Car radiators are an essential part of your vehicle. Keeping your radiator in good condition will maximize the lifespan of your car. Of course, you can’t take care of the car radiator if you do not really understand it yourself. This simple guide to radiators will teach you everything you need to know:
The Radiator Explained
The radiator is essentially a large water tank that cools down the engine. Typically, the coolant stays in the side tank of your radiator. After that, the coolant flows through the radiator core then the fan flows through the tubes and cools down the engine.
Some Important Things about Radiators
First things first, you should make sure that you never open the radiator cap when the engine is hot. Hot coolant and steam can come out and seriously scald you. Always wait for the engine to cool down before you open the radiator cap. This is perhaps the most basic thing we can tell you but it is very important for your safety to understand this.
The most common issues with radiators involve dirt or loose debris clogging within the radiator. These things can block up the fluid flow through the radiator which results in overheating. If your car is overheating despite normal coolant levels, pop the hood to see if the radiator is blocked. If there isn’t anything clearly visible, there’s a chance of an internal clogging.
In this case, open the radiator cap after the car cools down and check the fluid and radiator for brown discoloration or any dirt floating within the coolant. If that is indeed the problem, you need to drain the coolant and replace it.
Leaks are also a pretty common failure in radiators. Even the smallest hole or crack in the aluminum body of the radiator can cause leakage that will lead to overheating.
How to Extend the Life of Your Radiator
The single most effective way to prolong the lifespan of your car’s radiator is to change the engine coolant at the scheduled time. Follow the recommendations given by the manufacturer or change the coolant after every 100,000 miles or 5 years.
The coolant does not just carry the heat – it also contains inhibitors which prevent rust. That protects the interior of the entire cooling system including the engine block and radiator. These inhibiting chemicals make sure that the radiator does not break down due to oxidation and prolongs it’s life. If you do not take care of the car radiator, it can cause significant issues by overheating your engine. Make it a point to check the coolant in the radiator regularly and refill it if the coolant level goes down.