Most Common Causes of Radiator Leaks

Radiator leaks can be some of the most frustrating issues to deal with when owning a vehicle. Constant coolant top-offs, an overheating engine, and the smell of burning coolant are all signs of a leak in your cooling system. 

Your car’s radiator takes the anti-freeze and disperses it over metal fins that release your engine’s heat and return the anti-freeze to a lower temperature as it takes in cool air. Without a radiator, your coolant would never be able to release the heat from the engine, and the heat in the engine would build up to dangerous levels. 

A similar thing happens when you have a leak in your radiator. As the cooling system loses fluid, it loses its ability to take in and then release the heat. This can cause major issues down the line, as the engine begins to overheat and transfer heat to the parts around it. 

With this excessive temperature, the metal of the engine can begin to warp and expand, and the rubber gaskets will begin to degrade rapidly. While not all radiator leaks will reach this point before you notice, leaving a leak to continue and spread only increases the chance of expensive repairs down the line. 

There are a variety of reasons that your radiator could start leaking, and there’s no surefire way to know why yours is. However, there are a few common issues that you should be aware of so you can avoid them.

Silver car radiator

4 Common Causes of Radiator Leaks


One of the most common causes of radiator leaks is rust. Sediment will naturally build up in your coolant as your engine runs, and this sediment will gradually oxidize and cause rust. Eventually, this oxidation can eat through your radiator and cause leaks. 

In this case, you might notice puddles of coolant directly under your radiator when parked. If you’re sure the leak is coming from a rusted spot of your radiator, a replacement would be your best option as rust is difficult to remove and repair properly. 

Over-filled Coolant

Your vehicle’s cooling system is highly pressurized, and already puts a certain amount of stress on the metal and rubber components. When excess coolant is added, the pressure in the system can become too high and cause leaks in the seal and connections of a radiator. 

When refilling coolant, making sure to add within the recommended amount is vital to ensuring the effectiveness and safety of your cooling system. 

Checking the level of your coolant consistently is a good way to know if there’s too much or too little in your system. Make sure when checking or refilling that the engine has had time to cool down, as the pressure when hot can cause it to explode when opening the radiator cap. 

Faulty Radiator Cap

As we stated before, the cooling system is heavily pressurized. This means that even the smallest gap or fault in connections can cause substantial leaks. One of the primary places these leaks occur is the radiator cap. 

If the connection of the cap isn’t airtight, whether due to it not being tightened down enough or due to a damaged cap, coolant can and will find a way to leak out. These leaks can be very minor, but also difficult to notice. 

Replacing your radiator cap is inexpensive and may save you a hassle in the future, so checking your cap is one of the first things you should do when diagnosing a coolant leak.

Prior Overheating

While it may be easy to assume that your overheating is due to a radiator leak, your radiator leak may actually be due to overheating. Similar to overfilled coolant, overheating will cause your coolant to pressurize more than what’s healthy for your system and can cause leaks to develop in the radiator.

So if you notice a leak from your radiator, checking the other parts of your cooling system may reveal the real cause.

How do I Avoid Leaks?

Because the causes are so varied, there’s no single way to avoid leaks from your radiator. However, there are a few steps you can take to minimize the risk of one. 

  • Ensure proper coolant level regularly
  • Check for visible rust or damage
  • Flush your cooling system occasionally 
  • Use the proper coolant for your vehicle

Radiator and Cooling Service at Becker Service Center

If you notice any of the above issues or have any other cooling problems, it may be in your best interest to bring your car to a professional.

Luckily, Becker Service Center in Naperville, IL is your resource for cooling system service! Our ASE-certified technicians will ensure your vehicle is leak free and ready for the road. Our friendly team will walk you through every step of the service process so you can leave our shop with confidence in your vehicle. 

So call or schedule an appointment online today! Our team looks forward to seeing you. 

VW 2.0 TSI PCV Valve Failure Symptoms

Volkswagen’s 2.0 TSI (Turbocharged Stratified Injection) engine, which is now in its fourth generation, has been in production since the late 2000s. A chain-driven, direct injection, turbocharged four-cylinder engine, the 2.0 TSI offers stellar performance and fuel economy. It has powered everything from the VW Passat, Tiguan, and GTI, to the Audi TT, A4, A6, and Porsche Macan. Safe to say it’s a workhorse engine for the Volkswagen Group. Generally, it’s been reliable through the first three generations (the fourth generation has not been out for long). 

Depending on the year, the TSI engine has some notable issues. These problems have ranged from carbon buildup to turbocharger failure. One issue that has persisted across the generations is PCV valve failure. Read on to learn more about some of the most common symptoms of PCV valve failure on the 2.0 TSI!

