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How to clean a car's radiator?

How to clean a car's radiator?

Cleaning a car's radiator is essential to prevent it from oxidizing and releasing excess sediment over time. It's an integral part of car maintenance.

Cleaning a car's radiator is not a particularly complex operation, but it does require special attention. The vehicle's radiator has the basic function of lowering the temperature of the fluid in the engine's cooling system. Coolant is a mixture of demineralized water and antifreeze. In general, the ratio between the two liquids is 50-50%. Over time, this fluid gradually loses its anti-freeze and anti-corrosion properties.

External and internal radiator maintenance should be performed at least two to three times per year. Within two to three years, the fluid may become contaminated with oxides and other elements. If you notice signs of contamination, such as water spots under the vehicle or abnormally high water temperature while driving, service the radiator immediately.

Clean the cars radiator step by step

Step 1: Elevate your vehicle

Using the jack and jack stands, you'll raise your vehicle to facilitate the following steps. Before doing this, park your car on a flat surface and allow it to cool down if you've just driven it.

Step 2: Clean the engine compartment

Before you start cleaning your car's radiator, it's important to thoroughly clean the entire engine compartment. You can use a cleaning spray. This spray will quickly and easily remove stubborn dirt and grease. Then wipe the entire area with a clean rag to remove all dirt.

Step 3: Check the hoses

Before cleaning your car's radiator, check the hoses that go in and out of the radiator, connecting them to the expansion tank and the engine. Make sure there are no leaks and that the bolts are tight.

Step 4: Clean the front grille

Clean the front of the radiator with a soft bristle brush to remove any dirt or insects. Be careful not to press too hard with the brush. You risk distorting the grille.

Step 5: Empty the radiator and cooling system

With the engine cold, remove the expansion tank cap at the top, then look for a drain valve at the bottom and any vent valves. The valves should be loose and the valve open. This will allow the fluid to drain completely and be collected by the reservoir. If there is no drain valve, disconnect the lowest hose in the circuit. To do this, loosen the clamp that holds it in place and pull it out of the hose fitting where it's attached.

Step 6: Clean the radiator

Once the liquid stops flowing, close the drain valve or reconnect the hose if there is no drain valve. After tightening the drain valves, pour demineralized water into the vehicle's expansion tank and close the cap.

Then turn on the engine and let it idle for a few minutes to circulate the demineralized water in the cooling circuit. Then repeat the radiator drain procedure to remove water from the system.

Step 7: Topping off the coolant

With the engine cold, pour coolant into the expansion tank until it reaches the indicated level. Then close the cap start the engine and run it for a few minutes. If the level in the expansion tank drops, top it up. To remove any air bubbles, use your hands to squeeze the various circuit handles several times.

Step 8: You're now ready to remove your car from the jack and candles.

Tips to prolong the life of your car's radiator

  • Avoid overloading your car, as this can cause the engine to overheat and put extra pressure on the radiator.
  • Avoid driving in extreme temperatures or overheating for long periods.
  • Have your cooling system checked by a professional who can tell you if you have any problems or leaks.

Radiator cleaning is a fairly straightforward operation for all drivers, regardless of their level of auto mechanics. However, if you find that the demineralized water you're using is dirty, you'll need to take it to a professional shop to have it decalcified using some pretty dangerous products.

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