3520 South State Street, Salt Lake City, Utah 84115

Call Us (801) 268-0919

Guaranteed Satisfaction

Rated A+ from the BBB

J-Mac Radiator technicians are ASE Certified

J-Mac Radiator Blog

Salt Lake City, Utah Radiator Repair and Service blog by J-Mac Radiators. 3520 South State Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84115.

Is It Time To Think About Radiator Maintenance?

Eric Flores - Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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 Radiator 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 Radiator 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 Radiator. 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!

DIY: How to Replace a Car Radiator

Eric Flores - Monday, October 20, 2014

With this blog post, I am NOT personally advocating that you should go out and replace your car’s radiator. I personally would take my car into the professionals at J-Mac Car Care, but for all you DIY-ers out there here’s how to do it yourself!

Step 1: Gather your tools! You will need a 3/8″ drive ratchet and socket set, Phillips and flat screw drivers, a good pair of pliers, end wrenches, and a pair of gloves. J-Mac Car Care professionals recommend having both the SAE and metric sizes on the sockets and screwdrivers in different lengths.

 

Step 2: Survey around your radiator. You need to note what’s around your radiator. Knowing what’s around it and what will be disturbed will be critical for knowing how to put it back together after you take it apart. It’s also important to make sure you have the correct tools for the job. J-Mac’s experts recommend making notes on where everything goes to make sure it goes back in the right place.

 

Step 3: Remove the parts around the top part of the radiator. Make sure you keep track of all your hardware! This includes all the nuts, bolts, clamps, braces and supports.

 

Step 4: Unplug the cooling fan(s) and remove them. Some cars have one electric cooling fan while others have two. Whether your car has one or two, both will need to be removed before replacing the radiator. First, unplug the fan(s). Then, unscrew them from the radiator frame. Last, carefully lift the fan(s) from the mount(s) and set the fan(s) aside, keeping track of the corresponding hardware.

 

Step 5: Drain the radiator. To drain your radiator, place a catch-pan underneath the radiator. Take off the radiator cap and unscrew the valve to the drain. You can expect two or more gallons of coolant. Please make sure you dispose of the coolant safely. It’s toxic to animals, so save a little furry creature’s life!

 

Step 6: Disconnect the upper and lower radiator hoses. Unless you’re replacing the radiator hoses as well, you should only have to disconnect the end of the hoses that attach to the radiator. Make sure to leave the clamps on the hoses for your convince. Catch any excess coolant left in the hoses in a small bucket. Remember, save a furry life!

 

Step 7: If your car has an automatic transmission, disconnect the cooling lines. Located along the lower part of the radiator back, disconnect using an open-end wrench to loosen the couplings. Make sure to catch any transmission fluid that runs out of the lines.

 

Step 8: Remove any screws holding the radiator in place. Most of the screws or bolts will be found near the top or sides of the radiator. Also check the bottom of the radiator; sometimes there will be fasteners at the bottom. There are also tabs and pegs at the bottom.

 

Step 9: Remove the radiator. Once you have removed all the fasteners, hoses, and cables, then you can lift the radiator out. If you can’t are having any difficulty lifting the radiator, don’t force it – stop and look for any additional parts or screws that may still be attached.

 

Step 10: Compare your new radiator to your old one. This seems like common sense, but really, if more people remembered step 10, less people would have problems! Match the size, tab locations, ports, and screw holes are all located in the same places. If not, don’t try to install that radiator. Get a new one.

 

Step 11: Install your new radiator. If everything checks out with your new radiator, put it right into place. Make sure to reconnect everything back to your radiator, including hoses, lines, clamps, braces and supports.

 

Step 12: Refill your coolant. Check for leaks by starting your car. Make sure you warm the engine and check your transmission fluid before hitting the streets and showing off your hard work!

 

Again, this job isn’t for the faint of heart, but it can be done. If you’re feeling up to the task, give it a whirl, but for all of you other folks, bring in your car to the professionals at J-Mac Radiator. They’ll take care of you and your car!


Recent Posts


Tags


Archive

    Schedule an Appointment

    Submitting Form...

    The server encountered an error.

    Form received.

    Captcha Image

    Get a Call Back...

    Enter your details and we will call you back.

    Submitting Form...

    The server encountered an error.

    Form received.

    © 2015 J-Mac Radiator. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy| Terms and Conditions