What is PCV?

PCV stands for Positive Crankcase Ventilation. Its job is to release unwanted gasses from the crankcase and route them back through the engine intake. The gasses then combust with the air and fuel mixture, passing through the exhaust system. 

The seals in your engine do a pretty good job of keeping things separate. However, some gasses make their way from the combustion chamber past the piston rings into the crankcase (the crankcase is part of the engine that holds the oil and moving parts like the pistons and crankshaft). This phenomenon is known as blow-by. 

The PCV system reduces emissions and prevents engine seals from being blown out by excess pressure in the crankcase. PCV also prevents oil sludge from developing, which can happen when the blow-by gasses mix with oil. 

Volkswagen PCV assembly removed from engine

What is a PCV Valve?

The PCV valve is an essential part of the whole system. The PCV valve only allows gas to flow one way. When crankcase pressure builds, the valve directs gasses out of the engine to the intake. On the 2.0 TSI, the PCV valve sits on top of the valve cover. It is easily identifiable by the round, black, puck-shaped diaphragm, although the entire valve is much larger.

Symptoms of PCV Valve Failure on the 2.0 TSI

When the PCV valve fails, it can cause some strange symptoms.

Screeching Sound

One of the most blatant symptoms of a failing PCV valve is a loud screeching noise from the engine bay. This sound can be incredibly loud and is a sign you should bring your vehicle to a professional. 

Check Engine Light

A failed PCV valve can cause excess air to enter the engine, which triggers a check engine light. The code P0171 will indicate the engine is running lean, which means there is too much air and insufficient fuel entering the motor. Another code associated with PCV failure is P0507, which indicates the idle RPM is too high.

Idle Problems

You may notice irregular, rough, or choppy idle when the PCV valve is failing. As stated above, the idle RPM may also be higher than normal. More noise and shaking make this symptom very noticeable from the driver’s seat. 

Oil Leaks / Rear Main Seal Failure

Oil leaks caused by a bad PCV valve can range in severity from minor to catastrophic. Oil can leak from the seal where the valve meets the metal valve cover. You might notice oil seeping out from around the valve when you pop the hood of your vehicle. 

Another issue that can arise as a result of a faulty PCV valve is a leaking rear main seal. The rear main seal sits on the end of the motor where the crankshaft connects to the transmission. Fluctuations in crankcase pressure cause the seal to fail. Severe rear main seal leaks can cause major engine damage from oil starvation. 


Another very common symptom of PCV failure is engine misfires. The engine computer can only accommodate so much excess air entering the engine. As a result, a severe leak can lead to misfires. Misfires can cause a blinking check engine light and should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent damage to the catalytic converter. 

What Causes PCV Valve Failure?

There are two common failure points on the 2.0 TSI PCV valve. The rubber diaphragm inside the circular valve on top of the PCV valve can tear, and the orange check valve on the underside of the unit can become stuck. 

Volkswagen PCV assembly removed from engine

PCV Valve Replacement at Becker Service Center

If your VW or Audi is showing signs of PCV valve failure, make sure to get it looked at by a professional right away! For those in the Naperville area, stop in or schedule an appointment here at Becker Service Center. Our expert technicians have experience servicing European vehicles and will get your 2.0 TSI running as it should. Call or schedule an appointment online today!

Illinois Emissions Guide

Getting your car smogged can be frustrating, especially if you don’t know why, where, or how. Luckily, the rules for emissions in Illinois are fairly clear-cut and can be summed up easily.

In most counties in Illinois, emissions testing is required every two years for vehicles older than four years and built after 1996. Without certification, you won’t be able to renew your registration.

Illinois employs the National Ambient Air Quality Standards for its emissions inspections. The counties that do not meet these standards are the ones that require testing. These are usually the denser and more populated areas of the state.

Which Counties Require Testing?

Only a handful of counties in Illinois require smog testing, and even fewer require it in every zip code. 

Dupage, Cook, and Lake county are the three where every zip code will be required to smog their cars.

The following counties have varying rules depending on zip code:

  • Kendall
  • Monroe
  • Kane
  • Madison
  • McHenry
  • Will
  • St. Clair

If you reside in any of these counties and are unaware of the rules for your zip code, check the official Illinois Emissions website for more information. 

Where do I get an Emission Test in Illinois?

Are you due for your emissions testing? Finding a testing center close to you is easy. 

There are certified testing centers all over the county where testing is required. After finding a testing center, set up an appointment and bring in your vehicle. Following the test, given that you’ve passed, they will give you proof of passing the test that you can present to the DMV.

How do I Prepare?

