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Chevrolet Blazer Radiator

Common Chevrolet Blazer Radiator Problems and Their Causes

The radiator is the essential part of your vehicle's cooling system that dissipates excess heat from your engine into the atmosphere. A powerful four-wheel drive vehicle like the Chevrolet Blazer needs a hard-working radiator to keep its engine running at the right temperature and to keep it from overheating. Now a lot of things can go wrong with this component. Here are the most common warning signs you can expect from your radiator and the culprits behind them:

Low coolant level

If you find yourself adding coolant and water to your radiator a lot more frequently than usual, then your radiator may be leaking. Pools of coolant on your garage floor are another tell-tale sign. The leak could be from a torn radiator fin causing the coolant to leak through the upper radiator hose, or a crack in the radiator itself. This problem will eventually cause your vehicle to overheat. To confirm that the radiator has gone bad, get a pressure tester from an auto parts store and use it to determine the exact source of the leak and to see if the radiator is still capable of pushing the coolant through the rest of the cooling system.

Discolored coolant

Coolant with a dirty, muddy appearance (commonly known as radiator sludge) can be caused by a rusty or faulty radiator that's allowing debris to enter and contaminate the coolant. This sludge is incapable of effectively circulating and cooling your engine, thus resulting in overheating. Another problem is when the sludge leaves small deposits in the radiator that cause the fins to clog. Fixing this problem often involves flushing your radiator and cleaning it and/or replacing the intake manifold gasket. Simply draining and replacing the coolant is not enough since some of the sludge ends up remaining in the radiator and contaminating the fresh coolant.

Isolated cool spots on the radiator

Start your vehicle then carefully touch parts of your radiator. You can also use an infrared thermometer for safer scanning. If you find any cold spots, that could indicate that your radiator is clogged and full of debris. Try flushing your radiator with a flush kit to push out any blockage. If the upper radiator hose isn't warming up, then it means your thermostat isn't opening and needs to be replaced.

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  • Pointers for Keeping Your Chevrolet Blazer Radiator in Top Condition

    A powerful four-wheel drive vehicle like your Chevrolet Blazer requires a fully-functioning radiator to address its engine's heavy cooling needs. Should this vital component fail, your vehicle will frequently overheat until the engine breaks down completely. Here are some pointers for keeping your radiator in working condition:

    Inspect the head gasket.

    When the head gasket gets worn out and starts leaking, it can cause overheating or high coolant pressure. The problem eventually cause cracks in your radiator. Inspect your head gasket at least once a year and replace it at the first signs of serious wear.

    Be on the lookout for leaks.

    Leaking coolant will eventually cause your vehicle to overheat. Regularly check the coolant level and see if your vehicle leaves pools of coolant on the floor of your garage. If you find that you are indeed losing coolant, you can detect the source of the leak by adding colored dye to the fluid and then using a machine to pressurize the cooling system. The dyed fluid will leave a temporary stain at the source of the leak. You can mend minor leaks with special "stop-leak" solutions and bigger cracks by welding them. Also check if your radiator hoses are spongy or brittle—properties that indicate leaking hoses.

    Check your radiator for clogs.

    There are two ways you can check your radiator for clogs. After starting your vehicle, you can use an infrared thermometer to scan for cold spots. If you don't have an infrared thermometer, you can carefully touch the upper radiator hose and parts of the radiator itself to see if they warm up or not. Cold spots are an indication of internal blockages which you can push out with a flush kit. You can prevent this problem by regularly flushing your radiator and changing the coolant every other year or every 40,000 miles.

    Practice driving habits that prevent overheating.

    Sometimes, overheating happens not out of radiator failure but simply because more heat builds up than the cooling system is meant to handle (like being stuck in traffic during hot weather and with the air conditioning on). Certain driving habits can make sure your radiator isn't overworked. Try staying at least 10 feet away from the car in front of you so its exhaust flow doesn't flow into your radiator. Avoid crowded highways as much as possible. When in danger of overheating, turn off the air conditioner and turn the heater on "High." The heater core can act like a second radiator and draw heat away from the engine—at the cost of a hotter passenger compartment.