Victoria: Automotive Cooling System - Warning Signs of Cooling System Troubles

The National Automotive Radiator Service Association (NARSA) recommends motorists bring their vehicles to a cooling system specialist for a maintenance check-up at least once every two years. Maintenance check-ups by a cooling system specialist can help prevent problems, emergency repairs and/or replacements.

But if problems do arise, you need to recognize the warning signs to can take appropriate action.
The car's water pump circulates anti-freeze/coolant throughout the radiator and the cooling system. Such circulation protects the engine from overheating. The five most obvious warning signs of signs of cooling system trouble include:

  • Antifreeze/coolant on the pavement
  • Temperature warning light goes on or temperature gauge reads higher than usual
  • Engine overheating
  • Poor air conditioner or heater performance
  • Antifreeze/coolant on the floor of the passenger compartment

Any of the above signs could indicate a leaking, clogged or corroded radiator or heater and/or deteriorating or leaking radiator or heating hoses. Leaking or corroded radiators, heaters and hoses can restrict the flow of coolant, which reduces air conditioning performance, heater performance and overheats the engine. Radiators and other cooling system components can be repaired rather than replaced, if the problem is corrected quickly. If cooling problems are not repaired quickly, damage cascades to other parts of the vehicle, such as the engine, which makes repairs far more expensive.

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