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Function and Symptoms of A Bad Radiator Cap

The Car radiator is mainly responsible for maintaining the ideal temperature of the engine in the vehicle. This functions in accordance with the coolant fluid in the cooling system.

However, sometimes the system is running too hot and doesn’t cool down timely. So, in order to detect this problem before it gets worse, let us read the working principle and then, the symptoms of a bad radiator cap.

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Pre-requisites of Coolant System

The cooling system in the car mainly composed of tubes, radiator cap (also known as pressure valve), and the overflow tank on each side. There are other components too, which are vital to run the system.

1. Coolant Tubes

The main purpose of designing them in the cooling system is to build a bridge between the radiator and the engine. Responsible for circulating coolant, these are also known as bypass tubes.

2. Radiator Cap

This pressure cap functions in accordance with the spring-loaded valves. Its main use is to let the fluid out into the overflow tanks when the pressure inside the system increases. Similarly, on pressure-drop, it brings the liquid back from the tanks.

For your ease, if you don’t want to encounter a bad radiator cap, then always follow its maintenance tips.

3. Overflow Tank

Located on each side of the coolant system, these small reservoirs collect the fluid thrown out during the high pressure in the tubes. By this action, they simply allow for the recycle of the coolant fluid, once the vacuum is generated in the coolant.

4. Coolant Fluid

This mixture in the coolant mainly consists of water and antifreeze solution (in the proportion of 1:1).

Where the water extracts all the heat of the engine, the antifreeze solution, on the contrary, increases the boiling point of the solution. Thus, the latter helps in combating the corrosion and boiling of liquid in the system (that is, suppressing the after-effects of water).

Coolant Fluid and symptoms of a bad radiator cap
Principle symptoms of a bad radiator cap

Working Principle of Car Radiator

While the engine is running, the fluid from the coolant tubes enters into the engine heads and blocks. After collecting the heat from the engine, this liquid moves back into the radiator. There,the air entering through the car grill brings down the temperature of the fluid. However, the pressure inside the system increases, when the coolant gets heated above the marked PSI value. This action forces the spring load valve to open and release some of the fluid into the overflow tank. But, once the pressure drops below the preset temperature, this coolant returns to the system tubes.

How to Diagnose a Bad Radiator Cap

For the ones, who do not want the engine to stop suddenly, should make sure that the car doesn’t have a bad radiator cap. However, the question arises, how to check the deformed radiator cap in the vehicle? For this, check out the following defects in the car.

1. Warped Radiator Tubes/ Air Entering System

If the pressure cap doesn’t close properly then, it may allow the room for air in the system. To add on, this would break or cause the crack in the coolant hoses, once the system cools down. Therefore, if there is air in the radiator hoses or, any sort of leakage in the system, be sure with the quality of pressure cap.

2. Leakage of Coolant

If there are any holes in the radiator tubes or, leakage of any fluid from the hoses then, it is the symptoms of a bad radiator cap. So, always inspect it and if required, get it replaced also.

3. Unnecessarily Tanks Overflow

The loose radiator cap would release the fluid into the reservoirs tank, without building any pressure in the system.

So, if the coolant gets released too instantly or, the tanks start overflowing, it is better to look at the cap first.

4. Rapid Rise in Engines Temperature

When the radiator cap allows the escaping of fluid or, when there is restricted flow of coolant, it may cause the engine to overheat. In such cases, it is advisable to stop immediately or, else you may end up damaging the engine.

Knowing symptoms of a bad radiator cap
All about the symptoms of a bad radiator cap

Now, after knowing the symptoms of a bad radiator cap and its standard working, it must be easy to inspect the cap area and save your vehicle from any costly damage or, repair.