Modern motor vehicle engines can reach operating temperatures in excess of 200 degrees. While motor oil keeps most moving parts of the engine lubricated under such extreme conditions, the need to keep the engine itself at safe temperature is a concern for automotive designers and vehicle owners alike. The heat produced by a running engine is excessive and can cause significant damage if left to run rampant, thus motor vehicles have a radiator and cooling system to dissipate the heat. Unfortunately, leaks in the system can occur and one of the few ways to discover that this has been going on under your nose – and hood, for that matter – is a surging temperature gauge on the dashboard or a puddle underneath your engine bay. At ECP Inc, reviews will show that we love all things automotive. That’s why we’re taking time out from our usual protective coating work to explain ways to track down the source of your leaky radiator.
1) Clean the scene: All you need to do is hose off the engine bay to clear away dirt, grime and coolant that has been dripping somewhere in the system and leaving its tracks all over the place. After this, turn your vehicle on and allow it to run for a period of time. You’ll now be able to visually inspect the radiator at the front of the car as well as the hoses and pipes that flow in and out of it.
2) What to look for: A puddle of coolant on the ground is a sign of a problem, not a symptom. Keep an eye out for the source of the leak by finding spots wet with coolant not long after hosing the engine bay down. You may also see or hear spraying or hissing, which indicates a compromised system that’s also pressurized.
3) Buying some time: Auto owners can visit their local parts shop for sealants that will be inserted through a radiator hose. While not a permanent fix, these products will seal the majority of leaks as they set in the system. The downside is that these sealants mix with the antifreeze in the system, causing a deterioration of its cooling properties.
4) And now for something completely different: Cracking a few eggs and dropping the yolks into the upper radiator hose will eventually result in the yolks congealing and plugging up small leaks. Similarly, pouring approximately half of a shaker of pepper into the radiator cap will result in plugging of pinhole leaks.
While ECP Inc reviews focus on the protective coating products we’ve offered auto dealers since 1969, the trial and error that comes with troubleshooting car problems is another side project of ours. Hopefully this information gets you back on the road this summer.