The stay rod holds the radiator in place with solid mounting points. The stay rods are connected to a fender, firewall, or a cross member depending on the make and model of the vehicle you are driving. These components are generally used on classic cars and hot rods. Modern vehicles use a radiator support and corresponding bushings/brackets to hold the radiator in place.
Over time, the stay rods in your class car can become bent or broken due to excessive movement and force they are subjected to on a daily basis. If you suspect your stay rod is going bad or failing, watch for the following symptoms.
Rattling noise from the front
If you notice a rattling noise coming from the front of your vintage vehicle, the stay rod may have come loose. Whether it is the stay rod itself or one of the components of a stay rod, like a bolt, this problem should be fixed as soon as possible. It is vital to the function of your vehicle that the stay rods hold the radiator in place because without the radiator, the engine will overheat and become damaged.
Radiator is not mounted properly
When you look under the hood of your classic car, locate the radiator. You should notice that it is securely mounted in your vehicle. If it looks tilted or like it is about to fall, a mechanic should be contacted as soon as possible before the stay rods completely fail.
As soon as you hear rattling noises or notice the radiator is not mounted properly, contact a mechanic to further diagnose the situation. Do not wait to get your stay rods replaced as it can cause damage to your radiator and engine.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Symptoms of a Bad or Failing Stay Rod and was authored by Mia Bevacqua.