Saturday, September 25, 2010

Radiator problems

So this is a pretty common problem on many old cars.  After a long drive, I would turn off the engine of my car, and it would sound like the water in my overflow tank was boiling.  I thought it was strange because my engine wasn't getting overly hot.

So I did some research.  It can be one of two things.  First, and this is probably 95% of the time, it's the radiator cop.  Second, it may be the head gasket.  How do you know the difference?  If it's your head gasket, you'll hear a strange sound while driving, and the fluid in your radiator will be exceptionally nasty looking.

For me, it was the radiator cap.  What causes this is the lack of a seal on an aging radiator cap.  When the radiator gets hot, the fluid expands.  This pushes some fluid into the overflow tank.  When the fluid cools, it condenses, and the vacuum that is formed reclaims the fluid from the overflow.  When you have a faulty cap, air is pulled in by the vacuum, and then is pushed out through the overflow (causing the boiling sound). 

Long story short, I bought a new cap.  A nice billet chrome one.  I'll get pictures up soon.  For the record, this is the first bit of chrome in my engine.

1 comment:

  1. cool man, had a problem with my cooling system a month or so ago, had to replace the water pump, good to know this.