Every morning you see your neighbor’s uncle cleaning the family car in meticulous detail, this includes popping the bonnet doing an untrained detail job on the engine cover, removing the pressurized radiator cap, cleaning off the coolant that smudged the rubber seal and all that shit that makes him like an auto guru and you wonder in amazement “oh boy, that car must be in tip-top shape!”. And one day you spotted the car smoking at the curb. What happened?
First, let’s intimidate your uncle with the workings of a modern car cooling system.
If you’re asked by your uncle what the hell is that diagram, tell him to get his hands off your car specially at the engine bay.
- Removing Pressure Cap – The pressure cap has a rubber seal which holds the water pressure inside the engine’s water jacket, it is important that pressure is kept at manufacturer’s specification. Regularly removing the pressure cap for no reason will wear out the rubber seal and will cause pressure to leak resulting in weak flow of water around the radiator and engine. Tell your uncle not to do this again.
- Overfilling The Reservoir – While the car is operating at a normal temperature, the engine is still producing excess pressure, this excess pressure is dumped to the reservoir. If the reservoir is filled to the cap, the excess pressure will find the weakest part of the cooling system to release its outrage, and the last place you want it to happen is in your radiator hose. Tell your uncle to just fill the reservoir at the maximum level indicated properly.
- Bypassing The Thermostat – That “sanga ng bayabas” you heard from your uncle, it has no purpose anywhere in your engine. Do Not Bypass the Thermostat! It’s there for a reason, it provides a supply of cooler fluid (water or coolant) from the radiator when fluid inside the water jacket of the engine is reaching boiling point. Do the math, if the radiator water temperature and the engine water temperature are equal, there’s no way to go but up to the “fountain of life”.
- Repairing radiators – For private vehicles, don’t do this even if it’s cheaper it will kill your car eventually, repairing radiators require hot lead to be soldered to the fins or walls of the radiator, the heat can degrade the strength of the metal around the radiator so don’t be surprised if you get leak after leak following a repair. Replace your radiator once it starts leaking or on the advice of your dealer’s service department.
Learned something? Now, relegate your uncle to gardening.
Stant 10227 Radiator Cap – 13 PSI