How A Radiator Works to Cool a Truck Engine

Do you know how a radiator works? If not, then this is the guide that you should look out for to understand how it functions. The entire cooling system is under the hood and works to prevent the engine from overheating. The engine becomes hot as it functions. If it is not cooled, your engine can seize.

What is a Radiator?

Before we get to know how a radiator works, let’s first get to know what it is. The engine burns fuel and air to generate energy. In this process, heat is generated. Cooling the heat produced prevents the engine from getting damaged.

The radiator eliminates heat from the engine. The process of cooling starts with the thermostat which detects excess heat. After the thermostat has detected heat, the cooling system releases the coolant and water from the radiator, which moves throughout the engine to absorb heat. 

The hot coolant from the engine moves to the radiator through the hoses. The radiator has a fan that blows air to cool down the hot coolant from the engine. 

The radiator has thin metal fins, enabling heat to escape outside the truck. The fins work hand in hand with the fan that blows air across the radiator. 

Parts of a Radiator

The radiator has a few components that enable it to function effectively.

The Core

The core is a metal block that is the biggest part of the radiator. At this part, the heat from the coolant is released and gets cooled down before being released to the engine through the hoses.

The Pressure Cap

A pressure cap seals the cooling system and ensures that it is pressurized. The pressurizing prevents the coolant from boiling and maintains the system’s efficiency.

Inlet and Outlet Tanks

These are where the coolant flows in and out of the radiator. The inlet and outlet are located at the head of the radiator. The inlet tank allows hot air to flow into the radiator as the outlet tanks release excellent coolant, which flows back to the engine.

How A Radiator Works to Cool a Truck Engine

The primary function of the radiator is to provide a large surface area for hot coolant for the heat to be dissipated effectively. The hot coolant gets into the radiator from the inlet tank, and there are core tubes in the radiator.

The core tubes run through fins which are numerous small sheets. The fins increase the surface area for the dispersion of heat. The radiator is located in front of the engine behind the grille or where there is adequate airflow. 

As the truck is in motion, the cool air will get into the radiator fins through the grille, dissipating heat from the coolant. The primary role of the fan is to ensure that the cool air moves over the radiator when your truck is moving slowly or not in motion, but the engine is running.


For your truck’s engine to function correctly, it requires a working radiator and a cooling system. The radiator relies on various parts to work effectively. In most trucks, the radiator is located in front of the engine or in an area that receives a lot of air. Its location matters because the radiator solely depends on cool air to cool down the engine and prevent it from overheating. Failure of any of these parts can result in engine overheating. 

3 Steps To Easily Troubleshoot a Radiator Not Working

Is your truck’s radiator not working? If that is the case, then this guide is intended to help you The internal combustion engine produces too much heat when functioning. The heat can damage essential parts of the engine, such as seals, plastic hoses, and the entire engine block. The cooling system has a radiator that cools down the hot coolants from the engine. In most trucks, the radiator is located in front of the engine.

Tips for Troubleshooting a Radiator Not Working

When it is your first time performing this process, or you are not able to continue, consider checking your truck repair manual. The repair manual will aid you in troubleshooting various problems related to the cooling system.

As you diagnose your radiator, think of the conditions in which such problems occur.

If the check engine light appears, consider scanning the computer for trouble codes that will give a clue to the problem.

If your radiator is damaged, consider installing a new one instead of repairing it.

Troubleshooting a Radiator Not Working

Clogged Radiator

When your radiator is clogged, the coolant will not be able to flow effectively. If the clog is external, the airflow will be restricted, leading to engine overheating. In such a case, consider checking the following.

  1. Make sure your engine cools by parking your truck and letting it cool down.
  2. Check inside the radiator. To do this effectively, consider removing the cap and checking if there is debris inside. If you see any debris, the only option is to fix a new radiator.
  3. Check the outer part for external clogs. To do this, check if there is any debris on the front part of your radiator. Consider cleaning it using a garden hose or compressed air if you see any.

Bad Radiator Cap

If your radiator cap cannot hold the pressure, the coolant will boil, and your engine will overheat. You must have the system pressure cap to check for a bad radiator cap. To troubleshoot a bad radiator cap by doing the following.

