One of the best ways to save money on your car, or to avoid repairing and replacing your vehicle’s radiator is constant preventative maintenance. By routinely inspecting your radiator and cooling system and fixing or replacing any parts before they fail, you can save your radiator and engine from Damage.
Check your Belts and Hoses
Check belts and hoses for frays, cracks, and leakage, on a fixed schedule. By checking all belts and hoses during every oil change, you can catch problems before they get out of hand. It is also advised to go ahead and change all hoses and belts according to your owners manual which usually is around every three or five years, no matter the appearance. All rubber parts are considered wear items and need to be changed on a maintenance schedule. This can save you from unseen damage.
Keep your Cooling System Clean
Keep your engine and radiator clean, both inside and out is always a good idea. Consistently cleaning the engine and grill, and keeping them clean of dirt, bugs, and any excess buildup, not only will you be keeping up the appearance of your vehicle, but will help prevent heat build up and possibly prevent overheating.
Testing the Thermostat
Testing the thermostat can ensure that it is functioning properly. Your radiator’s thermostat’s main function is to make sure your engine is running at an appropriate temperature. Keep your eye on the gauge and watch that the temperature goes up properly and then holds at a certain temperature. You can pull a thermostat out of the vehicle and put it in a pan of water that is set at the same temperature the thermostat is rated for, and it should open. As the water cools the thermostat should close. Most people just watch the gauge and make sure it stays in the normal range. You can also test your thermostat with an external thermometer but you should not be working on a hot running vehicle unless you are trained to do so,
Routinely checking your car’s coolant levels can help you be sure the appropriate amount of coolant is maintained. If the coolant is low, you should add the appropriate 50/50 mix of antifreeze and water to keep levels at a proper level. It is important to use distilled water and not to mix different types of antifreeze.
Ensure the fan is working properly and turns on when it is supposed to. Belt driven fans are always turning but some vehicles have a fan clutch that you will have to check. Electric fans turn on at certain temperatures and when the air conditioning is turned on, and may keep running after you turn your vehicle off. Make sure your fan is coming on and working correctly. You may have to check fuses and sensors. If there is a problem with your fan you will have different options, depending on what type of fan you have. Some of these fans can be very complicated and you might be better off having your vehicle serviced at the service center. Remember the fan must be working at all times to keep your engine from overheating.
By consistently maintaining your radiator and cooling system, you can be sure your car will run much longer and much safer. This will save you a lot of money in the long run, and can ensure you and your family’s safety by not malfunctioning at an inopportune time. Preventative maintenance to avoid a radiator failure is always a good idea and is a lot cheaper than a tow truck and a repair.