Tips for Car Maintenance & Your Radiator

August 1st, 2020 by

Gloved hand opening a radiator valve on a car engine

Your car’s radiator is a vital part of your engine. It keeps the engine from overheating. Overheating can cause oil to turn to sludge, which, in turn, causes the pistons to freeze up and leads to total engine failure. In today’s blog from Thompson Sales, we go over some tips for car maintenance and your radiator.

Fluid Levels

Keep the coolant level in your radiator filled at all times. There are markings on the side of the coolant reservoir that indicate how high the coolant should be when the car is cold (such as when it sat overnight) or when it’s running hot. Check the fluid level regularly, like once a week, or take a look at the reservoir if you notice your car running hot. Car maintenance for radiators is important during the summer when the weather’s hot.

Types of Coolant

Fill up the coolant reservoir with a 50/50 mix of coolant and water. You can purchase coolant that already has this mixture. Just make sure it says so on the label. Filling up the coolant reservoir with just water works for an emergency, but you should go back to the original 50/50 mixture as soon as possible. Consider keeping a jug of 50/50 coolant and water in the trunk in case of an emergency for car maintenance.

Have Your Radiator Flushed Regularly

Your manufacturer’s manual tells you how often you should completely change the radiator coolant. For many vehicles, it’s every two years or 30,000 miles. If you use long-life antifreeze, every four years or 50,000 miles. This may change if you drive your vehicle more, or if you drive in extremely harsh conditions. Desert or arctic climates may have a brutal effect on your radiator, which is why you should keep an eye on your radiator and make sure you have regular radiator flushes as part of car maintenance.

Troubleshooting Your Radiator

Car maintenance often involves troubleshooting, even if you keep up with regular checks on various systems. Your radiator may need some attention if you notice your car’s temperature gauge running hotter than normal. If you smell coolant, get under the hood and take a look. Examine underneath the engine of your car to see if any fluid is leaking. Odd noises may indicate a radiator problem, such as a broken fan blade or a part breaking because it’s too hot.

Shop New Vehicles at Thompson Sales

Thompson Sales is open for business and ready to find your perfect Cadillac, Buick, or GMC vehicle! Stop by to see what we’ve got for sale! Contact Thompson Sales or call (417) 763-6811 for more information.

Posted in Car Maintenance