Most vehicle owners understand the importance of their radiators, but most do not understand how important the radiator cap pressure ratings are. You need to have the correct radiator cap if you want to get the most performance from your vehicle and preserve the cooling system.
ARE THERE DIFFERENT RATINGS FOR DIFFERENT CAPS
Different radiator caps have different ratings, and it is vital that you always use the correct cap for your radiator. If the cap that you are using for your radiator is not enough, it can result in problems with your cooling system. The cap serves as a pressure relief valve. Too much pressure can cause damage, while not enough pressure can cause the engine overheating.
HOW TO FIND THE PRESSURE RATING
This can be found on the top portion of the radiator cap listing the pressure rating. Always go for a cap of the correct pressure for your cooling system. You may find that it is helpful to test the cap so that you can be sure that it is working efficiently. If you do not have the equipment to do the radiator cap pressure testing, you can have this done at a shop.
WHEN TO CHECK THE RADIATOR CAP
If you have recently purchased a used vehicle, the radiator cap is something that you will want to run a check. The previous owner may not have thought to check the cap, or they may not have cared if it is the correct radiator cap for the vehicle.
You will also want to check the cap if you start to have problems with the cooling system. It might simply be that the cap is no longer keeping the pressure correctly. The simplest way to fix this problem is with a new radiator cap. However, you want to be sure that the problem is the cap, and not in another part of the system. Check the pressure on the cap with a radiator cap pressure tester.
HOW TO GET A NEW RADIATOR CAP WITH THE PROPER PRESSURE RATING
You can get new pressure caps for your radiator in the local auto supply store. Also, online retailers can offer caps but be sure that you know the correct rating for your vehicle before you buy a radiator cap. You can find the rating in your owner’s manual, or by contacting the manufacturer.
A radiator cap may look like a simple thing, something that doesn’t need much attention when your car has so many other more expensive parts. But, if that one thing is not correctly maintained, you can have thousands of dollars in repairs to keep up with later. Prevention is best. Keep in mind that that radiator cap has the ability to impair your vehicle’s cooling system, which can in turn cause issues for your engine. Understanding and following the pressure rating can save money on repairs in the future.