  1. Let your engine cool down completely.
  2. Remove the pressure cap by unscrewing it. It would help if you had the necessary tools, such as the screwdriver, to achieve this.
  3. Use the pressure tester on the cap. Ensure it is holding the required amount as per the cap. If it does not, replace it.

Faulty Radiator Fan

Your engine will overheat when the radiator fan stops functioning or functions irregularly. To troubleshoot a faulty radiator fan, do the following.

  1. Park your truck and let its engine cool down.
  2. Check the radiator fan. It can stop functioning due to mechanical or electrical problems.
  3. Start your truck and let the engine warm up.
  4. If you realize the engine’s temperature goes beyond normal, consider inspecting your fan. You might realize that it is turning slowly or does not entirely turn. If your fan is mechanical, consider replacing the clutch, but for an electric fan, check the circuit first. 


If you are looking for a way to troubleshoot radiator not working, then the guide above should help. The radiator, part of the cooling system, can sometimes fail to work, and it is necessary to equip yourself with basic troubleshooting knowledge as per this guide.

Troubleshooting Faulty Radiator Fan Easily In A Truck

Are you looking for a way on troubleshooting faulty radiator in your truck? Your engine must not overheat if you want it to give better services and a long lifespan. The cooling system in your engine helps maintain room temperature for your engine’s proper functioning. The cooling system has various parts which enable it to perform its role of cooling the engine. It has coolant, a radiator fan that blows cool air through the radiator to transfer heat to prevent the engine from overheating. If the radiator fan fails to work, your engine is at risk, and should you should fix it as fast as possible.

Troubleshooting Faulty Radiator Fan In A Truck

A failing radiator can completely ruin the way your engine. The radiator fan in a truck is an essential part of the engine cooling system. As your engine is running, the combustion and friction generate heat, and the heat increases the temperature of the entire engine.

The heat needs to be cooled down for the engine to function effectively. The radiator fan is between the engine and the radiator. It plays the role of blowing air to cool down the hot water and other coolants which are flowing within the radiator. To understand how to go about troubleshooting faulty radiator systems, we must look at what causes these issues.

Causes of Radiator not Functioning Properly

Bad Fuse

The fuse can either fall off or blow. It is a common issue that causes the radiator fun not to function correctly. Check the manufacturer’s manual to locate the fuse and its physical appearance in such a situation. You have to replace a faulty radiator fan fuse. 

It is worth noting that if any electrical part of the truck is not working, check the fuse first.

Dead Wires

If you note that your engine is heating up, but the radiator fan is not functioning, faulty wires might cause all this. To troubleshoot this, unplug both the positive and the negative cables. In a standard direct current set-up, the wire must have an output of 12v. To know this, use a voltmeter to check if there is current in the cables. If there is no current, consider replacing the wires.

A Broken Fan Clutch

The fan clutch attaches the radiator fan to the engine and ensures it works. The fan will not be able to work if the fan clutch is broken. The usual wear and tear are responsible for causing this. If your fan is not running and you cannot find any other issue, the clutch might be the culprit.

Low Coolant Levels

The radiator fan can fail to function if the level of the coolant goes down. In such a scenario, consider checking the coolant level in the reservoir. If it is low, consider refilling it.

Checking the levels of the radiator fans is one of the essential maintenance tips you should consider doing for your cooling system to run smoothly. 


The fundamental component of the cooling system is the radiator fan. This part should be in optimum working condition to keep blowing off heat from the coolant. This guide provides some tips on how you can troubleshoot a faulty radiator fan.  

Why Your Truck Needs a Radiator Flush

An increase in the temperature makes many truck owners worry about their trucks. High temperatures expose the battery and other essential engine components to danger. And before you know it, you could be needing more than just regular maintainance for your truck. For your truck to be safe from the environmental heat, you need fresh radiator fluid. Are you prepared for radiator fluid flush?

What Is Radiator Fluid Flush? 

The radiator cools the engine by using coolants which absorb the heat in the engine to the radiator where cooling takes place. As the radiator fluid does this, its quantity reduces with time making the radiator to be less effective. When the radiator becomes less effective, high chances of your engine getting damaged due to high temperatures are high. 

If you do not top up the radiator fluid, chances are high that your engine will rust, warp and eventually fail completely. To keep your radiator functional, you need to perform a regular radiator fluid flush. When performing the radiator fluid flush, the old refrigerant will be drained and the system will be filled with the fresh refrigerant. How will you know that you need to perform a radiator flush?

