You can always call on your trusted mechanic if your car suddenly breaks down and a particular part needs to be repaired or replaced. One particular example is the car radiator. If your vehicle gets stalled due to a radiator problem, it may be necessary to take care of replacing this very essential component. Radiators of older automobiles may be less difficult to change compared to modern cars. Although modern radiators can keep going until 150,000 miles, it is quite hard to remove because of the complicated engine compartments. Nonetheless, you have to know the steps in replacing radiators in case of emergencies.
- Do not unscrew the radiator cap or start working if the radiator is still hot. The pressure will definitely spew out the water and coolant. In the process, this can scald your face, hands and entire body. You need to park the car, stop the engine and let it cool down for a couple of hours before starting.
- Make sure that both negative and positive battery terminals are disconnected as a safety precaution. You have to drain the radiator coolant. Look for the plug on the right flank of the radiator. You have to go under the car since it is under the radiator near the passenger side. Be careful in pulling the plug particularly for older models. It is quite hard to find replacement caps in auto parts shops. You can just jerk the hose and let the fluid flow from the hose pipe. This is a safer method but it can cause a lot of mess.
- You can now take out the radiator. Unfasten all plastic covers, detach the hoses and sever the connection to the fan. Unscrew and detach the fan assembly. You can undo the clamps with a flat-head screwdriver. If you find the radiator hoses cracked, it will be necessary to replace this with a new unit. It is also important to detach transmission cooler lines using an open-end wrench. These are located at the base of the radiator.
- Install your new radiator by reconnecting securely clamps that grip the radiator, transmission lines and cooling hoses. Put back the cooling fan shroud and all plastic covers. You can now re-attach the electrical connections.
- Filling up the radiator with coolant should be done with caution. This solution is made up of an equal proportion of anti-freeze chemical and distilled water. There should be a higher ratio of anti-freeze, if you live in a place where the climate is colder. You can buy the anti-freeze tester from any auto parts outlet. This is utilized to check the mixture of water and anti-freeze. Distilled water has lower chlorine content unlike tap water. Chlorine can damage radiators if used regularly.
Go on a test drive after you have successfully mounted your new radiator. Monitor the progress of your radiator, coolant and water temperature level. Do this for the next few days to ensure that there are no leaks. If there are no problems, then you are assured that the your new radiator will function properly.