If you have heard your car radiator making noise when off, the noise may be caused by the radiator pressure cap. It could be that the seal over the cap has broken and now leaks air. Also, the radiator fan may be responsible for the radiator making noise.
In this article, we examine questions like, “do radiators make noise?”, the causes of the noise you hear from your radiator, how to identify the noise and remedies to stop the noise.
Car Radiator Making Noise When Off - Causes
Your radiator making noise when off could be due to two main reasons. Firstly, it could be caused by a damaged radiator cap letting out too much pressure and air leak. The second could be that your radiator fan rotates even when the engine is switched off.
The radiator cap is an essential part of the cooling system as a whole. It is designed to let out heat from the coolants to avoid overheating and damaging parts of the system. Over time, the radiator cap gets damaged, and excessive air escapes causing the whistling sound you hear.
In addition, another reason for radiator noise is the radiator fan is still rotating when the engine is off. Some vehicles are designed to allow the radiator fan to continue to turn even when the engine is switched off to enable the fan to cool down the engine when it reaches a particular temperature.
Sometimes the engine reaches a point where it is extremely hot, especially in hot weather, and manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to ensure the engine heat is quickly brought down if the engine is not functioning. The sound you hear is that of the fan still rotating.
What Does A Damaged Radiator Sound Like?
Your failing radiator's sound depends on the damaged part of the radiator. It would be a hissing sound if the damage were a leak, probably from the radiator cap. If the damage is from the radiator fan, it would be a whirring or tapping sound.
Like other parts of the engine, the radiator system can get damaged. To avoid the damage, always buy the best quality radiators. The injury can come from any part of the radiator, and one way to know it is damaged is the sound it makes.
If the cap is damaged, it will release excessive hot air from water, and coolants circulate throughout the engine. Pressure is built up from all the cooling.
The cap is the only place the pressure can escape from, but not all the pressure is released. With a damaged radiator cap, all the pressure built up will be released, causing the hissing sound you hear.
How To Stop Radiator Making Noise?
If you want to stop your radiator from making noise, then you first have to find out where and what the cause of the noise is in the radiator. As we know, there are two main places noise can be created in the cooling system: the radiator cap and the fan. Another origin of noise in the radiator is too much air pressure built into the radiator.
If the noise is due to a damaged radiator cap, then you will have to get the cap replaced. You cannot get the cap fixed without creating more leaks. By getting a new radiator cap, you ensure that both coolants and air pressure are safely secured, and only the right amount of pressure is released.
Furthermore, if the noise comes from the radiator fan, it is most likely a failed belt. The fan belt can get displaced or break in the process of working. If it is displaced, all you have to do is fix it back in place. However, if the belt is broken, you must replace it.
In addition, if you hear a gurgling sound from the radiator, there is too much air pressure built up, trying to find a way to escape. It would be best if you found a way to release the excess pressure.
To release excess pressure in the radiator, use a radiator key to loosen the valve located. Make sure you do not remove it. Once you loosen it, please wait for a while, then tighten it. The gurgling noise should stop after this process.
Can A Car Run With A Blown Radiator?
It is not safe to run your vehicle with a blown radiator. Your car stands the chance of getting overheated which can eventually lead to engine failure if it runs hot for too long.
The radiator is responsible for cooling or eliminating heat from the engine. It does this in connection with the thermostat by releasing coolants into the engine block.
When the radiator gets blown, the coolants will no longer be able to transfer heat. In case, your engine will experience constant overheating.
Does A Radiator Leak Make Noise?
A leaking cooling system can cause water flow noise in radiator, which could be a hissing sound of water rushing out of leaking parts of the radiator. A leaking radiator can also cause pressure leaks in the radiator.
Water is an integral part of the cooling system and helps push the coolants around the engine. If there are leaks in the radiator, water can get leaked, and the force at which the water is used to flow out through the leak will cause a hissing sound from radiator.
How Do I Know If I Need A New Car Radiator?
The radiator handles a large amount of heat from the engine, which can get damaged beyond repair. When the engine gets damaged beyond repair, your engine and vehicle, in general, will experience some symptoms that will show that you need a new radiator. Some of those signs include the following.
- Frequent engine and radiator overheating.
- Low coolants caused by leaks from the radiator.
- Temperature gauge always hits the hot end.
- Inconsistency in coolant color: Most of the time, this could not mean you need a new radiator; it could mean you need to change the coolant.
Take note that if you have any upgrades to boost your engine's power generation, you should change the radiator. You will need a radiator that can meet the cooling needs of the upgraded engine.
Usually, if you properly manage your radiator, you can use it for up to 8 years with a minimum of 3 years.
Are Car Radiators Expensive To Fix?
Fixing a radiator's cost depends on whether you will do it yourself. If you are flushing the radiator, it will cost you about $50. With the help of a mechanic, the cost can go up to about $90. If the damage to the radiator is more severe and you have to replace it, you will have to budget between $300 to $900. The cost depends on what type of radiator your vehicle uses, its brand, and its model.
Underlying problems in the cooling system cause a noisy radiator. Those problems include a leak, a faulty fan belt, and more. When you notice signs like hissing radiator sounds, tapping, or gurgling sounds, it may just mean your radiator is old. Car radiator making noise when off signifies that you may need repair or replacement.