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Heavy Truck Radiator Maintenance Tips

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By Author: Tracey Purvis
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Most people who own heavy trucks depend on them for essential work and their livelihood. If that truck needs repairs it can be a major setback. In order to keep your truck in excellent running condition, keeping up with proper radiator maintenance is essential. Failure to do so can lead to expensive repairs later on, not to mention lost time and money when the vehicle is inoperable. By following these heavy truck radiator maintenance tips, you can help ensure the radiator in your truck's cooling system stays in top shape.

Check Your Fluid Levels

Radiators depend on fluids to remain operational. Check your coolant levels frequently to be sure your radiator is filled with the proper amount. Failure to do so can result in overheating during hot temperatures and allow radiator water to freeze during extreme cold weather. This is one of the simplest tasks to perform and one of the most essential, yet it is frequently overlooked.

Flush the Radiator

Every 1 to 2 years, you should flush your radiator no matter how many miles you've driven since the last ...
... flush. Rust and sediment can accumulate in heavy truck radiators and cause big problems. Flushing eliminates the harmful particulates and ensures you won't suddenly find yourself stranded over an easily avoidable problem.

Examine the Hoses and Belts

Regularly check your hoses and belts. Check for cracks in the belt and potential leaks in the hose. A good rule of thumb is to perform hose and belt maintenance every time you get the oil changed. This preventative inspection will allow you to catch problems with your heavy truck radiator early before any serious damage is done.

Radiator Lubricant

Keeping your fluid from boiling over and, conversely, freezing in winter are the obvious purposes of radiator fluid, but in reality it does far more. It also protects the engine's important components from corrosion with the additives it contains. You can assist in the “protective” function by using deionized or distilled water—which doesn't contain minerals or contaminants—in your heavy truck radiator. Tap water can be loaded with contaminants, which can lead to corrosion. Radiator lubricant expands or restores the additives already contained in the antifreeze.

Rust and Scale Deposits

Just the tiniest amount of mineral deposits can greatly reduce your radiators ability to disperse heat. These mineral deposits are either introduced into the radiator system, or are the result of the normal wear and tear of the engine's metal parts. Radiator lubricants reduce these deposits on the interior surfaces of the heavy truck radiator.

Lubricating the Water Pump

Your heavy truck radiator's efficiency is directly influenced by how well the water pump is operating and exchanging fluid between the engine and radiator. A lubricated water pump is much more efficient at pulling the antifreeze from the radiator and pushing it throughout the engine. Don't overlook water pump lubrication.

By following these simple and easily performed maintenance tips, you can ensure the radiator in your heavy truck will continue to operate for a very long time.

Tracey Purvis is a freelance writer for Radiator Pros, serving the trucking industry for 35 years. Visit Radiatorpros.com for more information about freightliner radiator and truck radiators.

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