The radiator is easily one of the most important parts of your vehicle. It has the role of helping cool and also circulating the heated coolant that has been absorbed from the engine of your ride. If your vehicle constantly overheats, there’s a high chance that your radiator is no longer doing its job. This is why it’s important for you to keep your radiator filled with water or a mixture of coolant or antifreeze.
In most cars, you’ll find your radiator located near the very front of your vehicle. The radiator is usually situated directly behind your ride’s grille. On top of your radiator you’ll find what is called the pressure release cap. And a few ways off, close to your radiator, you’re going to find an almost completely transparent tank or reservoir which is called the “slosh” tank or the coolant overflow. Inside your coolant overflow, you’ll find the excess water or antifreeze that is not needed by your ride’s cooling system.
The fluid found inside your radiator is usually not just water or antifreeze/coolant. Most of the time, it’s a carefully balanced mixture (50-50) of coolant/antifreeze and water. Also located under your vehicle’s hood is a thermostat that carefully monitors your car’s operating temperature. It is the part of your vehicle responsible for the adjustment of coolant/antifreeze mixture that will be supplied to meet the demands of a specific situation.
The coolant, much like all the other fluids used in your vehicle can degrade or lose potency after much time has passed. When this happens, the coolant becomes less effective in providing your vehicle the right amount of protection needed for it to perfectly adjust to the radical changes in operating temperatures in your ride. When buildup and dirt from the exhaust system in the radiator builds up, it leads to the contamination of your car’s fluid mix, also draining your water-coolant/antifreeze mixture faster than normal.
It’s crucial that you check your water/coolant levels at least once every month. If you find that there’s a problem with your coolant overflow or your radiator, whether it’s leakage or damage caused by corrosion or cracks, then it’s time for you to find replacement car parts. If you drive a truck, then head straight to a reputable truck accessories and parts dealer for direct replacement products. If, however, you’re on a tight budget, then I suggest you check out this link to discount auto parts.
While once a month may be frequent enough for most vehicles, there are instances wherein you need to check more often. Check weekly or every other week if:
- you see that your ride’s temperature gauge on the dashboard is showing higher numbers even when your vehicle is idle or parked
- it’s a sweltering hot summer and you think your vehicle is in danger of constantly overheating
Also keep in mind that you need to flush your radiator every six months or as frequently as your owner’s manual recommends. This helps ensure the effectiveness of your water-coolant mixture, and takes out any debris or dirt that could have made its way to your ride’s cooling system.
Notice how most coolants or radiator fluids are usually yellow-green? Well, this is just one of the many different types of coolant-water mixtures available on the market. Colors can also vary depending once the antifreeze or the coolant is finally mixed with water or has been in the reservoir for a period of time.
To check your vehicle’s water-coolant mixture level, simply follow these simple instructions:
Step 1: Open your vehicle’s hood.
Step 2: Find your ride’s coolant overflow or “slosh” tank. It should be located near your vehicle’s radiator.
Step 3: Check the markings located on the tank to see whether you have an adequate amount of fluid in the tank or if you need to add more. If you find that you have enough fluid in your overflow tank, close the hood and you’re done with your check. If not, proceed to the next step.
Step 4: Unsnap the tank’s pressure release cap.
Step 5: Add the right amount of water-coolant mixture as indicated in your vehicle’s owner’s manual. Make sure to wipe away any drops of spilled mixture.
Step 6: Return the cap and close your auto’s hood.