If your car’s radiator cap isn’t working properly then your car’s cooling system won’t be able to operate properly either. Below you will find three tips to help you keep your radiator cap in proper working condition.
1. Buy the Right One
This may sound obvious, but there are more than one type of radiator cap, and both types have multiple pressure levels at which they begin to vent over pressures in the cooling system. As an example, if your car has a sealed cooling system which operates at 14 PSI, then you don’t want to get a 17 PSI pressure relief cap. This will allow more pressure, and thus heat, to build up in your cooling system and engine. This can be fatal for your engine if allowed to occur too often. Likewise, you don’t want to use a radiator cap that vents pressure too early or your engine won’t run at optimum efficiency. If your car calls for a 14 PSI non-vented, non-pressure relief type of radiator cap and the parts store you’re at doesn’t have the right one in stock, then you really should find another parts store. If you have to use the wrong cap in an emergency, be sure to replace it as soon as possible.
2. Check Level Often
You should check all of your fluid levels at least weekly, if not more often. Make sure your coolant reservoir, if present, has the proper amount of coolant in it when the engine is hot and cold. Top off when needed. Check the coolant level in your radiator at least once a week also. If the level falls below the level of the fill neck, top off until the level just reaches the neck. Coolant levels that are low can allow heat and pressures to build up beyond design specifications, which if allowed to persist, can seriously damage your engine and radiator cap. If you’re going to do your own routine maintenance on your car’s cooling system, you‘ll need to know certain information, such as the following:
- Vehicle year, make and model.
- Engine size in cubic inches or liters and number of cylinders.
- Whether or not it is a high performance edition.
- What accessories are installed: air conditioning and/or power steering.
- Whether your radiator is a single, double or triple header design.
3. Keep the Cooling System Clean
Clean coolant performs up to design specifications and keeps your engine running optimally. Dirty, rusty coolant is coolant that has lost much of its resistance to boil over, which can damage you radiator cap. Additionally, rust or other contaminants can get into the moving parts of your radiator cap and damage them. Also, the extra heat can cause damage to the moving parts of your radiator cap.
Above you have been given four tips to use to help you keep your radiator cap from becoming damaged.