Dealing with Saturn L200 Radiator Troubles
A radiator is a heat exchanger designed to transfer heat from the hot coolant that flows through it to the air blown through it by the fan. The radiator needs to do this because heat buildup will start damaging the engine and other parts surrounding it. Therefore, having a fully functional radiator is key to a vehicle's proper operation. Nevertheless, the radiator can and will fail under specific circumstances. Radiator failure is not an option. So, familiarizing yourself with the following major signs of a dying radiator will enable you to prepare and even make calculated risks. Here are the causes of concerns brought by a broken radiator.
Coolant leaking out
A leak is the universal sign of "this is bad news" when you find it in the car. This is especially true with the radiator. Radiators are supposed to be sealed in nice and tight so the hot coolant won't be able to spill out. The seal also allows the coolant to stay "pure,"not endangering its purpose with the presence of contaminants. But a leak is a leak, so it must be taken care of as soon as possible before it depletes the last drop of coolant from the engine. There are available resealants out there that will do the trick, but be wary because the radiator will give way soon.
Subcomponents that are starting to fail.
The radiator isn't just one hulking slab of heat transference. It is a carefully designed part with different minor components within it. It's not only found in cars but also in every engine that needs its temperature to be regulated. Although it's not as complicated as clockwork, the radiator will continue to perform at the height of its ability as far as the small parts can. Take the thermostat of the radiator as an example. A failure on its part will lead to a false or erratic reading of the engine's temperature. Therefore, the radiator won't be able to appropriately adjust the engine temperature. Should the engine be kept in the same temperature or should it be cooler? That won't be answered with a broken thermostat. One more example is a defective radiator cap. With a broken cap, there won't be enough pressure inside the radiator, thus the coolant will ooze out as it pleases. Contaminants may also enter freely, compromising the whole system. Take into account all the parts that might go bad in your radiator and change them as soon as they show signs of wear and tear.
Smoke puffing out
Perhaps a driver's worst nightmare is seeing his car puffing out smoke on the middle of the highway. And pretty much most of the time, this sign leads to a failed radiator. When heat increases, pressure also increases. That's one of the laws of thermodynamics. And when there's too much heat in the engine, the structure won't be able to hold up against all that pressure building up inside. That's the exact thing that the radiator needs to resist. This occurs because the radiator has one of the following problems: low coolant level, leaks, or clogs.