Do you get a physical every year or just wait until you’re REALLY sick to go to the doctor? It’s probably a little of both, but I’m sure you do a lot of preventative maintenance, like taking vitamins, eating healthy, and exercising, to keep your body healthy and to stay away from the doctor’s office.
Well, your car needs the same TLC that your body does! I’m sure you know about the basic types of maintenance that a car needs – your oil changed, your tires rotated, your windows cleaned, etc. – but what about your radiator? Do you ever check that? Maybe you should.
Regular radiator maintenance is an important and integral part of the overall “health” of your car. An engine’s cooling system is relatively simple when it comes to its design. Why? Well, it’s because your engine has to remain at a certain temperature in order to work properly otherwise you could have engine failure. So, knowing some basic radiator maintenance is absolutely essential for any who owns a vehicle.
What does your radiator do? Well, radiators keep your engine cool while it’s working and your car is working, driving you around from place to place. Radiators are like the “wingman” of your car’s engine. Without your radiator, your engine would not last through the cold nights and would easily overheat during simple drives.
Here are some simple tips you can use to maintain your radiator:
- Keep your radiator fluid filled! Coolant or radiator fluid should be used in a 50/50 mixture with water. You can purchase a pre-mixed bottle of 50/50 Coolant from your local auto repair shops.
- Make sure your radiator cap is on tight. Your radiator cap is designed to help keep your coolant system pressurized and to keep your coolant from boiling.
- At least once a year, an external radiator cleaning needs to be done. There are two options for this.
- You can use a hose with a nozzle and a soft nylon brush to clean the exterior of the radiator. Once your car is completely cool, gently brush the radiator fins, in the direction of the fins. When you’re finished brushing the fins, use your hose to rinse off the radiator by streaming the water from outside to inside.
- You can take your car to the staff at J-Mac Car Care and they’ll take good care of your radiator! They will clean your radiator’s exterior professionally.
- Lastly, it is important to flush and fill your radiator at least once a year. The professionals at J-Mac Car Care professionals recommend a flush and fill for winter called “winterization” for your car. Depending on how much you drive, you may need to have more than one flush and fill per year.
Why is a flush and fill important? Simple! It is to ensure your cooling system will run well and won’t become clogged with lots of particulates. Over time, your car’s radiator can become blocked with debris from the engine that is cycled though the dirty coolant and will eventually completely clog the cooling system.
There are two ways to flush and fill your radiator.
- You can flush and fill your radiator yourself. We’ve posted a blog earlier this year on how to do so.
- We recommend bringing your car into J-Mac Car Care. Our car care and radiator professionals will flush your radiator chemically and then by hand, in two directions with water. Then refill your radiator with the proper coolant you need and have your car ready for the ride of your life!