5 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT YOUR RADIATOR!
This week we are going to look at 5 things to know about your radiator and how to keep it cool in the tropics!
When your engine is running the pistons are moving at around 1500rpm when you’re at idle up to 8000rpm if you are driving a car that is high performance. Obviously if you are driving a busted up old Corolla or something similar you will be lucky to be hitting 4000rpm but either way your engine is creating a heap of heat and friction!
The only way that you can keep the engine cool is with water running through canals in the engine block, this is where our trusty old mate the radiator comes in.
When your radiator is running properly it keeps your engine cool so it is vital that you look after it. Here are some things that could point to your radiator not working as well as it should be.
COMMUNITY MESSAGE: MAKE SURE YOU ONLY OPEN YOUR RADIATOR CAP
WHEN THE ENGINE IS COOL, NEVER OPEN A RADIATOR CAP WHEN IT IS HOT!!
1. LOW COOLANT LEVEL
Your coolant, are as Mrs Throttle refers to as the green stuff in the front thingymajig, is a mixture of antifreeze (ethylene glycol) and water which is pumped through the canals of the engine block and kept cool with the help of old mate radiator. The antifreeze is designed to stop the water from freezing in the radiator (fat chance of that happening in the Top End) and also to prevent it from boiling over in the warmer climates.
Low coolant is one of the primary reasons that a vehicle overheats. A drop in coolant levels could be from a wide range of things such as a leak in your head gasket or the heater core so it is important to regularly check your levels. Topping up your radiator with water is definitely acceptable or pop down and see the team at Bursons and pick up a bottle of coolant.
If you find the level dropping significantly and regularly then give us a call and book it in before you do any major damage.
2. CLOGGED RADIATOR
Common causes for a clogged radiator are dirt, dead insects and loose debris: lucky for us up here we have all of those things in bucket loads. The concern with a clogged radiator is that it will block the airflow through the radiator and cause it to overheat.
If you think your radiator may be clogged open the bonnet and have a look, if there is nothing plainly visible blocking the front of the radiator the issue could be internal. Open up your radiator cap (SEE COMMUNITY MESSAGE ABOVE) and look at the fluid and radiator for any brown discolouration or dirt floating inside.
If your fluid is discoloured or you can see dirt floating inside book it in for a radiator flush.
3. OLD SCHOOL RADIATOR
As we all know things are always being improved and our trusty old mate the radiator is no exception. In older model cars radiators were traditionally made out of copper or brass cores but the more cost-efficient and weight saving aluminium cores are slowly replacing them. The reason for this change is that aluminium radiators will cool your engine much better that then copper/brass ones.
If you have an older car which is overheating then maybe the issue is you have a copper/brass radiator and it is time to replace it with a new and improved model.
4. RADIATOR CAP
Quite often the simplest answer is staring you right in the face and a poor fitting radiator cap or one that hasn’t been put back on properly can be the cause of your overheating.
A radiator cap that isn’t screwed on correctly will most likely leak coolant and result in your engine overheating. Your radiator cap also maintains the correct water pressure in your radiator and if it isn’t sitting correctly then your pressure’s will be compromised.
Nothing worse than bringing your car to us thinking your engine is overheating only for us to call as soon as you leave to let you know your cap wasn’t screwed on properly!
The thermostat is a valve and is a key component of the radiator. If the thermostat is stuck closed the hot water in the system can’t escape back to the radiator to be cooled which will cause overheating.
A dicky thermostat is one of the most common causes of overheating but is relatively simple to replace.
So, if you think your having issues with your car is overheating book it in today with us here at ATIC Mechanical and Motorcycles and we will check it out for you, just make sure you check that radiator cap first!!
Until next time, thanks for reading!