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Five Signs of A Bad Radiator of A Truck

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Five Signs of A Bad Radiator of A Truck

1. Definition of radiator and its importance

Truck radiators are the backbone of the engine’s cooling system. The heat dissipation medium is coolant.

By means of water circulation, excess heat in the engine is transferred to the air.

The radiator also works with the thermostat, water pump and cooling fan to ensure that the temperature of the engine is controlled within a certain range within the design conditions of the truck.

However, if you don’t pay attention to the radiator, it is also prone to failure and can lead to expensive repair fees.

Therefore, in order to better maintain the radiator, you can follow the following five aspects to determine whether your radiator is faulty.

2. Common symptoms of radiator failure

(1) Engine overheats

Engine overheating is the easiest way to find a problem with the radiator, because the engine needs heat dissipation through the radiator.

High-temperature damage to the engine is great, in addition to timely inspection of the radiator, you also need to check the cooling fan,

thermostat and circulating water pump to determine which aspect of the specific cause, so as to reduce the damage of high temperature to the engine

(2) Coolant leaking

Coolant, commonly known as antifreeze, is an indispensable important medium of the engine, which will directly affect the service life of the engine, in addition to cooling and antifreeze, but also can prevent cavitation, honeycomb eyes and many other important uses.

Truck coolant leaks are also common symptoms of poor radiators.

When the radiator is heavily rusted, its surface is clogged with rust, and small holes form due to cracks in the cooling fan, resulting in the possibility of coolant leakage.

Low-quality coolant is the main cause of radiator rust. This low-quality coolant is mainly tap water, which promotes rust.

Radiator flushing is one way to eliminate this rust; If it does not flush, more rust will form until the radiator is completely damaged.

When rust depletes enough holes, coolant leaks, and over time, coolant runs out or creates a lack of coolant, which will cause the engine to overheat, damaging some engine components in the process.

When a coolant leak is noticed or signs of low coolant are seen on the dashboard, it should be checked and repaired in time.

(3) Fluid discoloration

The color of the coolant is usually bright; It is either yellow, green, or orange. Sometimes it can be blue, red, or pink.

This is because it passes through the coolant flow channel in the engine, unhindered or contaminated in the radiator.

Coolant can become contaminated over time through internal deposits. This internal deposit can be dirt, debris, rust or even sludge;

Any of these can cause a change in the color of the coolant.

At the same time, the coolant also needs to be replaced regularly, and if it reaches the service life, it will also cause the coolant to deteriorate and discolor.

In order to stay in touch with the condition of the coolant, it is important to check the coolant reservoir regularly.

When the coolant is contaminated, it becomes very thick and difficult to move along the cooling system.

When this happens, it can lead to blockages, and over time, it can cause the engine to overheat, which reduces the efficiency of the radiator and can damage the engine.

(4) High-temperature gauge readings

A high-temperature gauge reading of the truck is also one of the signs that the radiator is malfunctioning.

The ideal operating temperature reading for a truck is around 195-220°F.

If they occasionally fall out of this range, this is not a sign of a problem, as some trucks have air conditioning that helps bring the temperature down to the normal range.

But if you notice that the temperature is constantly becoming higher, there may be a problem.

The high truck temperature gauge may be due to the failure of the engine’s cooling system, and the radiator is an important part of the cooling system, if the radiator does not operate normally,

it will not only cause the high-temperature reading, but also lead to inefficient coolant use and damage the operation of the engine.

So, when you notice the high temperature, it’s time to go and repair your radiator.

3. Frequently asked question

(1) Does a faulty radiator affect driving?

If the radiator fails, it is impossible to continue driving. Damage to the engine radiator can cause the truck’s cooling system to malfunction.

If the truck is still driving for a long time, the temperature of the water tank and the engine temperature will rise, and if the heat dissipation is not obtained in time,

it will lead to the opening of the engine, and in more serious cases, it will lead to the scrapping of the engine.

Also, if the coolant temperature overheats, some trucks’ engine control modules may limit the performance of the engine to prevent it from overheating, which can be fatal to the engine.

So, if your radiator is bad, it’s best to get it fixed as soon as possible.

(2) Replacement time of the radiator

The radiator does not need to be especially replaced, find the cause of the problem and prescribe the problem, and replace the corresponding parts.

But for better operation of the radiator, you can refer to the following advice to clean the radiator parts regularly.

1. After the truck has traveled 36,000 miles or six years, it needs to be replaced with new radiator hoses, which are rubber and weaken after prolonged use, especially in high-temperature conditions. Try not to drive more than 50,000 miles without changing the hoses.

2. Always pay attention to coolant levels. If you notice that it has dropped, top it up; If it goes down regularly, something goes wrong, and there may be a leak, track down the leak and fix the problem.

3. At the same time, truck radiators are recommended to be cleaned once in 30,000 kilometers. If you drive a truck for a long time without cleaning the radiator, dust and other stains will accumulate on the surface.

The adhesion of these things greatly reduces the cooling effect of the water tank, resulting in poor heat dissipation of the engine. If the water temperature continues to rise, it will affect the cooling effect of the air conditioner.

(3) The cost of replacing the radiator

The cost of replacing the radiator varies depending on the make and model of the truck. On average, it will cost about $200 to $900.

The labor cost of replacement is about 100-300 dollars.

This work can take about 1 hour to 3 hours to complete, although it depends on the extent of damage to the radiator. The cost of other parts and coolant should also be taken into account, so the budget will cost $20-100 more.

If you want to save some money, you can also replace the radiator yourself, although it usually costs more. Radiators in the aftermarket usually cost between $100 and $200.

When you add the new coolant you need, it can cost you about $250 to complete the repair. If you choose an OEM replacement part, you can expect to spend a little more on the part compared to replacing it in the aftermarket.

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