The radiator cap is an important part of any vehicle’s radiator system. Usually made of metal or plastic, it’s a cap that seals the top of the radiator filler neck to prevent coolant loss while pressurizing the cooling system.
To find the radiator cap, you usually have to find the radiator first. On most vehicles, you can typically find the radiator next to the engine near the front of the vehicle. However, some vehicles will have a front-mounted radiator but a remote fill location that can vary depending on the vehicle’s year, make, and model.
On 2003-2008 Toyota Corolla models, you can find the radiator cap on top of the radiator, which is under the hood on the passenger side of the engine. Older models of the Mini Cooper also have a radiator cap on top of the radiator, but later models typically only have a coolant reservoir cap. You might not find a radiator cap on some Ford Focus models either, as some of them only have coolant reservoir caps.
Tips on How to Access the Radiator Cap
Before everything else, be sure to turn off your engine and let it cool for a while. Accessing the radiator cap while your engine is still warm is dangerous, especially because your coolant is most likely above the boiling point of water.
If you open the radiator cap while your engine is still warm, coolant can suddenly spill out and burn your hands. For extra protection, you can wrap a rag over the cap or wear gloves to protect your fingers.
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