GARAGE & TOOLS
JANITORIAL & SANITATION
HOW TO CLEAN A RADIATOR
A radiator is an important part of your car engine's cooling system, allowing water or coolant to circulate through small tubes that are cooled by incoming air. This liquid cycles around the hot engine, cooling off the metal parts by moving the heat into the radiator to be cooled before circulating again. Buildup from the heated metal and the evaporating water can clog the radiator over time, while radiator fins can accumulate dirt and road grime, as well as bugs, pebbles and other objects from the road.
Many manufacturers suggest that you clean the outside of your car radiator at least once a year. You should also give your radiator a complete flush once every five years to improve the functionality of your vehicle's cooling system.
To avoid damaging your radiator and potentially your engine, your choice of cleaning product is important. Avoid using vinegar, because the acetic acid makes metal susceptible to rust. Additionally, bleach should never be used, because sodium hypochlorite (bleach) will corrode metals such as steel and aluminum. This can result in damage to the vehicle's intake manifold, block, or engine head as well as degrading rubberized gaskets and seals.
A safer option to harsh chemicals and solvents, Simple Green Pro HD Heavy-Duty Cleaner is non-corrosive and safer for cleaning aluminum, stainless steel and other metals. The professional-grade, engine-compatible formula breaks down tough grease, oil, road grime and other automotive fluids, making it ideal for cleaning your radiator.
Check your vehicle Owner's Manual before cleaning radiator. Always follow manufacturer's complete instructions for cleaning and maintenance. Make sure radiator is cool to the touch before cleaning.
Check your vehicle Owner's Manual before flushing radiator. Make sure radiator is cool to the touch before opening radiator cap.
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