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Car Radiator: Must-Dos When Adding a Radiator Cleaner

by Emilia Latvala

Many car models come with large openings at the front. These openings expose the radiator to numerous harmful elements. To make matters worse, some vehicles don't come with protective mesh attachments meant to protect the radiator. Stones, debris and dirt find their way to your car's radiator and begin to wear it down. Furthermore, the radiator also clogs with unwanted calcium and rust deposits due to regular use. You must wash it with a special cleaner to moderate the effects of harmful elements. The cleaner keeps the radiator in good condition and extends its useful life. Here is a look at what you must do when adding a radiator cleaner to your car's radiator:

Let the Engine Cool

The radiator and the engine work hand in hand when the car is running. Your engine will certainly overheat if there is a problem with your radiator. Therefore, you must think about the engine first before doing anything to your radiator. If you have been operating the car, let the engine cool for several hours before adding a cleaner to your radiator.

Prepare the Radiator

When your engine finally cools off, prepare the radiator thoroughly before adding the radiator cleaner. Start by draining the radiator to remove the old and used coolant. Reach the base of the radiator with your arm and open the stopcock restricting the flow of the old coolant. The water should flow out with any solids suspended in it. Close the stopcock and refill the radiator after draining completely. Run the engine for five minutes after refilling the radiator. This will get the radiator running such that the newly refilled water circulates to other parts of the system.

When done, let the engine cool and drain the radiator again. The essence of repeating the procedure is to ensure that you get rid of all the debris before adding the radiator cleaner.

Do as the Manufacturer Says

Your radiator's cleaner comes with specific usage instructions on the packaging. The instructions vary according to the manufacturer. Most radiator cleaners are corrosive and need care when handling them. Use a pair of protective gloves before opening the cleaner. In addition, make sure you are in an open place where the fumes of the chemical will not affect you. After pouring it in the radiator, keep track of the maximum time it should stay in the radiator before draining it out.

Refill the Radiator

After draining the cleaning chemical, refill the radiator with a mixture of antifreeze and water. The best ratio is two parts of water to three parts of antifreeze liquid. Your car should be good to go the next time you want to use it.

For more help with car radiator repair, contact a local auto shop.