There are a few preliminary steps you can take to make your experience getting emissions testing go smoothly:

  • Make sure your OBD-II port is functional and accessible. This will make things go much quicker if there were to be an issue.
  • Schedule a few weeks in advance to make sure you’re not waiting on other vehicles. You can save a lot of time in the long run by ensuring you don’t have to wait for other inspections.
  • Repair obvious exhaust/emissions system damage before going. Self-explanatory maybe, but there’s no way you pass with a hole in your exhaust or catalytic converter.
  • Have any check engine lights been diagnosed before going? It could be warning you about a problem in your emissions system.

How do the Tests Work?

Since 2007, most testing centers in the state use OBD tests to check emissions. 

Cars following 1996 (the earliest that need to be smogged in most cases) are required to have OBD-II ports that the shop can pull data from to carry out your test. 

The OBD reader looks at all the essential emissions parts that could be worn out or faulty and allow your car to produce too much smog. Some of these parts include the catalytic converters, exhaust gas recirculation valve (EGR), and certain parts of the fuel system. 

A visual inspection is carried out to look for any obvious problems with the parts important to emissions and safety.

Catalytic converter

What if I Fail?

If your vehicle fails emissions testing, one of these parts in your emissions system is faulty or worn out. The necessary repairs will need to be made to test again and pass.

Driving without proof of emissions testing is not only bad for the environment, but it’s also bad for your wallet. Fines can reach over $300.

Not only do you have to worry about fines regarding emissions, but you won’t be able to renew your registration without testing. Driving with an expired registration can result in $90 fines, or even your car being impounded, resulting in expensive storage fees. 

If you complete a large number of repairs on your vehicle and still don’t pass, you may be eligible for a repair waiver. A repair waiver is an exception granted by the state if you exceed a minimum number of repairs and still do not pass. 

If you’re not able to afford the repairs, the Illinois Hardship Waiver may be able to grant you an exception from getting emissions testing for a year after it was originally required. 

Does my Car Need to be Tested?

All cars produced after 1996 but older than four years need to be tested for emissions. The majority of vehicles built before 1996 are not required to be tested, so long as they are compliant with the Illinois Vehicle Emissions Inspection law. 

There are a few exemptions for certain vehicles. Diesel and electric cars do not need to be tested. Motorcycles, scooters, or mopeds are also free from the need to get an inspection. 

Emissions Service at Becker Service Center

Are you failing to pass smog? Come visit us here at Becker Service Center to get a high-quality inspection and repair so you can pass your emissions test.

Call or schedule an appointment online today to meet with our ASE-certified technicians and friendly team!

Chevy Cruze Turbo Failure Symptoms

The Chevrolet Cruze is a compact car that has been in production since 2008. It was developed as a replacement for the Chevrolet Cobalt, and it has since become a popular choice for those looking for a reliable, affordable, and efficient vehicle. 

The Cruze has been available with a turbocharged engine since its introduction. The first generation of the Cruze, which was produced from 2008 to 2016, was available with a range of engine options, including a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine. The second generation of the Cruze, which was produced from 2016 to 2021, was also available with a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine as well as a 1.6-liter turbocharged diesel engine. The third generation of the Cruze, which was introduced in 2021, is also available with a 1.4-liter turbocharged engine.

Chevy Cruze Eco Tec Diesel Engine

What Does a Turbo Do? 

Turbochargers are designed to increase power and efficiency by forcing more air into the engine’s combustion chamber. This allows the engine to burn more fuel, which results in more power. The Chevrolet Cruze has been available with a turbocharged engine for much of its history, and it has proven to be a popular choice for those looking for a boost in performance and efficiency.

Like anything with complex moving parts though, turbochargers add another point of failure and unreliability for the car, and they can often develop major problems. 

Turbo failure can be a serious issue for Chevrolet Cruze owners, as it can significantly impact the performance of the vehicle. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of turbo failure so that you can address the problem as soon as possible.

2015 Blue Chevy Cruze

What are the Symptoms of Turbo Failure?

Loss of Power

If you notice a decrease in the power of your Cruze, it could be due to a failing turbo. A malfunctioning turbo will not be able to generate enough boost to provide normal power.


A failing turbo may produce a loud, distinctive noise, such as a whistling or hissing sound. This noise can be heard when the turbo produces boost, such as when accelerating or climbing a hill.

Oil Leaks

If you notice oil leaking from the turbo in the front of the engine bay, it could be a sign of failure. A faulty seal or worn bearing can cause oil to leak from the turbo, which can cause damage to other parts of the engine.

Excessive Smoke

 If you notice excessive smoke coming from the exhaust, it could be a sign of turbo failure. This is typically blue or gray smoke, and it may indicate that oil is leaking into the exhaust system.

