Car radiator repair

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Car radiator repair

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Average driver saving* for a car radiator repair

What does a car radiator do?

It is the job of the car radiator to help cool down the engine, via the coolant. 

A lot of heat is created by engines whilst they are running. To reduce overheating within the engine, the car pumps coolant through the entire engine, a fluid that receives heat and carries it away from the engine. 

The coolant takes the heat created by the engine and moves it to the car radiator which then works hard to blow air across the liquid, making it cooler and exchanging the heat it brings with the air from outside of the car. 

Car radiator repair and replacement average costs and prices

Is your car radiator leaking? Need sealant, or a radiator flush? Our local specialists will help. The cost of a car radiator repair or replacement can vary depending on your car make and model. The average cost of repairing a car radiator with WhoCanFixMyCar is around £152.30.

Car makeAverage cost

Which car radiator repair service do you need?

A radiator is a vital part of the car because it is the main way your engine dispels heat during operation. A failing radiator may cause significant engine damage caused by allowing it to overheat.

  • Car radiator repair

    The average cost of a radiator repair booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £152.30.

    A car radiator is needed to cool the liquid that keeps your engine at the right temperature. Common faults include leaks, blockages, and overheating. A professional will be able to diagnose and repair your car radiator repair problems.

    Can include
    • Inspection and diagnosis
    • Car radiator repair
  • Engine coolant

    The average cost of an engine coolant replacement booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £88.11.

    If engine coolant levels are too low or are leaking, this can cause problems for your vehicle. A professional can top up your engine coolant quickly and easily to help avoid your engine overheating.

    Can include
    • Visual inspection
    • Engine coolant refill
  • Mobile mechanic

    The average cost of a mobile mechanic booked on WhoCanFixMyCar is £81.64.

    A mobile mechanic will visit you at your home or workplace and can carry out a wide range of different repairs. If the repair is more complex, the mechanic will collect your car, take it to a garage to be repaired, and drop it off when it's finished. The exact cost of a mobile mechanic will depend on the repair you need.

    Can include
    • Home visit
    • Servicing
    • Tyre change
    • Oil change
    • Recommended repairs

What is a car radiator made up from?

The car’s radiator is made from numerous parts, working together to vent heat from the engine, these parts include: The car radiator core: This is the biggest part of the radiator, and it is responsible for its main function. It consists of a large metal block with little metal fins that allows the coolant to vent heat to the surrounding air outside of the radiator. The hot air is removed via the grill at the front of your car. A radiator can contain one-core, two-core or even three-core. The radiator pressure cap: The coolant system is always under high pressure. The pressure cap of the radiator helps to create the pressure by using spring to create pressures of up to 20 PSI. Never remove the pressure cap yourself, as you could end up with severe burns. The radiator outlet and inlet tanks: The job of the inlet and outlet tank for the car radiator is to transport coolant from hot areas of the engine into the radiator. Transmission cooler: In most cars, the same coolant that cools down the engine is used to cool your transmission too. Sometimes there is a separate radiator to cool down your transmission fluid, but it is much more common to see a single radiator for both these functions.

Top warning signs that your car radiator needs to be checked

Here are warning signs that your car radiator may need repairing:

  • A rising dashboard engine temperature gauge

  • White steam pouring out from underneath the hood of your vehicle

  • If you find that the coolant reservoir is low

  • Coolant is generally bright green in color and has a very sweet smell. If you notice a fluid that has these characteristics dripping from your vehicle it is critical to visit the garage as soon as possible.

  • White exhaust smoke

Common car radiator problems

Car radiator overheating

When the radiator is not working efficiently – the car will overheat. This will be apparent through steam rising from under the hood, or the temperature gauge telling you that the engine is heating up too much. Cars operate best around 90c to 105c so to avoid damage, get your car’s radiator checked if the temperature shows above this.

Car radiator leaking

The most widespread cause of radiator leaks is a leaky hose, but you can have leaks in the radiator itself, too, which can be a larger problem and may require you get the radiator replaced. If the hose degrades or becomes loose, it may allow coolant to escape the system, which will lead to overheating within the engine. If you notice green coolant under your car, then it is a clear sign that your radiator is leaking, and you need to take it to a garage.

