1. Turn off the A/C. If the car is not seriously overheating, this will
reduce the engine's temperature. The AC evaporator is located
in front of the radiator, and it adds heat to the air going to
your engine. The hotter the incoming air is, the less
efficient the radiator will be.
2. Turn on your heater (set on highest temperature setting, with blower
on highest setting). This will be uncomfortable for you, but
it will cool the engine by transferring the heat to the air.
Roll down the windows, and remember how 'hot' you'll get if
your engine needs replacement!
3. If you're stuck in traffic, pull over and stop. Unless you're moving,
very little cool air reaches the radiator. Open the hood and
let the engine cool off. This takes time, so be patient. Use
the time to go get a jug of water or antifreeze.
4. Check the overflow tank coolant level. If it's empty, the radiator is
probably low on coolant.
5. Check the pressure of the system by wrapping a cloth around the upper
radiator hose and squeezing it. If it's still under pressure
(hot) it will not squeeze easily. Wait until it does.
6. Place a large cloth over the radiator cap, and carefully release the
pressure. Serious burns can result from the hot coolant. If in
doubt, wait until the engine cools completely.
7. If the coolant is low, start the engine, and slowly add the water or
coolant necessary to fill it up. The engine must be running.
Adding coolant to a warm engine can crack the block. By
running the engine, the coolant keeps moving and reduces the
chances of this type of damage occurring.
Radiators are indispensable parts of any cooling system. They are
designed to dissipate the heat, which the coolant has absorbed
from the engine. However, like all auto parts, radiators are
prone to damage and corrosion. As it is mostly made of metal
and is in constant contact with liquids, radiators can break
down over time due to corrosive forces. Defective radiators
can spell doom for any engine. Irreparable damage can result
if a malfunctioning radiator is not repaired or replaced