A radiator is a key component in your Audi’s cooling system, and its main purpose is to dissipate heat away from the engine. This is accomplished by circulating coolant through the engine block where it absorbs heat, and then passing it through the radiator where it is cooled by the surrounding air. The cooled coolant then returns to the engine where the cycle begins again. In order for this process to be effective, the radiator must be made of material that conducts heat well and has a large surface area through which the coolant can flow. Additionally, the radiator must be located in an area where it will be exposed to airflow, such as in front of the engine or in front of one of the wheels. Otherwise, the heat would simply build up within the cooling system and eventually cause the engine to overheat.
Perhaps most importantly, in order for a radiator to work as it should, coolant needs to be able to flow freely through the engine and into the radiator. If the radiator becomes clogged, this can endanger the entire cooling process.
Signs of a Clogged Radiator
There are a number of coolant system problems that may occur in your Audi, so how can you narrow it down to a clogged radiator? The most foolproof way is to have it inspected by a mechanic, but you can also look out for some of these signs.
- Overheating engine
- Steam coming from under the hood
- Decreased coolant level
- Reduced engine performance
Dangers of a Clogged Radiator
The biggest danger of a clogged radiator is that it does not allow the coolant to circulate through the engine, meaning your engine is inevitably going to begin overheating. Any time your engine overheats, you have to stop and wait for it to cool down before you can resume driving. While this may only be an inconvenience for you as the driver, heating up to such extreme temperatures repeatedly puts extreme strain on your Audi’s engine.
Such severe temperature fluctuations in the engine, left unregulated by coolant thanks to the clogged radiator, can cause a lot of wear and tear to your engine components, and can warp and even crack essential parts like your head gasket. That’s why it’s important to have your radiator unclogged as quickly as possible, before a relatively budget-friendly fix turns into something far more expensive and time-consuming.
How do you fix a clogged radiator?
Because the radiator is such an essential part of your engine, it is highly recommended that you let a skilled mechanic handle taking care of the clog in your radiator. Depending on a number of factors, the mechanic may choose to clear the clog one of two ways.
One way is using a chemical cleaner to remove any buildup that may be causing the blockage. While some of these chemicals can be bought in stores, they are caustic and can do damage if not handled properly, so use with caution.
Another option is a radiator flush. A radiator flush is a process in which all the coolant is removed from the cooling system and replaced with fresh fluid. This helps to remove any build-up of dirt, rust, or other debris that can clog the system and cause problems. A flush also helps to replenish any lost coolant and restore the system to its original performance. The entire process takes about an hour and should be done every two years or so. Although it may seem like a hassle, a radiator flush is a very important part of keeping your car running smoothly.
Professional Automotive is Here to Help
If you live in or near Marlborough, MA, and you suspect your Audi may have a blocked radiator, Professional Automotive is here to help. Our friendly and professional ASE-certified service technicians can confirm the problem and let you know the best way to take care of it.
At Professional Automotive, we understand that unexpected repairs like a clogged radiator can be difficult to work into your already busy schedule. That’s why we offer loaner cars, so you can get back to your day while your Audi is in trusted hands. Call or stop by today to learn more about how we can help get your Audi back in the best shape of its life.