Check Engine Light

 If the check engine light comes on, it could be a sign of a problem with the turbo. It’s important to have the vehicle checked by a mechanic as soon as possible to determine the cause of the issue.

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s important to have your Chevrolet Cruze checked by a mechanic as soon as possible. A failing turbo can cause significant damage to the engine if left unrepaired, so it’s important to address the problem promptly.

What Causes Turbo Failure on a Cruze?

Turbo failure is not specifically common on Chevrolet Cruzes, but it is not uncommon either. Like any mechanical component, the turbo on a Chevrolet Cruze can fail due to wear and tear or other issues. Some common causes of turbo failure on a Chevrolet Cruze include:

  1. Lack of lubrication: The turbo relies on a constant supply of oil to keep it lubricated and functioning properly. If the oil level is low or if the oil is not being circulated properly, it can cause the turbo to fail.
  2. Contamination: If foreign particles, such as dirt or debris, get into the turbo, it can cause damage and lead to failure.
  3. Overheating: The turbo generates a lot of heat, and if it overheats, it can cause the bearings to wear out or fail.
  4. Age: Like any mechanical component, the turbo on a Chevrolet Cruze will eventually wear out and fail over time.

Overall, while turbo failure is not common on Chevrolet Cruzes, it is important to be aware of the potential for it to occur and to address any issues as soon as they arise. Proper maintenance and care can help to reduce the risk of turbo failure and ensure that your Cruze continues to perform at its best.

Get Your Chevy Cruze Serviced at Becker Service Center

Experiencing any of these symptoms or any other possible turbo-related issues on your Chevy Cruze? Becker Service Center in Naperville has you covered! Our ASE-certified technicians have years of experience working with turbochargers and know how to keep your car running strong. Call or schedule an appointment online today!

How Much Does It Cost to Replace an Oil Pan Gasket?

Oil is the lifeblood of your car. It keeps the moving parts lubricated and running smoothly, so you can drive with a clear mind and know that your car will make it from point A to point B, but the parts that keep oil healthy and within your engine can be just as important.

The oil pan gasket is one of these parts. The problems caused by a faulty one can start out relatively small, but eventually grow into a threat to the longevity of your vehicle. 

Despite its small size, these gaskets are vital to maintaining a healthy car and keeping the oil on the inside of your engine rather than the outside. Small oil leaks may seem insignificant at the time, but consistent leaking and loss of oil can lead to much more expensive problems down the line.

Oil Pan Gaskets: What do they do?

The oil pan is responsible for keeping the bottom of your engine covered and your oil within it. The oiling system operates at high pressure, and without a gasket, the oil pan will not seal to the bottom of the engine. The oil pan gasket is responsible for this seal. It cushions the connection between the oil pan and the rest of the engine, and prevents oil from leaking through a loose connection or uneven machining. 

Oil pan with no gasket

These gaskets are often made from rubber or cork-rubber, and this material gradually degrades overtime with wear and tear, which can lead to small (and eventually big) leaks through the gap. 

Symptoms of a Bad Oil Pan Gasket

A faulty gasket can make itself known in quite a few ways. Some of these problem can include:

  • Check engine light
  • Oil pressure light
  • Oil leaks
  • Engine overheating

How Much do Oil Pan Gaskets Cost to Replace?

The gaskets are typically inexpensive as far as parts go, but the cost of both the parts and labor vary heavily depending on the type of make and model. A domestic pickup truck will most likely cost much less for a replacement than a European sports car. 

Yellow oil jug sitting next to oil pan

The part itself can vary anywhere between $40 to $150, but the majority of the cost will come in the form of labor. 

Shop rates can also vary significantly, often depending on specialty and location, but many fall between the $50-$150 range. The real deciding factor in the cost is the difficulty in removing the oil pan and the amount of hours it takes to do so. 

Many domestic or Japanese cars can be done within 2-4 hours, while other jobs can be much more complex. A V6 Camaro from 2012 needs its front subframe to be removed prior to replacing the gasket, so that job would require a considerable amount more time and would in turn cost more. 

How Much Would it Cost for My Car?

Talking to a specialist and getting a quote for your specific vehicle will give you the best idea of how to go about the service, as each car and each area will be different.

In the end, you won’t want to wait to get your oil pan gasket replaced. While it may cost a bit right now, letting the problem linger could lead to some very pricey problems in the future. 

Oil Pan gasket replacement at Becker Service Center

Becker Service Center in Naperville is your place for jobs like this! Our ASE Certified technicians service vehicles with the highest quality standards and have years of experience. Give us a call or schedule an appointment today!