Automotive Radiator Service, Inc.

FAQ: Frequently Asked Questions

Help! What should I do?

  1. Replace?
    Even a skilled cooling system professional can't work miracles on a radiator that is severely corroded or damaged. The only solution is a new radiator, and the best solution is an all-new complete radiator. Our Complete radiators give you the assurance of long-lasting performance and efficiency. They're completely new and are designed for your engine and performance needs. All applications are guaranteed to fit perfectly, and are backed by a factory warranty.
  2. Repair?
    Minor radiator problems can be repaired, although you should be aware that repairing is frequently a short term solution to a long term problem. Copper/brass radiators are bonded with solder which can deteriorate and corrode. The newer aluminum radiators are somewhat more durable, but are also more difficult to repair. Plastic tanks on many newer cars present a different set of problems. For all radiators, higher engine temperatures increase expansion and contraction. Before risking failures and costly engine and transmission damage, come see us! We can advise you of your replace, recore, or repair options.
  3. Recore?
    Some radiator problems can be effectively solved with a new copper/brass or aluminum core. Recoring can bring your radiator back to efficient operating condition using old tanks, brackets and transmission/engine oil coolers. We can help you determine whether recoring is a viable alternative. Although your new core carries limited warranty, the reused parts cannot be factory warrantied against failure.
- How often should I change my antifreeze?

Antifreeze should be changed every two-five years or 30,000-75,000 miles depending on the type of antifreeze installed. All antifreeze coolants have two major components. One is the antifreeze solution-usually ethylene glycol mixed with water-which will provide antifreeze protection virtually forever. The other component includes the corrosion inhibitors and water pump lubricants. These deplete with time and need to be replaced.
- My car is still overheating after installing a new radiator. What could cause this?

Every replacement radiator that we sell and install has thermal performance equal to or better than original equipment. Therefore, if overheating occurs, it's likely to be caused by another problem with the system, such as:

- Can I run my car without a thermostat?

Basically, when a cold engine is started the thermostat is closed, bypassing all or most of the coolant flow back to the engine rather than to the radiator. As the engine runs, the coolant temperature rises until it gets near the temperature of the thermostat rating, for example, 190 degrees F. At that point the thermostat begins to open, sending some coolant to the radiator. If the coolant temperature continues to rise, the thermostat opens further, in an effort to keep the coolant temperature near the thermostat rating. If engine power is reduced, let's say to idle, and the coolant temperature falls below the thermostat rating, then the thermostat closes enough to maintain the temperature near the thermostat rating. If power is increased to full power, the thermostat opens until it is wide open, and on a warm day, the coolant temperature may rise well above the thermostat rating. The coolant temperature will continue to rise until it reaches a temperature at which the difference between the radiator average core temperature and the incoming cooling air is great enough to transfer the entire heat load to the air. This then becomes a steady state condition. Changing the thermostat to one with a higher temperature rating won't have any measurable effect at full power and high ambient temperature conditions, since any thermostat will be wide open under those conditions. Running without a thermostat in competition may be of some benefit due to slightly increased water flow. But running without a thermostat on the street is a bad idea because the engine will run much too cool for efficient operation.
- What causes electrolysis damage to radiators?

Electrolysis damage to radiators results from improper grounding of electrical equipment in the vehicle, usually add-on equipment. When such equipment is not properly grounded, stray electrical current from the equipment may find its way to ground through the electrolyte (coolant) in the radiator. The result can be pitting of the radiator metal parts where they are grounded. When electrolysis is suspected, there are products that can be added to the system to help stop the problem but in some cases, may never permanently be fixed. - we carry a full line of electrolosis arrestor additive as well as anode caps to aid in prevention of this problem.

For Further Knowledge on Electrolosis please come see us or click to download our Electrolosis 101 file----->