What Causes a Cracked Radiator?

by Robin Durand

A vehicle's radiator helps to keep the engine from overheating. It contains a mixture of water and coolant, and if it is cracked, your car can break down. A bad radiator can also lead to engine damage. Several things can cause a cracked radiator.

Rust

Rust can destroy the metal in the radiator, causing a crack.

Rust can destroy the metal in the radiator, causing a crack. Car radiators are prone to rust because they hold water and are usually at least partly metal.

Thermostat

The radiator has a thermostat that helps to regulate the amount of fluid used to balance the engine temperature.

The radiator has a thermostat that helps to regulate the amount of fluid used to balance the engine temperature. A faulty thermostat can cause overheating or high coolant pressure inside the radiator, leading to a crack.

Head Gasket

A leaking head gasket can cause overheating or high coolant pressure, resulting in a crack.

Heat

Summer heat makes it more difficult for the radiator to be cooled by outside air.

Summer heat makes it more difficult for the radiator to be cooled by outside air. Not maintaining the radiator fluid can lead to overheating and a cracked radiator.

Cold

Frigid winter temperatures can lead to a cracked radiator.

Frigid winter temperatures can lead to a cracked radiator. If you don't maintain the radiator fluid properly, it can freeze and expand inside the tank, causing small fissures to become a crack.

About the Author

Robin Durand is a paralegal and college instructor in South Carolina. She received an associate's degree in paralegal studies from a technical college in South Carolina, and has more than 13 years' experience as a paralegal. She has been a freelance writer for over one year and enjoys writing articles relating to legal matters and house and home information.

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