Radiator fluid or radiator coolant is a special liquid used in the cooling system of vehicle engines, such as cars or motorcycles. Its function is to help regulate the engine temperature to stay within safe limits during operation. When an engine is running, its internal temperature can increase significantly due to friction and fuel combustion.
Good maintenance of the cooling system, including the radiator coolant, is very important to maintain the performance and life of the vehicle’s engine. Poor condition of the cooling system can cause engine overheating, which can cause serious and costly damage if not treated promptly. Therefore, it is important to regularly check and replace radiator fluid and coolant according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Check out this TransTRACK article for more information!
Radiator Fluid Function
The function of the radiator coolant is very important in the cooling system in vehicle engines, be it cars, motorcycles or other machines. Here are some of the main functions of the coolant radiator:
The main function of radiator fluid is to cool the vehicle engine. When the engine is running, the energy generated from burning fuel causes an increase in engine temperature. The radiator coolant’s function is to absorb heat from the engine and carry it to the radiator, where it can be dispersed into the surrounding air.
Maintaining Optimal Temperature
Engine temperatures that are too high can cause damage to engine components and reduce performance efficiency. Radiator coolant helps maintain engine temperature within a safe and optimal range so that the engine can function properly and have a longer life.
Overheating or overheating of the engine can cause serious damage, even to damage the vital parts of the engine. Radiator coolant helps prevent overheating by removing excess heat from the engine and cooling the coolant before returning to the engine.
When the ambient temperature drops, the radiator coolant mixed with coolant containing an antifreeze agent prevents water from freezing in the cooling system. Water freezing inside the engine can cause serious damage, especially to the engine block.
The coolant in the radiator coolant also contains corrosion inhibitors which help protect the cooling system from damage due to corrosion or rust. Corrosion can cause cooling system leaks and damage other important components.
Improves Fuel Efficiency
By keeping the engine temperature at an optimal level, the radiator coolant helps improve fuel efficiency. An engine that operates at the right temperature performs better and consumes fuel more efficiently.
It is important to maintain the radiator coolant and the entire cooling system in good condition so that the vehicle’s engine can function optimally, last and be safe. Routine maintenance, such as checking the radiator fluid level, changing the coolant according to a schedule, and checking the cooling system regularly, is an important step in maintaining the health of a vehicle’s engine.
Types of Car Radiator Fluid
There are several types of radiator coolant that are commonly used in cars, namely:
Inorganic Additive Technology (IAT)
This type of water radiator is also known as a silicate-based coolant radiator. IAT contains silicate as the main corrosion inhibitor. Silicate serves to coat metal surfaces in cooling systems and protect against corrosion. Although IATs are quite effective at preventing corrosion, they tend to require more frequent replacement than other technologies. Replacement should be done about every 2 years or as recommended by the manufacturer.
Organic Acid Technology (OAT)
This type of radiator coolant uses organic acids as corrosion inhibitors. OAT tends to last longer than IAT and does not need to be replaced as quickly as IAT. They can last about 5 years or so before requiring replacement. OAT is also known to have good compatibility with various types of materials and materials in the cooling system.
Hybrid Organic Acid Technology (HOAT)
This type of radiator coolant is a combination of IAT and OAT technologies. HOAT uses a combination of silicates and organic acids as corrosion inhibitors. The aim of HOAT is to combine the advantages of the two previous technologies, namely the longevity of OAT and better protection than IAT. As a result, HOATs often have a longer service life and better performance than IATs.
It is important to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the type of radiator coolant that should be used in your vehicle. The use of appropriate radiator fluid can help keep the cooling system functioning optimally and protect the engine from damage due to overheating and corrosion. In addition, be sure to check the radiator coolant level regularly and replace it according to the recommendations so that the cooling system operates properly.
Radiator Fluid Out Sign
Signs that the radiator coolant is running low or the cooling system is having problems include the following:
Rough Engine Sound
When radiator coolant is at a low or depleted level, the engine may become hotter than usual. This can cause engine components to overheat or overheat, resulting in a harsh or noisy engine sound. Overheating can also damage engine parts and cause further damage.
Steam Exit from the Hood
If you see steam or smoke coming from the hood of the vehicle, this is a sign that the engine temperature is very high. This can happen due to a lack of coolant in the radiator coolant. Excessive temperatures cause the water in the engine to evaporate and escape as steam from the hood.
