The car radiator is an important part of your vehicle's cooling system. If your vehicle is overheating, looking into your car radiator is an obvious place to start.
To remove vehicle heat, the radiator fan blows outside air across thin fin tubes filled with hot coolant. If the fin tubes are clogged on the outside of the radiator, air can't flow past them and the radiator fan can't do its job to cool down the tubes. You can start troubleshooting by inspecting the radiator's exterior.

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If you see bugs or dirt clogging the fins, hose down the radiator with a garden hose and spray nozzle. If that doesn't solve the overheating problem, check the condition of the radiator coolant. With the engine cold, remove the radiator cap and examine the coolant. After twisting off the radiator cap, if what you see looks brown, muddy, rusty, or has debris floating in it, you've most likely got a clogged radiator. Before replacing the radiator cap, you can try cleaning the radiator. You can do that with a radiator cleaning chemical and a cooling system flush. Put the radiator cap back on and see if the overheating has stopped. If that still doesn't do the trick, no doubt the system is so corroded and plugged, the only option left is to replace the radiator. Don't forget to check for coolant under your car in case there's a radiator leak.

Replacing a radiator isn't difficult, but you'll need a special transmission cooling-line removal tool to dislodge automatic transmission lines. Check out the Advance Auto Parts tool selection or our Loaner Tools Program for the correct removal tool for your vehicle.

Where should you go for quality auto parts for all your vehicle maintenance needs– including aftermarket radiators and aluminum radiators? Advance Auto Parts.