When a car engine is running, it produces friction and heat. A car radiator is a type of heat exchanger that prevents the engine from overheating. When hot coolant passes through the heat exchanger, the radiator transfers heat from the coolant to the air that the fan blows through it. Most modern cars have their radiators made from aluminum. The radiators are designed to be perfect for various car applications, hence the name universal aluminum radiator.

How to take care of your car radiator

Making sure that your car’s cooling system works optimally is one of the ways to maintain your vehicle in good condition.

Avoid low coolant levels

Coolant is a fluid that is made up of antifreeze and water. This fluid flows around the car engine when in use and is kept cool when it passes through the radiator. When temperatures are extremely low, the antifreeze helps to keep the water in your radiator from freezing. Similarly, it prevents the water from boiling in warm areas. It is important to check and top up the coolant every month as low levels may lead to overheating.

Heat exchanger materials

In the past, copper and brass were the common materials used to make car radiators. These materials were later replaced by aluminum which is lightweight, cost-effective and has better heat transfer qualities than brass and copper. If the radiator of your car features copper and brass in its core plumbing, then the age of the car could be the problem. Radiators with aluminum cores should not develop issues frequently.

Clogged radiator

Dead insects, dirt and debris, can reduce or block the flow of air to your radiator. This will affect the functioning of the heat exchanger and may lead to overheating. If you do not see any blockages upon opening your bonnet, the issue could be an internal clog. Internal clogs can be cleared by flushing the radiator to take out the contaminated coolant as well as the residue build up.

Radiator cap

The radiator cap helps to keep coolant from leaking as well as maintaining the required water pressure. When this cap is not screwed on properly, it may malfunction and lead to overheating. Although this is usually overlooked, it is important to ensure that your radiator cap is firmly in place.


The thermostat is an important component of the radiator that allows movement of hot water in the heat exchanger. When it is stuck closed, water will not flow back to the radiator for cooling and this may cause overheating.
When changing your oil, it is advisable to check for leaks in the hose or any signs of cracks in the belt. If this is done regularly, problems with your universal aluminum radiator will be identified and addressed in good time. This will not only prolong the life of the car but also ease pressure on your finances.