What Ails Your Subaru Impreza's Radiator?
Your Subaru Impreza's engine produces heat in the process of making your car run—a LOT of heat. The fuel inside your car's cylinders burns at temperatures over 4500 degrees Fahrenheit. The most efficient engines often make use of just 20%-25% of that heat energy to drive your vehicle. Enough heat is left to wreak havoc in your vehicle by doing things like causing lubricating oil to evaporate and engine parts to jam or melt. Your radiator, as the main component of your vehicle's cooling system, keeps these things from happening. It's a job that may eventually wear out this component. Be aware of these common radiator problems.
As your vehicle's main cooling component, radiator failure will certainly cause overheating. You may notice this especially while driving at speeds of 55 mph or more. When this happens, check if the coolant is circulating properly. You can do this by starting your car with the radiator cap off and seeing if the coolant level smoothly bubbles over the top without overflowing and by disconnecting a radiator hose to see if the coolant is still flowing. However, before making any decision to replace your radiator, know that overheating can also be caused by other components like a faulty thermostat or a worn radiator cap. In some cases, especially those involving driving in hot weather and heavy traffic, there could just be more heat than your cooling system can handle.
Consistently low coolant level
Another symptom of radiator failure is when it starts leaking. This problem is detected easily enough by the pools of coolant on your garage floor or by stains on your radiator. Left unchecked, this problem will eventually cause your car to overheat. In some cases, you can remedy minor leaks by simply adding a cooling system sealer to the radiator. A radiator with more serious leaks needs to be replaced right away. Make sure you also inspect the radiator hoses. Spongy or brittle hoses may indicate that the hoses are the ones leaking and not the radiator. Replacing just the hoses would be easier and cheaper. Sometimes, you may find yourself losing coolant without detecting any leaks at all. This could mean that the fluid is evaporating—an indication that your cooling system is failing and it's time to replace your radiator.