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The following factors may be the causes of a leak:
A small leak was formed earlier, the owner of the car ignored the problem.
Loosening of the clamps, leading to a loss of tightness.
A large degree of wear on the thermostat gaskets.
Poor fit of the lid.
Signs and sources of radiator leakage
A leaking radiator is expressed by characteristic signs. They can be recognized even by an inexperienced motorist:
Misting of the windows.
Characteristic odor of the salon.
The heater cools the air in the cabin instead of heating it.
Appearance of light streaks on the motor. Most likely, pumps or thermostat are faulty.
There is white smoke coming out of the exhaust pipe when the engine starts. This means that the coolant got into the engine oil.
You can see steam coming from under the wheels of the car.
Before wondering “how to fix the leak,” you need to find it. To locate the leak, remove the radiator, hook a tire inflation compressor to it. Plug the outlets of all the hoses, tubes. Immerse the element in water. The bubbles that come out will tell you the location of the leak. If you are on the road when the element leaks, first let the engine cool down. Check all the spigots, the radiator itself to determine the extent of the damage. There may be a situation where the leak is difficult to find by visually assessing the condition of the radiator. You can use a specialized kit that includes a special UV-light additive, a gun for introducing additive into the system, and an UV lamp.
How to fix a leaking radiator?
If you are faced with a leaking radiator in your driveway, use the methods below. They will help to repair the leaking element with your own hands, provide an opportunity to temporarily solve the problem of the leak, without losses to get to the nearest car service center.
When a leak is detected, the question arises – how to glue it up? Specialists, experienced car enthusiasts advise the following methods:
Using a special sealant. The composition of the substance allows you to eliminate a small leak on the radiator, the joint of sockets. The size of the leak should be small, not more than 2 mm2. The principle of operation of the sealant is simple – after the interaction with the air, the liquid sealant solidifies in the form of a polymer film. The way to use the sealant is very simple – pour it directly into the radiator or into a tank with the coolant. By circulating through the cooling system, the sealant will bump into the crack and plug it. The use of sealant will not solve the problem for a long time, but will quietly allow you to get to your hometown, service station.
The use of “cold welding” materials. These are sealants with heat-resistant properties that have powdered metal in their composition. The sealant can be made as a ready-made mixture, or it can be made as separate components that require mixing before use. The surface of the element should be degreased before applying the sealant. “Cold welding” cures quickly, 15 minutes is enough. Full fixation takes about an hour. Additional reliability of the patch will help to acquire fiberglass reinforcement. “Cold welding” lasts quite a long time.
Do not panic if you encounter a radiator leak on the road. If you have the necessary tools, you will be able to temporarily eliminate the leak, after which you should as soon as possible go to the car service to the specialists. They will carry out a full repair of the part or replace the element with a new one.