Radiator Repair in San Diego

The radiator is perhaps the most critical part of your vehicle’s cooling system, dumping heat from the engine into the outside air. A “water” pump circulates cooling fluid (antifreeze) from the engine to the radiator, and back again in order to move heat from the engine to the radiator.  So a cooling problem could be the radiator itself, a coolant leak, the water pump, the fan belt, the cooling fan, or the thermostat.  Like home plumbing, the most common problems are leaks and clogs.

Our experienced and well-trained troubleshooters will identify the actual problem before we start repairs.  Depending on the specific problem and the overall condition of your car or truck’s cooling system, one of several courses of action will be the most economical in the long run.

Is your car overheating?  Don’t wait until there’s steam coming out from under the hood.  Give Pacific Automotive in San Diego a call instead.

The more compact high-performance engines in today’s cars make a properly working cooling system even more critical than ever. If your dashboard temperature gauge is reading higher than usual or you see or smell a coolant leak, then it’s time to take action.  If you delay radiator repairs you could very well end up as the classic vehicle beside the road, hood up, and radiator steaming.  Worse yet, overheating can damage your engine, sometimes to the point that it’s beyond repair.

Safety Note:  An overheated radiator is under pressure.  Never try to remove the radiator cap until everything has had plenty of time to cool down.

TIP:  Don’t use plain water to refill the radiator. Proper coolants contain compounds to protect the cooling system and reduce the chance of boil-overs.

Pacific Automotive Radiator Repair Experts in San Diego

Whatever your cooling system problem might be, visit us before you find yourself stranded and having to deal with whoever happens to be close by.  Pacific Automotive has been around for over 20 years with ASE certified master mechanics for all your automotive needs.  We’re the San Diego dealership alternative, with scheduled and repair services that maintain your manufacturer’s warranty and keep your vehicle performing reliably long after that.  Our customers love our technical expertise, affordable rates, and personal attention.  We guarantee your satisfaction.

Radiator Drain and Flush

Engine overheating is often caused by failing to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance recommendations. Assuming there’s enough oil in the engine, a cooling problem may be caused by the accumulation of sludge and debris inside.  If that’s the case, drain and flush service should take care of the problem.  We’ll also do a pressure test for leaks and thoroughly inspect hoses, belts, fans, the water pump, and the thermostat so that you won’t have to come right back in.

Radiator Repairs

Sometimes a repair can be as simple as replacing the radiator cap, tightening a loose fan belt, replacing the thermostat, or replacing a radiator hose.  In other cases it may be possible to fix specific leaks and other problems, but it may also be appropriate to take additional measures.

Radiator Rebuilding

Rebuilding a radiator involves removing it from the vehicle and disassembling it.  This allows all metal channels to be re-soldered and the frame and tank to be re-coated.  Re-assembly and re-installation also includes putting in new gaskets.

Radiator Recoring

If the core (the main metal part with all those small fins) is in poor condition, it should be replaced with a new core as part of the rebuilding.

Radiator Replacement

In some cases it may be more economical to simply replace the radiator.

Related Repairs

Many parts of the cooling system are likely to need repair or replacement, in as little as 60 K miles for some vehicles but more typically as it approaches 100 K miles.  Those parts include hoses and the water pump.

In some cases a cooling system problem, particularly a leak, may involve the heater core (part of the climate-control system).

It’s also not uncommon to have coolant leaking into the engine block, typically through a faulty head gasket or intake manifold gasket.

San Diego Summers

We’re proud to serve San Diego’s 1.4 million citizens.  In Southern California it’s always a good idea to have your vehicle checked out, including the radiator and cooling system, before heading inland for summer travel.  That’s especially true if you’re heading out to Las Vegas (332 miles) or Palm Springs (139 miles).  Actually considering traffic and the climate just a few miles inland, a pre-summer check-up is a good idea regardless of vacation plans.  Just the 120 mile trip up Highway 5 to Los Angeles can put quite a strain on your car or truck’s radiator.