Less Powerful Engine
Insufficient or depleted radiator fluid can cause the engine to overheat. Overheating can cause the engine to lose power or poor performance. The engine will be inefficient because excessive heat causes fuel combustion to not be optimal.
AC Less Cool
A cooling system that is not functioning properly can affect the performance of the AC. A lack of coolant in the radiator coolant will cause the engine temperature to rise, making it difficult for the AC to produce adequate cold air.
Engine Temperature Indicator Near Red
Almost all modern vehicles are equipped with an engine temperature indicator. If the engine temperature indicator starts to approach the red zone or shows signs of overheating, this could be a sign that the radiator coolant is low or low, and the cooling system needs to be checked immediately.
If you see one or more of the above signs, it is very important to stop the vehicle immediately and check the radiator coolant level. Never open the hood when the engine is hot as this can cause serious burns. Let the engine cool before checking the radiator fluid or contact your nearest repair shop for professional help. Fixing problems with cooling systems quickly can prevent further damage to the engine and other components.
Causes of Radiator Fluid Running Out Quickly
There are several reasons that can cause the radiator coolant to run out quickly. Some of them are:
Leaks in the cooling system are one of the main causes of radiator coolant running out quickly. Leaks can occur in hoses, water pumps, radiators, or even in other parts of the cooling system. Leaks cause coolant to escape from the system, causing radiator fluid to decrease rapidly.
If the engine is overheating, the coolant in the radiator coolant will evaporate more quickly, which means that the radiator fluid will run out quickly. Overheating can occur for various reasons, such as leaks, problems with the thermostat, cooling fans that don’t work, or problems with the electrical system.
Improper Use of Coolant
The use of coolant that is not in accordance with the specifications of the vehicle can also cause the radiator coolant to run out quickly. Each vehicle has certain requirements for the coolant used, and the use of inappropriate coolant can cause problems with the cooling system.
Evaporation is a process in which coolant, especially if it does not contain sufficient antifreeze agent, can evaporate when the engine is hot. If the radiator coolant lacks coolant or antifreeze agent, evaporation will cause the radiator coolant to run out quickly.
Unfavorable Radiator Conditions
If the radiator is corroded, damaged, or clogged, the radiator coolant will not function efficiently. As a result, the engine will more easily experience overheating and the radiator coolant will run out quickly.
Water Pump Failure
The water pump functions to circulate the coolant in the system. If the water pump fails, the coolant circulation will be disrupted, causing the radiator coolant to run out quickly.
Problem with Reservoir Coolant
A coolant reservoir (coolant reservoir) that is leaking or experiencing problems can also cause radiator fluid to run out quickly because the leaked coolant cannot be maintained in the system.
To prevent radiator coolant from running out quickly, it is important to carry out regular maintenance and inspection of the cooling system. If you suspect that there is a problem with the cooling system or the radiator fluid is rapidly decreasing, immediately have your vehicle checked by a repair shop for proper diagnosis and repair.
Can the radiator fluid be filled with plain water?
Radiator fluid can be filled with plain water as a temporary or emergency measure, but not as a substitute for actual coolant or radiator fluid. If you run out of suitable radiator coolant or water, filling plain water into the cooling system can be an alternative to help keep the engine temperature stable for a while.
So, the use of plain water should only be an emergency measure if you do not have access to suitable coolant or radiator fluid. As soon as possible, replace it with the appropriate coolant and make sure the cooling system is in good condition to keep the vehicle’s engine operating optimally and safely.
In maintaining the health of the vehicle engine and preventing problems with the cooling system, the use of the Vehicle Maintenance System from TransTRACK can be the right solution. This system offers various features and benefits to make it easier for vehicle owners to carry out routine maintenance, including maintenance of the cooling system and radiator fluid.
By using the Vehicle Maintenance System from TransTRACK, vehicle owners can be more confident in dealing with long trips or situations that require optimal engine performance. Proper routine maintenance will improve fuel efficiency, engine performance, and vehicle engine life.
So, if you want to avoid problems with your cooling system and keep your radiator fluid in optimal condition, come join TransTRACK and take advantage of their Vehicle Maintenance System feature. Make your vehicle maintenance more efficient and rely on this modern system to ensure the safety and comfort of your trip. With TransTRACK, you can save time, money and stay on the right track to better vehicle maintenance.