Radiator Repair | Replacement

Radiator Repair and Replacement in San Antonio, TX

Auto Service Experts Radiator Shop

 

Radiator problems are one of the leading causes of car overheating. A failed, leaking, or cracked radiator requires immediate diagnostics and repair to avoid overheating and prevent major damage to the engine, transmission, and other components. Auto Service Experts ASE Certified Master Technicians and Mechanics are certified specialists in automotive cooling system service & repair and have been repairing radiators in San Antonio for over 20 years. We have the proper training, experience, and state of the art equipment to accurately diagnose the specific cause of any radiator or cooling system problem. Our thorough diagnostic procedures allow us to repair the problem completely and correctly the first time, without replacing any parts unnecessarily.

 

FREE Car Overheating Diagnostics With Repairs.

Cooling System Pressure Reading for Radiator Repair on Toyota 

Technician checking cooling system pressure on a Toyota Camry 2.4. This vehicle developed a slow leak in a radiator hose causing the engine to overheat. It continued to be driven while overheating, resulting in a blown head gasket.

 

Because radiator problems can result from many different issues, it is extremely important to have a qualified mechanic perform a full diagnostic to determine the underlying cause. Simply replacing the radiator without correcting the issue which caused it to malfunction will not usually solve the problem. This approach is known as "throwing parts at a problem" and leads to multiple repairs, unnecessary expenses, and more time & inconvenience for you.

 

We Back Our Radiator Replacements and Repairs With a Complete 3 Year/36,000 Mile Warranty on Parts and Labor. Limited Nationwide Coverage Included.


Common Radiator Problems, Causes, & Repairs

Cracked Radiator/ Radiator Leak - The radiator may crack allowing coolant to leak out. A cracked radiator may be caused by several issues including rust, high coolant pressure or overheating, lack of fluid maintenance, a blown head gasket, extreme cold or heat, or a broken or bent fan hitting the radiator. Signs of a cracked radiator include visible bubbles and steam escaping from the component. These types of leaks may be difficult to find and usually require replacement to repair.


Radiator Hose Leak - The hoses which connect the radiator and engine wear out over time and can break, crack, or collapse allowing coolant to leak out. They must be replaced as a part of regular maintenance. Having hoses periodically inspected and replaced prevents coolant from leaking out to a dangerously low level and helps to avoid damage to more costly cooling system components.


Radiator Fan Failure - When driving at low speeds or idling, an electric fan circulates air past the radiator in order to reduce the temperature of hot coolant exiting the engine. When driving at higher speeds, a sufficient amount of air is pulled through the radiator for it to function without the aid of the fan. A vehicle which requires radiator fan replacement will often only overheat when driving in traffic.


Clogged or Blocked Radiator - In order to flow through the cooling system, coolant travels through tiny passages in the radiator and engine. These passages may become obstructed, clogged or bent preventing coolant from properly flowing through the radiator to be cooled. Several issues can restrict coolant flow. Coolant which is contaminated with debris or mineral deposits turns to "sludge" and clogs the system. Coolant System flushes are recommended every 20,000 miles to prevent this problem. Body damage can also warp or break coolant passages.


Broken Radiator Cap - If the cap is broken or does not seal properly coolant pressure within the radiator is reduced which causes leaks, collapsed hoses, and cooling system performance issues.


Other Cooling System Problems Which Affect Radiator Performance:

Cooling system components all work together, each relying on the others to properly perform its specific function. A problem with any one component can affect the radiator.


The water pump is considered the heart of the cooling system because it is responsible for pushing coolant through the system. Water pump failure prevents coolant from traveling through the radiator to be cooled. A failed water pump requires immediate replacement to avoid major engine damage from overheating.


Your car's thermostat opens and closes to regulate the flow of coolant through the radiator. A failed thermostat can cause a car to overheat in a matter of minutes. If it gets stuck in the closed position, coolant is completely blocked from reaching the radiator. This condition causes the engine to overheat in a matter of minutes. If the thermostat is stuck in the open position, coolant will continuously circulate through the radiator. This prevents the engine from sufficiently "warming up" (or reaching optimum operating temperature) and causes performance and fuel efficiency problems. Having the thermostat replaced is the most common repair required when the engine overheats.


Air Bubbles - When air gets trapped within the system it creates bubbles which prevent coolant from flowing properly. To repair this problem, a mechanic will bleed the cooling system.

 

A Blown Head Gasket May Cause a Cracked Radiator, and Vice Versa.

If your car's head gasket is bad, it can allow exhaust gases to leak into the cooling system and mix with coolant. This can create extremely high pressure within the system and cause the radiator to crack. On the other hand, a cracked radiator leads to overheating and overheating causes head gasket failure. Signs of a blown head gasket include white smoke escaping from the exhaust, milky or cloudy looking oil, low coolant levels, engine misfires, air bubbles in the cooling system, and overheating. Blown head gaskets require labor intensive repair and are typically quite costly. This is yet another reason to properly maintain your radiator and cooling system.


Signs of Radiator Problems

Your vehicle is overheating. When a car overheats the dashboard temperature gauge reaches the red zone, and steam may be visible exiting the radiator.


Coolant can be seen bubbling out of the radiator or may form a sticky, sweet-smelling puddle beneath the front of the vehicle.


Low coolant may be caused by a leak in the radiator, coolant reservoir, or radiator hoses.

Radiator & Cooling System Maintenance Prevents Overheating


Engine overheating is often easily avoidable by properly maintaining your vehicle's cooling system. The radiator plays a major role in keeping the engine cool. As hot coolant travels through the system, the cooling fins in the radiator remove excess heat, cooling the liquid down before it is sent back through the engine. A crack in the radiator, leaks in the hoses or coolant reservoir, or problems with other cooling system components can spell disaster for your engine. If you notice your vehicle overheating or steam coming from the engine, pull over immediately! Never remove the radiator cap while the engine is hot as this can cause serious burns and injuries. It may be a good idea to have the vehicle towed to the best auto repair shop near you to be diagnosed by a qualified mechanic. It doesn't take "driving hot" for long to cause serious damage. A tow is much cheaper than repairing engine damage caused by continuing to drive while the car is overheating!

ASE master technician Carlos Rodriguez

(210) 495-6688
Auto Service Experts

13050 San Pedro Ave. San Antonio, TX 78216

Mon-Fri 8:00am - 6:00pm