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Why Do Radiators Go Bad & How To Recore

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Your radiator is a crucial part of maintaining your vehicle’s temperature. But that doesn’t mean that it’s always going to work perfectly. Like any other part of an engine, you may reach a point where your radiator needs to be repaired by a professional. But why do radiators go bad, and how do you recore them?

Radiators can go bad due to wear and tear, corrosion, or any type of damage that can occur over time. While it is possible to recore or repair them, you should never attempt this without the help of an experienced professional. Radiators can be complex pieces of the engine, and it’s easy to damage them if you don’t have extensive experience.


Radiators are an essential part of your vehicle’s cooling system. They’re designed to transfer heat from the engine to the outside air, which helps regulate the engine’s temperature and prevent overheating.

There are several tubes that the radiator is made up of, circulating coolant throughout the engine. This coolant absorbs heat and then dissipates it through a fan. Then, the coolant passes back through the tubes and repeats the process, helping disperse the engine’s heat and keeping it at a safe temperature.

In simpler terms, radiators keep your engine cool so it doesn’t overheat and cause damage.


So why do radiators go bad? Just like most other engine parts, wear and tear is the main culprit when it comes to radiator issues. However, it isn’t the only factor to consider.

Several other things can contribute to a radiator going bad, including:

  • Corrosion from old coolant
  • Mineral deposits that clog the radiator
  • Physical damage from road debris or accidents
  • Internal rusting due to lack of proper maintenance
  • Dust, dirt, and grime blocking the fans or fins

Understanding these reasons can help you identify potential issues early and take preventive measures to avoid costly repairs down the road.


When your radiator becomes damaged, it is possible to repair it. The damaged core can be removed and replaced with a fresh one. And if possible, many of the original parts will be used for the repair.

This is often ideal when you drive an older car. If it’s a rare model, it may be recommended to recore it rather than replace it—older engine parts can be difficult to source without a great deal of luck and experience. When recoring it, we will try to preserve as many of the parts as we can while replacing the internal core of the radiator.

However, there may be a point where we’d advise you to replace the entire radiator rather than recore it. This would be recommended if the core has significant damage or if the cooling system is compromised in any way. In this case, you should speak to our team at City Wide Radiator—repairing a radiator can be tricky without extensive experience.


Like many other car parts, prolonging the lifespan of your radiator involves preventive care. Make sure you’re regularly inspecting your radiator, and keep an eye out for any leaks, damages, blocks, or visibly concerning abnormalities.

It can also help to:

  • Regularly flush and replace the coolant to prevent corrosion and mineral buildup.
  • Use high-quality coolant
  • Avoid pushing your car too hard in extreme weather, as this puts more strain on the radiator
  • Keep the exterior clean to prevent debris from accumulating on the fins and obstructing airflow.

And don’t forget to regularly visit an experienced professional for maintenance and servicing. By following these simple tips, you can help prolong the life of your radiator and keep your vehicle on the road.


Caring for your radiator is crucial to the overall health and performance of your vehicle, and neglecting maintenance can lead to overheating and significant engine damage. While radiators are important, you should never try to repair or recore them yourselves. Instead, come visit our team of experienced mechanics at City Wide Radiator. Remember: a well-maintained radiator is key to keeping your engine running smoothly, so contact our team today.

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Citywide Radiator

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Citywide Radiator

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  • 4420 Blackfoot Trail SE
  • Calgary, AB T2G 4E9

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You can find us on Blackfoot Trail right before 42 Ave. SE. You won’t miss our sign! We look forward to seeing you at City Wide Radiator.

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