How to Know If Your Subaru Radiator Has Malfunctioned

The radiator in your Subaru vehicle is responsible for keeping the temperature of your engine under control, and when it malfunctions, it can be dangerous and costly to repair. Use this guide to learn how to know if your Subaru radiator has malfunctioned and what you can do about it!

Coolant Leak

A radiator needs coolant to heat your vehicle. If your radiator is leaking, you may notice a puddle of red or yellow fluid beneath your car when it’s parked. You should then test your radiator by adding water and letting it sit without driving; if there is still a leak after 24 hours, you probably need a new radiator. Also, when taking your car for an oil change, ask your mechanic to check your coolant levels and add some if necessary. In older cars, the level of coolant may not indicate a problem until the engine is on its last legs! Overall, be sure you know how often you should get an oil change and perform regular maintenance checks on all of your vehicle’s parts (not just its engine).

Overheating Engine

When your radiator fails, you might think that you’ll have an engine that doesn’t run very well. Occasionally, this is not the case. Some of these cars are designed in such a way that when their radiators fail, they overheat. That can be dangerous! Be sure to watch out for strange temperatures in your gauge cluster while you drive. Signs of Overheating include:

  • Strange odors coming from under your hood.
  • Steam coming from underneath it.
  • Even hot spots forming on top of it (and potentially melting).

If you notice any strange issues like these, get them checked immediately! A vehicle with an overheating engine needs immediate attention, regardless of why it’s happening!

Steam from Engine

Are you seeing more steam coming from your vehicle’s hood than normal? Are there puddles of water under your car when parked, predominantly after it has just been driven? These are both signs that your radiator may be malfunctioning. There will also be overheating, which will require immediate attention. Steam is also one of many reasons why you should not drive with a broken radiator; however, if you do notice steam coming from your car, it does not necessarily mean that something is wrong with your radiator. It may just be hot air escaping due to a hole in an internal hose or pipe.

Collapsed or Torn Radiator Hose

Radiators are subject to corrosion and rust over time. Even if your car has no other problems, your radiator can corrode until it bursts. When that happens, coolant will leak out of your radiator and possibly into your engine compartment. You’ll then see oil or smoke pouring out of your tailpipe, which means you have potentially severe problems with either your car’s cooling system or its engine block itself. The good news is that you can take steps to prevent further damage by spotting these telltale warning signs early on.

Low Coolant

A radiator needs coolant to function effectively. When there is not enough coolant in your engine, it can cause several problems, such as overheating and possibly burning up your motor. Check your gauge periodically and make sure that you have sufficient coolant levels. Also, keep an eye out for any leaking from hoses or tanks.