Seven Car Radiator Myths

It seems that everyone with a vehicle has an opinion on car radiators, engine cooling, truck radiators and cooling systems. People argue about coolant types. And car radiator manufacturers. Materials for truck radiators (including the evern popular aluminum radiator). They argue about radiator sizes, and so on.

To help clear the air, we present here seven car radiator myths to help everyone’s opinion become more accurate:

An aluminum radiator is always better. The fact is: copper, brass, and lead all have better heat dissipation properties than aluminum. Many cars will get no benefit from using an aluminum radiator. The weight reduction won’t make a difference for larger vehicles with low-horsepower engines. An aluminum radiator is also more susceptible to acid corrosion.

Small radiator leak, no big deal. A small radiator leak can be indicative of a larger problem. A cooling system that runs low too often is less efficient. Worse, you can damage your cooling system by letting the coolant level get too low. Moral of the story: don’t ignore a radiator leak! Even a small one in your truck radiators will pose a problem.

Too much coolant flow is bad. This long-held radiator myth will not die. Too little coolant flow can be bad, but at normal and high operating temperatures, the rate at which coolant moves through the radiator does not change the amount of heat that is dissipated by the cooling cores. Sure, the mean temperature of the coolant will rise if it flows faster, but the amount of cooling will not be reduced.

Any old coolant will do. Cheap coolant knock-offs do not have the same additives of name brand coolants. Many do not have the corrosion protection, PH balancing, or sediment prevention that the top-quality coolants do.

Slow the engine down when overheating in traffic.Actually, revving your engine slightly when you are overheating in traffic will help pushes more air across the cooling cores and pushes more coolant through the engine, helping your engine stay cooler.

One radiator cap is as good as another. A poor radiator cap will not last as long or stay properly calibrated, and either open at too low or two high a pressure. Make sure yours is the proper one for your cooling system.

Bugs wreck your radiator.Only if you have significant coverage of dead insects will you be at risk of reduced cooling or damage to your radiator. If there is significant accumulation of insects covering 25% or more of your car radiator, use a pressure washer to clean it.


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