Build-up of mineral deposits

One more common radiator problem is a build-up of mineral deposits. Mineral deposits, by-products, debris, and other obstructive build-up in your radiator make it harder for the radiator to flow the proper amount of coolant to the engine. If your car is overheating or getting hot too quickly and there is no rust problem, leaks or detaching of the hoses, the mechanic will check inside the radiator for gunk build-up. The mechanic will often recommend a coolant flush to get rid of rust or gunk from your radiator system.

Bad water pump or thermostat

The radiator plays a function that relates to the whole coolant system, which is why it can sometimes be an issue with another engine part that is causing the radiator to malfunction. For example, if the thermostat is down, the system won’t know when to release the fluid into the radiator, and if the water pump fails, then the system will not have the pressure necessary to distribute the coolant. If either of these things happens, the radiator will not work as designed. A mechanic will replace a faulty thermostat or water pump in this scenario.

Overheating of the radiator when idling

An overheated radiator or engine is generally a sign of a faulty cooling system. But if you are noticing overheating when you are in stand-still traffic then the usual culprit is a faulty radiator fan. When the fan of the radiator breaks, idle overheating is a side-effect. The only solution to this problem is a replacement car radiator.

Find car radiator repair and replacement garages near you

Are you facing radiator problems with your car? Maybe you are finding your car is overheating? Or you are noticing smoke coming out from under the hood? We can help you find local car radiator repair garages so they can diagnose and repair the car radiator to get it cooling down your engine efficiently. We work with almost 15,569 garages and have plenty of car radiator specialists on our site to deal with any problems arising with your vehicle.

What is a car radiator’s function?

The car radiator has the job of keeping the car’s engine cool. The radiator is part of your car’s cooling system. Its function is to keep your car’s coolant cool.

It does this by passing the coolant (stored in a tank to its side), through the radiator’s core, which is cooled by a large fan blowing cold air over it. The hot air dissipates from the liquid, and the coolant is sent back around the hot engine to maintain the correct temperature—and the whole process starts again.

How can you tell when there’s something wrong with your car radiator?

The early sign of a faulty radiator is when you notice the temperature gauge heading towards the red end of the scale and then there might be a considerable amount of steam coming from the hood.

The engine light often illuminates to indicate that there is a problem with your car radiator. Alternatively, a puddle under your car is a tell-tale sign there is coolant leaking and there is a problem with the radiator.

What causes a car radiator leak?

A leak in your radiator not only creates a risk for overheating and engine damage, but it also creates a potential risk of engine fire. The most common cause of a radiator leak is corrosion in the radiator. Radiators, hoses, and hose connections collect gunk and rust that over time can create holes in the radiator.

Because a car radiator is made up of a large number of narrow tubes, it is actually quite fragile. A break in just one tube, or in the hoses connecting the radiator to the engine's cooling system, will cause a leak.

How long will my car radiator last?

There is no set lifespan of a car radiator. It is susceptible to wear and tear. So over time, weather conditions and typical usage, the radiator can either last a lifestyle of your use of the car, or not so long at all. If the car is exposed to extreme weather conditions, inevitable dirt and dust, then this can reduce the lifespan.

How do I know if engine coolant is leaking from my car?

The colour of your car engine coolant can vary depending on the type that is used, from green to orange, blue and red. Engine coolant also has a notably sweet smell. Oil on the other hand smells more like cooking oil, and is golden yellow in appearance when new, or brown to black once it has been through some usage.

The best way to monitor if it is in fact engine coolant leaking from your car is to monitor the levels in your reservoir before you make a journey, and after.

Is the car radiator repair or replacement part of the warranty?

Vehicle warranties often cover and protect against having to pay for parts and labour for electrical failure of components, such as the engine, fuel pump or radiator. You must check your warranty policy to find out if your car is covered.

Can you drive a car with a coolant leak?

It's really best to avoid driving a car with an engine coolant leak. Because a car radiator helps to keep your engine cool, lost coolant will cause the engine to overheat and become unsafe for driving.

How much does a radiator repair or replacement cost?

Vehicle radiator repairs will differ in type of issue, the amount of labour work needed, which parts of the radiator are affected, and therefore the cost will vary accordingly. Depending on your car make and model, a radiator repair or replacement could cost you around £224.22. With WhoCanFixMyCar, you will find reputable radiator repair garages local to you to provide quotes before you choose to book your job with them.

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