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Tips for Caring for your Car's Radiator in Winter

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Winter is due in a few weeks' time, which offers various challenges to car maintenance efforts. New car owners, at least most of them, do not know how winter affects a car's radiator; therefore, they ignore some of the essential but critical maintenance procedures.

One of the reasons for such negligence is the belief that the temperature outside is already low enough to cool the radiator on a new car. Nothing could be further from the truth because a radiator will struggle to cope with winter conditions no matter how new it is. If you want to get the most out of your car's radiator during the chilly winter season, then you will have to extend it some love. This article highlights tips for taking care of a car radiator in winter.

Keep an Antifreeze Mixture in Your Boot -- To new car owners, it might seem strange why one would be expected to keep refilling a coolant even when environmental temperatures are extremely low. However, a radiator coolant contains other elements essential to the optimal performance of the device. For instance, the lubricant in a coolant helps to keep seals in optimal condition. Therefore, regularly checking the level of coolant and refilling whenever necessary will help a radiator to last longer. Additionally, make sure that you use quality anti-freeze to prevent the fluid from freezing into ice. With winter lasting for several months, ensure that you have the mixture readily available in your car at all times.  

Get a Radiator Grill Cover -- As you already know, driving in cold weather allows cold air to flow into the radiator and engine. If the temperatures are extremely low, a coolant might not be as efficient as desired. As such, covering the radiator grill offers the best option for preventing the radiator and its contents from freezing out. By inhibiting airflow into the radiator, the amount of heat that is rejected by the cold surrounding is considerably reduced thereby allowing the engine to get to optimal operational temperature. By keeping an eye on the engine temperature gauge, you should be able to know when an engine has reached its running temperature thereby allowing you to remove the grill covering.   

Do Not Start a Car with a Frozen Radiator -- As mentioned earlier, it is more than likely that new car owners will not understand the effects of cold weather on a radiator. To this group, the apparent solution to a frozen radiator would be to start the car and let the engine warm up gradually and thaw the cooling system. However, the absence of circulating coolant will cause an engine to overheat rapidly thereby leading to damages to the radiator. If the vehicle's cooling system is frozen, calling your mechanic would be your best option for car radiator repair.