Owning a vehicle comes with the responsibility of taking care of it. Keeping up with your vehicle’s preventative maintenance schedule is smarter and more affordable than waiting until more costly repairs are needed.
Maintaining your vehicle’s radiator and cooling system is important for keeping your car in good working condition. There are certain steps you can take to help maintain a properly functioning radiator. Understanding more about the radiator itself and a few basic tips can save you time, money and a big headache in the future.
Understanding the Function of the Radiator
The radiator is the key component in your engine’s cooling system. The cooling system keeps your engine from overheating, which prevents internal components from melting, melding together, and causing the engine to malfunction.
Your vehicle’s engine generates a lot of heat while operating and if not cooled, your engine could be damaged or destroyed. To keep the engine cool, coolant is circulated through the engine block, where it gets heated, then through the radiator where the heat escapes into the atmosphere before the coolant is re-circulated through the engine.
The radiator’s crucial role within the cooling system is regulating the temperature of the engine. It keeps the car from overheating on simple drives and well as keeping it functional on very cold nights.
Basic Tips for Radiator Maintenance
- You must use recommended coolant instead of plain water. Read here why you should always use engine coolant.
- Always make sure that the coolant is topped up. If your coolant level is consistently low it can actually damage the radiator and cooling system.
- Keep the radiator cap on tight as it’s designed to keep the entire coolant chamber pressurized. Remember air in the cooling system will often disrupt the system pressure and eventually disrupt the coolant in its attempt of cooling the engine.
- Have your radiator cleaned out a couple of times each year. To save some time and also make it easier to remember, you can have this service performed whenever you take your vehicle in for a tire rotation or oil change.
- Have your radiator flushed and re-filled on an annual basis. This is another service you can have done by your local trusted technician.
Although you cannot prevent your radiator from failing till eternity, you can still take the necessary maintenance steps to keep it working as long as it should.