What Causes Volvo Radiator Leaks?

Your car hardly ever overheats because its radiator is in a good condition. That right there, is its main function- to ensure the engine never overheats. So anytime temperatures soar and the car comes to an abrupt stop, the first car part you should inspect is the radiator. Unfortunately, radiators sometimes fail. Then they start leaking out of nowhere. The leak goes on for quit sometime unnoticed until the engine overheats. You open the bonnet and warm, almost hot air greets your face. It almost feels like you’re inside an oven. But why in the first place do radiators sometimes leak? Is there anything you can do to fix the leaking problem? Read on to learn more.

Cracked Coolant Reservoir

All Volvo cars have sturdy coolant reservoirs. They are deliberately designed that way so as to house overheated coolant as well as the water created as a result of the engine cooling process. But like it is often the case with small engine components, coolant reservoirs malfunction. They crack, mostly because of extreme temperatures. This allows the coolant to leak out of the radiator. The engine then overheats because of inadequate coolant or no coolant at all. Fortunately for you, replacing a cracked coolant is not expensive at all. It is also something that can be done in less than an hour.

Broken or Cracked Radiator Cap

Replace your radiator cap as soon as you notice it has cracked or it is broken. Ignore it and the coolant hoses will cause slow leaks which will eventually lead to overheating. There’s no shortcut here, the only solution is to replace the cap with a new one.

Faulty Gaskets

Gaskets do not look delicate, but they are. When the radiator’s head gasket gets blown, the engine coolant will leak straight into the crankcase. This will quickly damage the oil system as well as the spark plugs. If left ignored, other components will also get damaged.

You’ll know something is wrong with the gasket if the engine suddenly backfires. Discoloured oil is yet another common sign of a faulty gasket, which is why you must check your engine oil every morning.  Repair the gasket as soon as you can because leaving it that way can easily cause engine failure.

Cracked Hoses

There are so many reasons why radiator hoses crack. It could be because of dirt accumulation that builds up over the years or exposure to chemicals. Either way, cracked hoses become brittle within a short time. They then lead to radiator leaks. Fortunately, just like it is the case with cracked engine coolant reservoirs, fixing and replacing cracked hoses is not expensive.


Sludge is the main reason why radiators succumb to corrosion. Pools of brightly coloured light liquid forming beneath your car when it is parked should be the first sign that your radiator is leaking as a result of corrosion. The problem can be costly to repair if left unattended. This alone explains why you should make a habit of inspecting your radiator from time to time. That way, you will notice minor problems and fix them before they become worse.