The purpose of the radiator is to keep the engine from overheating. The engine produces heat while it is running. The coolant absorbs the heat, then passes it through the radiator where it is cooled off. The coolant is then circulated back to the engine. The radiator is the main component of the cooling system, so it is important that it is in proper working condition.
There could be a few signs of an issue with the radiator, like a leak. The coolant flows through the radiator, so if there is a leak in the radiator, coolant will leak onto the floor underneath the vehicle. It may be while you are driving or while your vehicle is parked.
If your vehicle is always overheating, the radiator may be going bad. One of the most common failures in the vehicles that overheat is a failing radiator since it is the only way engine coolant is cooled. It may not be to the point where it has completely failed, so the issue should be addressed immediately. If this problem is left unattended, then the engine will continue to overheat and cause the vehicle to break down.
The coolant in your vehicle should be yellow or green or red normally. As the radiator goes bad, contaminants discolor the fluid making it a rusty or oil color. This turns into sludge and the fluid will not be able to cool the engine efficiently because it will not drain properly and remain in the radiator. This can be from a failing radiator for vehicles that contain a transmission cooler inside the radiator. The barrier between the coolant and transmission fluid fails and the fluids mix. No matter what issue you might notice, it is important to bring the vehicle in so we can inspect it for you.