If your radiator is malfunctioning, you should take it in for a repair before your entire engine overheats and stops working. However, if you cannot schedule the repair right away, you should make a radiator survival kit for your car. Here are a few items that can help:
Coolant is the substance that runs through your engine's components to keep them cool. Then, it passes into the radiator which cools it down before releasing it back into the engine. In some cases, a radiator malfunction can be related to low coolant levels. If your car starts to overheat, pull over, check the coolant levels and add more as needed.
There is no dipstick under the radiator cap. Rather, the fluid needs to be all the way to the top. If you don't see fluid, add more.
Don't even touch the radiator cap whilst the engine is still hot. Rather wait for it to cool down. To test the temp of your radiator cap, spit on it. If the spit sizzles, it's way too hot to touch. If the spittle just sits there, you can screw off the cap to check the coolant levels. However, to give your hand a bit of protection, use a towel.
3. Pop-up canopy
This is especially important if you drive on rural roads without many trees. If your engine starts to overheat, you don't want to push it. You want to stop the car as soon as possible. That means you may get stuck pulling over somewhere without shade. Make your own shade for your vehicle by using a pop-up canopy. Canopies feature foldable canvas and telescoping poles so you can easily store them in the boot or backseat of most vehicles. This also gives you a shady spot to sit while you wait for a tow truck if needed.
4. Jug of water
To cool down your engine block quickly, have a jug of water in the car. When you pull over, pop the bonnet open and pour over the water. Don't panic if you see a lot of steam-- that's inevitable with a hot engine.
5. Solar powered fan
When your heat gauge starts to creep upward, you can mitigate the situation by running the heater in your car. The heating system acts as a secondary coolant system, and as a result, it can take up some of the slack from the malfunctioning radiator. However, that can get unbearably hot inside your car. To counteract the heat have a solar or battery-operated fan that you can stick on the dashboard or pass around to the other passengers in the car to keep everyone a bit cool.
For more information or assistance, contact an auto repair shop near you, such as Natrad.