Tips to Care for Your Car's Radiator

Nov 15, 2021 12:02 PM

A car’s engine is responsible for producing output in terms of power and torque. This output drives wheels and as a result, our vehicles take us from point A to point B. Inside the engine of a car, a mixture of air and fuel is burnt which results in the generation of a considerable amount of heat. In addition, extra thermal energy is released on the account of various reciprocating and rotary motion of the engine’s moving parts. Add to this the temperature raised by the frictional forces and we get to a point where the temperature inside the engine reaches to its maximum.

Now the question arises why doesn’t an engine of a car overheat despite the generation of so much heat? The credit of maintaining the optimum temperature inside the engine goes to the radiator of the car. The radiator is one of the most essential components of a vehicle which accomplishes the critical work of cooling down the engine’s temperature and helps it perform optimally. For delivering an ideal performance, the engine of a vehicle should operate between 190 and 200 degree Fahrenheit (90-100 degree centigrade) although different cars might have slightly different temperature requirement. To maintain this optimum temperature, the thermostat senses the temperature and allows the flow of coolant to the engine. For example, if the thermostat senses the temperature rising above the desired range, it will allow coolant to flow in and around the engine for absorbing the excess heat. The coolant after absorbing the heat will then flow back to the radiator where it dissipates the heat and gets cooled owing to higher airflow and cooler surroundings.

It is important to notice that overheating is one of the major causes of engines’ failures especially in diesel vehicles and this is exactly why the proper working of a radiator is a must for a trouble-free ownership experience. By taking some precautionary measures which include regular maintenance and care of the radiator system, you can save yourself from the bigger issues like engine overheating and even the engine failure. We list down some of warning signals that help you detect early the issues pertaining to the radiator and take corrective actions.

1) Radiator Leakage: One of the most commonly occurring problems is related to the leakage in the radiator. The cooling system in a vehicle comprises of a number of components including hoses, gaskets, and seals among others. These components tend to deteriorate over the years and require replacement once they are worn out. If you find any leakage in the radiator system of your car, it might be an indication that some of the internal components have been damaged and require replacement. You cannot blame any factor for this leakage except the time factor – as the car ages, hoses, gaskets, and seals become brittle and tend to develop crack which results in leakage of the coolant. You should immediately replace the damaged parts so that the leakage problem can be overcome easily.

2) Rusty Coolant: Another frequent issue that troubles the working of the radiator is the rusty coolant. In fact, the rust not only affects the performance of the cooling system but also have a negative impact on the working efficiency of the water pump. The rust will choke the ducts, and hence, it is in the best interest of your car that you should drain out the rusty fluid out of the system. Make sure to thoroughly flush the system with rust removing additives before you replenish the car with a good quality coolant. The price difference between normal and high-grade coolant is not much but the latter by providing efficient cooling, helps the engine to perform optimally and also adds to the car’s life.

3) Hose Issues: The hoses are an important component of the car’s cooling system as they carry coolant to and fro from the radiator. Primarily, there are two hoses – upper hose and lower hose. The upper hose connects the upper part of the radiator to the engine while the lower hose connects the lower part of the radiator to the engine’s water pump. The hoses are made up of a combination of rubber and synthetic material though with the passage of time, hoses develop cracks which could possibly result in leakage of the coolant and inefficient cooling of the engine. Therefore, it is recommended that after every 50,000 km you should replace the hoses though most of the times, it is when one witness leakage, the hoses are replaced.

4) Thermostat malfunctioning: Sometimes inefficient cooling is also caused by malfunctioning of the thermostat. For example, if you find upper hose connecting the engine and radiator very hot while the one at the bottom normal in temperature; the issue could be very-well related to the thermostat. As the thermostat senses the temperatures and thereby controls the flow of coolant in the system, it is extremely critical for proper heat dissipation and cooling of an engine. If thermostat develops a fault, the implication for the engine’s working could be very serious - especially when the engine continues to operate at high temperatures without proper cooling.

If you find your car’s engine getting hotter faster than before, there might be an issue with the cooling system of your vehicle. Dilly-dallying in such circumstances will lead to serious financial implications with the situation might even worsening to the point of engine failure. Therefore, we recommend you in case of engine overheating you get your car checked at an authorized dealership or service center as soon as possible. The technician might conduct a couple of tests on your car to get to the root cause of the problem. In general, the following two tests are conducted for knowing the reason for engine overheating:

1) Pressure Test: This test helps to ascertain whether there is some leakage in the cooling system of the car.

2) Flow Test: This test is used to know whether the cooling system of the car is choked or not.

Both of these tests are sufficient in order to identify the problem and then accordingly applying the solution. You should also follow some of the recommended guidelines related to the cooling system to keep it working properly and efficiently. One such recommendation is to flush the radiator system at every scheduled service and replenish the car with high-grade coolant. Remember, taking good care of your car’s radiator has a profound impact on the performance of the car including on its fuel efficiency and longevity. If you have any query related to your car, drop us an email at and we will be happy to assist you. Alternatively, you can visit the blog section of CarDekho Gaadi at Car Selling Tips to get the most accurate information related to your car’s maintenance.

Also Read:- Tips to keep your car’s Braking System Healthy

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