Radiators are a crucial component of the engines in all vehicles. From the smallest motorcycle to the largest truck semi or trailer, radiators keep engines cool enough to run safely. When shopping for a new radiator from an auto parts retailer, or having repairs and maintenance done, it can be helpful to know terminology related to radiators.
Radiator Flush - A routine type of vehicle maintenance. Coolant is drained, a special cleaning solution is flushed through the system, and the radiator is refilled with new coolant. This process removes build up from the system.
Radiator Leak - A problem somewhere in the cooling system that results in leaking coolant. The leak may come from the radiator's heat core, from a hose, or a fitting between a hose and the radiator. The old leaky part generally must be replaced with a new part to fix the problem.
Automatic Transmission Fluid - One of several fluids cooled by radiators. It is run through the oil cooler system.
Coolant Pumps - A part which pumps hotter fluid into the radiator. Once it is cooled, fluid becomes more dense and sinks out of the radiator and back into the engine.
Aluminum Radiator - A type of radiator that is popular for high end sports cars or other automobiles that need a greater cooling capacity. These are also lighter than other types of radiators, which can improve handling in smaller cars. Larger vehicles, such as truck semi or vehicles hauling trailers, will not benefit from an aluminum radiator.
Used Radiators - Some older vehicles, such as classic vintage cars, may no longer have new radiators available. In these cases, a used radiator may need to be purchased. Many auto part retailers and businesses can offer suggestions for resources for finding used parts.
Automotive radiators are available at many different retail stores. If you are having problems with the performance of your car you may want to have your A/C condenser, radiator, exchanger, or intercooler checked throughout the year to make sure it is working properly. If the thermostat of your car is not working correctly it may cause boiling in the radiator to occur, which then makes the vehicle become overheated and unable to be driven. A professional can look at all covers and caps to see if they are on correctly. They can also look at the gasket, engine, and all of the electronic details of the automobile to see what isn't working the way it should. Repairs will range in price depending on the system you have, such as a passive or thermal system, and where you take your car to be fixed. You can look online or in a phone book to find a local repair shop. Call and ask how much they would charge for a new or used A/C condenser or radiator and compare with other shops in the area. Aluminum and iron parts may cost more or less depending on when they were made and who they were made by. Cheap parts may not necessarily mean they're cheap in quality. Cooling the car is important for performance and to keep it from heating to a dangerous level. Automotive radiator retailers may have the option of having custom parts made for your vehicle. This will cost more than buying pre-made parts but could be worth it depending on your needs.