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Your vehicle’s radiator is a central element of good engine health. Your radiator is at the heart of your vehicle’s cooling system, ensuring that your engine does not overheat by circulating coolant, or antifreeze, through the cooling system to dissipate heat and divert it from the engine.
As long as your radiator has the proper levels of fluid, is leak-free, clean, and free of blockages, you should have no problem keeping your vehicle at a normal temperature while you drive without having to do anything out of the ordinary. However, when there’s a radiator failure, no matter the cause, you should be sure to come to Automotive Technology of West Islip as soon as possible so that we can locate the problem, make repairs, and get you back to driving a vehicle that’s running at the proper temperature.
How Does a Radiator Work?
A radiator is made up of several interworking parts that work together to cool your engine and keep it from overheating. Beginning with the radiator cap, the first, and perhaps only part of your radiator that you’ve ever notice, the radiator fluid is poured in and capped to seal the system and create a specific amount of pressure in the radiator system that’s perfect for your vehicle. The water pump, a critical part of the radiator system, pumps coolant through the other components of the cooling system into the engine block. Coolant is pumped through a series of hoses, another element of your radiator system, that are designed to endure high temperatures and engine vibrations so that they don’t wear out doing their own job. In your radiator, you’ll also find a set of tubes known as the “core,” through which coolant flows, and which are surrounded by cooling finds that are made to dissipate heat. Finally, your radiator system would not be complete were it not for the engine thermostat, which monitors your cooling system to ensure that the proper engine temperature is maintained.
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Proper Radiator Maintenance for Better Engine Cooling
Like any part of your vehicle, if not properly maintained, your radiator will not function properly, and you’ll find yourself making costly and preventable repairs.
When your cooling system is not maintained, leftover coolant can degrade your radiator over time, deteriorating hoses, gaskets, belts, tubes, and even the water pump in your cooling system. Because there are so many radiator components, it’s important to remember how closely they all work together to keep your engine cool, as each component must be maintained for any of them to function properly. It doesn’t matter if you fix one radiator problem today if you’ve never maintained your radiator; soon enough, every piece will need replacing, and you’ll find yourself paying for an entirely new radiator.
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You can easily avoid making these costly repairs through proper radiator maintenance, including performing regular coolant flushes. Like any fluid in your vehicle, the frequency with which you should change your coolant and flush your cooling system will depend on your vehicle make and model. You’ll be able to find the recommended mileage and time to wait before flushing your system with new coolant in your vehicle’s owner’s manual, and you should attempt to stick to your manual’s schedule as strictly as possible to avoid having to make any preventable repairs. When your radiator is not maintained, you’re sure to face problems with an overheating engine, and no matter the cause, no matter which part of your radiator is malfunctioning, you can be sure that it won’t be a cheap fix if you aren’t diligent in making repairs and continuing on a proper radiator maintenance schedule.
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Signs of Radiator failure
Like all system failures in your vehicle, there are some obvious signs that accompany a cooling system failure. The most critical, and most obvious symptom of an improperly functioning radiator is an overheating engine. If your vehicle is ever running hotter than normal, it’s cause for concern, but if it runs hot consistently either soon after starting or over time as you drive, you should know that something’s wrong, and you should avoid driving until you can have your radiator checked. You can also check for leaks yourself if you think there’s something wrong by looking under your vehicle for puddles of coolant, or antifreeze. If you see signs of a cooling system leak, don’t risk wearing out your engine or breaking down at the side of the road with a steaming front end.
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Come to Automotive Technology of West Islip, and make the cooling system repairs your vehicle needs to get back on the road. Contact us at (631) 321-5209, and start focusing on keeping up with proper radiator maintenance so that you can avoid costly repairs and roadside steam-outs.