auburn, AL – is always happy to help! There is no need to worry about radiator problems because Headquarter Nissan offers superior service and manufacturer-trained professionals.

Schedule your service today!

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