Common Chevrolet Blazer Radiator Problems and Their Causes
The radiator is the essential part of your vehicle's cooling system that dissipates excess heat from your engine into the atmosphere. A powerful four-wheel drive vehicle like the Chevrolet Blazer needs a hard-working radiator to keep its engine running at the right temperature and to keep it from overheating. Now a lot of things can go wrong with this component. Here are the most common warning signs you can expect from your radiator and the culprits behind them:
Low coolant level
If you find yourself adding coolant and water to your radiator a lot more frequently than usual, then your radiator may be leaking. Pools of coolant on your garage floor are another tell-tale sign. The leak could be from a torn radiator fin causing the coolant to leak through the upper radiator hose, or a crack in the radiator itself. This problem will eventually cause your vehicle to overheat. To confirm that the radiator has gone bad, get a pressure tester from an auto parts store and use it to determine the exact source of the leak and to see if the radiator is still capable of pushing the coolant through the rest of the cooling system.
Coolant with a dirty, muddy appearance (commonly known as radiator sludge) can be caused by a rusty or faulty radiator that's allowing debris to enter and contaminate the coolant. This sludge is incapable of effectively circulating and cooling your engine, thus resulting in overheating. Another problem is when the sludge leaves small deposits in the radiator that cause the fins to clog. Fixing this problem often involves flushing your radiator and cleaning it and/or replacing the intake manifold gasket. Simply draining and replacing the coolant is not enough since some of the sludge ends up remaining in the radiator and contaminating the fresh coolant.
Isolated cool spots on the radiator
Start your vehicle then carefully touch parts of your radiator. You can also use an infrared thermometer for safer scanning. If you find any cold spots, that could indicate that your radiator is clogged and full of debris. Try flushing your radiator with a flush kit to push out any blockage. If the upper radiator hose isn't warming up, then it means your thermostat isn't opening and needs to be replaced.