How To Understand Radiator Cap Pressure Ratings
Most car owners understand the importance of their radiators, but most do not know how important the radiator cap pressure ratings are. You need to have the correct radiator cap if you want to get the best performance from your vehicle and preserve the cooling system.
Different Ratings for Different Caps
Different radiator caps have different ratings, and it is important that you always use the correct cap for your radiator. If the cap that you are using for your radiator is not sufficient, it can result in problems with your cooling system. The cap acts as a pressure relief valve. Too much pressure can cause damage, while not enough pressure can cause the engine to overheat.
Where to Find the Pressure Rating
The top portion of the radiator cap will list the pressure rating. Always use a cap of the correct pressure for your cooling system. You may find that it is beneficial to test the cap so that you can be sure that it is working properly. If you do not have the equipment to do the radiator cap pressure testing, you can have it done at a shop.
When to Check the Radiator Cap
If you have recently bought a used vehicle, the radiator cap is something that you will want to check. The previous owner may not have thought to check the cap, or they may not have cared if they have the correct radiator cap for the vehicle.
You will also want to check the cap if you begin to have problems with the cooling system. It might simply be that the cap is no longer holding the pressure correctly. The easiest way to fix this problem is with a new radiator cap. However, you want to be sure that the problem is the cap, and not in another part of the system. Check the pressure on the cap with a radiator cap pressure tester.
How to Get a New Radiator Cap with the Proper Pressure Rating
You can find new pressure caps for your radiator in the local auto supply store. Also, online retailers can provide caps but be sure that you know the correct rating for your vehicle before you buy a radiator cap. You can find the rating in your owner's manual, or by contacting the manufacturer.
A radiator cap may seem like a simple thing, something that doesn't warrant much attention when your car has so many other more expensive parts. But, if that one thing is not properly maintained, you can have thousands of dollars in repairs to keep up with later. Prevention is best. Keep in mind that that radiator cap has the ability to impair your vehicle's cooling system, which can in turn cause problems for your engine. Understanding and adhering to the pressure rating can save money on repairs in the future.