March 28, 2013 - Okay so the radiator is not the most glamorous of car parts I’ll admit it. BUT, you will notice when it is not working correctly.
How would you know if it’s not functioning correctly? Great question!
- Car Smells Hot
- Overheating Temperature Gauge
- Steam Coming From Under The Hood
These are sure signs that you need to fix the radiator quickly before engine damage starts to occur. But, what can you do ahead of time for preventative measures? Routine maintenance and checkups. Kind of like what you do with your kids and hopefully yourself. This is what it takes to make sure your radiator stays in tiptop shape year round.
Here are a few tips and trick that should help keep your radiator flowing.
- Keep fluids topped off. Use correct type, amount, and mixture of antifreeze and water. If you don’t know what you need check your driver’s manual. Or, you can call your mechanic, an auto parts store, or research online.
- Change fluids at least every year and more often if needed. Depending on where you live your radiator may get dirtier and your antifreeze may need to be changed more frequently. Again, if you are not sure of how often, how much, and what mixture, ask a trusted resource. It’s not really hard to do, but you want to make sure you do it right.
- Radiator cap health. When you check, top off, or change your radiator fluids make sure you inspect your radiator cap as well. The seal can become dry, damaged, and cracked over time. This will allow leaks which you do not want. So, if you see it doesn’t look so healthy, replace it. It’s easy and cheap and will save you a lot of headache and money in the long run.
- You should also check your hoses at least once a year. These may have to be changed over time due to becoming dry and brittle. When hoses get brittle they can leak and that’s not a good thing. So, check on them once a year and if you are uncertain if they need replacing ask your friendly mechanic or auto parts store once again. Most hoses are simple to change.
One final thing that you probably want your mechanic to do is to pressure test your radiator. This helps assure that everything in the cooling system is performing as it should. This could also save you a lot of money in the long run.