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Pontiac Firebird Radiator

Ways to Diagnose Your Pontiac Firebird Radiator Problems

The radiator is responsible in keeping your car's engine at a moderate level and ensuring that it does not overheat or abruptly shut down. While your Pontiac Firebird radiator may look fine on the outside, if you take a look on the inside you could find some problems. Because issues with this component are fairly common, it is always best to prepare for the time when you will have to take care of these problems.

Clogged radiator

When your car's radiator gets clogged, the entire cooling system is doomed to fail, and serious mechanical damage could happen if you fail to catch it on time. To find out if the component is clogged, start the car and allow it to run. Once it starts to warm up, feel the outside radiator fins with your hands. The entire component should heat up as hot fluid passes along inside, but if you feel hot and cold spots on the fins, then this means that the fluid is not flowing correctly because the radiator is clogged.

Overheating engine

One of the radiator's functions is to cool the liquid that circulates through your car's engine. When this component goes bad, its cooling capacity may be compromised. Because of this, a faulty radiator causes higher operating temperatures in the engine, which could lead to a full breakdown due to overheating. If your radiator is faulty, your engine will most likely overheat during heavy acceleration or when you come to a stop after highway driving. When you notice the temperature going up, immediately pull your car over and give the radiator a closer look.

Other troubleshooting tips

Always look out for possible issues with your car's heating and cooling system. If it starts to blow out too much hot or cold air or if it starts to lack in power, then there could be a problem with the radiator.

Never open a radiator cap while the engine is warm. Doing so could cause a serious accident, as the built-up pressure could turn the radiator cap into a flying missile.

When you notice your car engine overheating, do not just check for clogging or leaking in the radiator. Inspect leaks in the cooling system as well. Do not just put water in the radiator, but fill it with a real coolant instead. Examine the component for cracks or faulty connections as well.

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  • Three Ways to Keep a Pontiac Firebird Radiator Cool 27 February 2013

    Many units of the Pontiac Firebird are left and forgotten usually because its radiator and the rest of its cooling system have failed an overheating engine. Things like this only happen when owners neglect to maintain their car or don't know how to go about doing it in the first place. This guide can show you some useful ways on how you can keep your Firebird's radiator running. Do these simple and practical tips at least every other year to make sure you have a reliable car that won't suddenly overheat any time soon.


    Drain and replace radiator fluid.


    The radiator internally decays as it gets old. Most of the deposits end up in the radiator fluid circulating in the cooling system. With too much dirt going around, the flow is decreased and its ability to keep the engine cool is lessened. Some of the rotting may even end up near the engine and negatively affect performance. That's why it's necessary to flush the fluid out of the radiator to get rid of metal scales and deposits. Replace it with the right amount of coolant and water depending on the season. You generally use less coolant when it's colder, and more coolant when it's warmer.


    Keep an eye on the spoiler vent.


    On some units of the Pontiac Firebird (mostly 3rd generation models), the absence of a grille makes the job of the cooling system tougher as compared to a car that had one on. In its place is a spoiler vent on the base of the radiator that becomes the new path for the air. Its role is to scoop up cool wind when the car is travelling at a fast speed. Make sure that this is properly aligned and in position. This vent is usually prone to damage from parking-lot bumpers. Any variation-even slight ones-can result to inefficiency in collecting air and an overheated engine.


    Inspect the caps and hoses.


    For the radiator to work properly, it's important that enough pressure is kept inside the system. Any loss leads to inefficiency in cooling. Make sure the cap is sealed shut. Tubes and hoses should also be free of holes and punctures. Replace defective ones as soon as possible to maintain both the running engine and the cooling radiator.