how long does a radiator last
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Find out how to make your radiator last longer

Most car radiators will last for the life of your vehicle, however, there are circumstances where you’ll need to replace the radiator to keep the car running safely.

You should consider a new radiator if you’ve upgraded the car engine to produce more power. A more powerful engine gives out more heat so it will need an upgraded radiator to handle the higher heat output effectively.

A properly maintained radiator should last at least 3 years, and up to 8-10 years. New radiators installed in your car by Natrad come with a national three-year warranty.

What might make my radiator fail sooner?

Other parts of the car cooling system, such as hoses and other components can fail. If the damage isn’t noticed soon enough, the radiator itself may become damaged.

For example, if a hose develops a leak, coolant escapes from the cooling system. When coolant doesn’t circulate through the car’s cooling system, this has a flow-on effect on the engine and radiator and can result in damage due to heat.

Your car radiator may also fail when debris builds up and clogs the radiator. Corrosion can also shorten the life of your car radiator. This can be prevented by regular cooling system servicing and ensuring you always use the correct coolant for your car.

The radiator can also be damaged by ‘stray current‘. Testing for stray current should always be done when installing the radiator. Stray current can occur when the electrical system is modified, or following the fitment of electrical aftermarket accessories.

mechanic servicing car radiator

When will my radiator last longer?

Your car’s radiator will last longer than the expected time if your annual mileage is low. If you live near the ocean or the vehicle is frequently exposed to salt in the air or water, the lifespan of your radiator will tend to be shorter as salt increases the rate of corrosion.

A copper/brass or full-alloy radiator will usually last longer than a plastic-aluminium radiator. Plastic expands and contracts as the radiator heats up and cools down. Over time this will eventually lead to cracking of the plastic tanks and the radiator will need to be replaced.

A well-maintained cooling system kept free of debris and corrosion will contribute to a longer radiator lifespan.

What can I do to take care of my radiator?

Regularly servicing of your car’s radiator will ensure that coolant, hoses and other parts of the cooling system are replaced promptly if they show signs of wear.

You should check your coolant level regularly when you check your engine oil level. This will ensure that you notice any leaks or loss of coolant early, and you can have the problem repaired before major damage occurs.

If you do get into a situation where you need a quick fix for your radiator to keep you on the road, make sure that you take the vehicle to a technician for a proper check as soon as you can.

mechanic at work in garage

How do I get a new radiator?

If your car is overheating and you need a new radiator, find a radiator specialist store that can assist. A Natrad technician can advise you on the correct radiator for your vehicle and will ensure that it is properly and safely installed.

Whether you need a direct replacement radiator or you want to upgrade the existing radiator, your local Natrad store can supply a high-quality replacement that suits both your vehicle and driving requirements.

Ask a Natrad technician about a replacement radiator or book a radiator service to keep your radiator in good condition.