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The radiator reduces the engine's temperature by dispersing the heat from the coolant/antifreeze. The radiator is composed of many hollow tubes and fins that help transfer this heat into the air. Search our inventory by using your vehicle model or replacement brand to find the right auto radiator for your car. We have what you need for your cooling system including hoses, clamps, hardware, a radiator cap or an overflow tank.
The radiator's basic design hasn't changed for 100 years or so. It's still a system of dozens of copper loops or aluminum tubing, with thin aluminum fins that help dissipate heat from hot coolant to the outside air. Air has less density and lower capacity for heat than a liquid, so the radiator acts as a heat sink through convection to outside air. The radiator fan helps this process by forcing air past the radiator's fins, especially when the vehicle is not moving.
Coolant is custom formulated with ethylene glycol, anti-corrosion agents to protect against scale and cavitation, and a lubricant to keep the water pump running smoothly. Coolant can become contaminated and lose its effectiveness over time and needs to be flushed and refilled at specific intervals.
Regardless of what you drive, shop Advance Auto Parts for everything you need for your cooling system - hoses, clamps, coolant, overflow tank, radiator, shroud, cap, thermostat and water pump!

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FAQs Concerning Radiators

How do I clean a radiator?
The car's radiator is like a magnet, attracting all sorts of debris, including insects and dirt. Lift the hood and you may find the radiator fins clogged with debris. When the radiator is cool, bring out a garden hose with a nozzle attached and hose it down. This may help you troubleshoot cooling problems.
What is the best way to check coolant levels?
Certainly, by not removing the cap from a hot radiator — you may get burned! Instead, check the nearby coolant reservoir (recovery tank). If low, add a 50/50 mix of coolant (also known as antifreeze) and distilled water. You can purchase a pre-mixed solution or create the blend yourself.
How often should I flush a radiator?
Your owner's manual offers the best guidance on car maintenance intervals, including how often to drain it. There are signs, too, that it is time for a flush, including leaks, overheating, regularly needing to add coolant, and a persistent sweet smell of coolant fluid.
When should I replace the radiator?
If all your cleaning and maintenance efforts are to no avail and your car continues to overheat, then it may be time to replace the radiator with a new one from Advance Auto Parts. Even so, rule out other possible problems first, including a stuck thermostat, malfunctioning temperature sensor, a busted radiator fan clutch, or even a failed water pump.
Buy replacement radiators online or visit your local Advance Auto Parts store and have one of our knowledgable Team Members help you.

Signs You Need a New Radiator

  • The car is repeatedly overheating. There's a good chance your radiator is behind your car's constant overheating, especially if you ruled out other possibilities, including a leak, a malfunctioning thermostat, or the radiator fan clutch.
  • Cracked radiator. A leaking radiator won't hold coolant and that's like a person losing blood. You can replace leaking hoses, but if the radiator has a crack, you'll need to replace it.
  • Sludge present in the radiator. Radiators regularly maintained by occasional flushing won't develop sludge. Once sludge is present, you have passed the point of no return and will need to swap out the radiator.

Types of Radiators

Plastic and Aluminum
- Comprised of an aluminum core and a plastic tank
- Found in most modern cars
- Cost efficient and lightweight
Aluminum
- Lightweight material
- High thermal conductivity for instant cooling
Cooper and Brass
- Common in most vehicles until about 1980
- Brass tank and copper core
- Copper is corrosive and expensive to replace
Downflow radiator
- Tanks located at top and bottom of the radiator
- Gravity forces fluid to flow downward
Crossflow radiator
- Commonly found in newer vehicles
- Tanks located left and right
- Coolant flows through the radiator with aid of the water pump

How to Install a Radiator

  1. Open the drain cock to empty the car radiator of fluid. Use a catch basin to contain the fluid. Dispose of responsibly.
  2. Detach the clamps holding the connecting hoses in place.
  3. Disconnect the cooler lines.
  4. Remove the clamp bolts holding the radiator in place and lift it out.
  5. Put the new car radiator in place, clamping same. Reconnect the cooler lines, then attach and clamp new hoses.
  6. Fill the radiator with water and flush out the cooling system. Once flushed, add a 50/50 mixture of coolant. Start the car and inspect the cooling system for leaks.

How to Solve Common Radiator Problems

Car overheats.
Check coolant levels and top off as necessary. Examine the rest of the cooling system to ensure that hoses aren't cracked. If you find a leak, trace the source.
Cracked radiator.
If the radiator is plastic, you'll need to replace it. Otherwise, if the leak or hole is small, soldering may provide an effective solution.
Clogged radiator.
Flushing the radiator on a schedule will extend its life; however, replace a sludge-clogged radiator.
Buy a replacement radiator online or visit your local Advance Auto Parts store and have one of our knowledgable Team Members help you.

Additional FAQs

How do I shop for a car radiator?
Check out our full line of Carquest radiators to find one for your vehicle.
Can I change a radiator myself?
This isn't a job for a novice, but a mechanic isn't necessary. With the proper tools, including a socket set, you can get this job done in under an hour.
What kind of radiator do I need?
Replacing your OEM radiator with the same type is the best choice.
What other coolant system parts need care?
Besides the car radiator, the fan clutch, thermostat, hoses, and water pump may need replacement.

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