Signs that Your Truck Needs a Radiator Flush

Let us look at some of the signs that will show you that you need to perform radiator flush.

When the Engine Gauge Registers High Temperature

The dashboard of your truck has a temperature gauge. The role of that temperature gauge is not to show you the temperature of your cabin but you should be keen on it because it shows the temperature of the engine. If the temperature gauge rises above normal, just know that your radiator coolant level is low and you need to perform a radiator flush.

When Your Engine Overheats

When the temperature gauge hits the red area, its an indication that the temperature of your engine has gone high above normal. If you find yourself in such a scenario when driving, it is necessary to stop and give your engine time to cool down. When you note a rise of temperature, you should switch off AC system. When this happens, never continue driving to your destination instead take your truck to the nearest mechanic to perform you radiator fluid flush.

A Sweet Syrup-Like Smell From Your Engine

The coolant is composed of ethylene glycol molecules which resemble sugar molecules. When the radiator coolant is exposed to high temperatures, they burn to produce a sweet syrup-like smell. When you feel such smell, do not enjoy but it symbolizes that something serious is happening and you need a radiator fluid flush as soon as possible.

White Vapour or Coloured Fluid Leakage

People say that one can detect radiator fluid leakages below the engine. At room temperature, the radiator refrigerant is in a gaseous state. If the radiator fluids are leaking, they will evaporate very fast. But you can manage to detect the leaking radiator coolant before they turn into gases. The color of a refrigerant is green or orange. 


During high temperatures, you should pay keen attention to your car’s cooling system. Doing this will enable you to make an adequate radiator fluid flush in time.

Radiator Not Holding Water – Fixing Truck Radiator

If you own a truck, you know what it takes to maintain and put it in good working condition. If you are interested in trucks, you will strive to fix most of the problems alone in your garage without involving a second party. The common problem that you have to face is the leaking coolant. Your coolant will leak and it is at this point that you realize that the radiator not holding water. Here’s how to go about it. 

What is a Radiator? 

The radiator is the main component of your truck’s cooling system. It monitors and regulates your engine’s temperature, thus preventing your engine from overheating. 

The radiator is the part of the engine cooling system which includes the liquid coolant, hoses, a fan, and a thermostat whose primary role is to monitor the temperature of the coolant. The hoses connect to the radiator and move to all engine parts. Their primary role is to deliver the coolant throughout the engine. As the coolant moves through the hots parts of the engine, it absorbs the heat, and the hot coolant goes to the radiator, where it gets cooled.

Your truck engine heats up when functioning in hot weather, but the temperatures might go up when the radiator water leaks. Why does the radiator leak? 

Is Your Truck Radiator Not Holding Water? – Causes of Radiator Leak

Several reasons cause radiator leaks. Here are some of the common reasons.

When the Hoses are Not Sealed Well

Initially, we said that the radiator had hoses. It is through these hoses that the coolant moves to and from the radiator. The hoses have got joints. If the joints are not well sealed, you will experience a coolant leak from your truck. 

Apart from the hose joints, the seals will start breaking with time. When this happens, the coolant will leak through the breakages. Always pay keen attention to the radiator hoses and ensure the sealing is correct to avoid leakages from the seals. 

Leaking Radiator Cap

The radiator cap maintains proper pressure within the hoses. Pressure is necessary for the movement of the coolant. The radiator cap will leak without proper sealing, and the pressure will push the coolant out. 

Replacing the radiator cap solves the leakage problems. If you ignore it, the rate at which water will leak from the radiator will increase.

Radiator Corrosion

The more you use your truck, dirt and debris will enter through the grills and accumulate in your radiator. The more the dirt piles up, the higher the radiator’s chance of developing rust.

The rust corrodes the radiator, which reduces its ability to hold water that will leak outside.

Preventive Maintenance

  1. Consider replacing the radiator hoses after covering 36,000 miles. The raw material used to make the hoses is rubber which breaks when dry.
  2. Always check the levels of the coolant. If you note that it is dropping drastically, there might be a leakage within the system.
  3. Flush the coolant after every 25,000 miles. Doing this will remove the contaminant in the coolant, which can corrode the radiator. 


The worst experience is being on the side of the road with a leaking radiator. You should know the causes of radiator leaks and some preventive maintenance tips in this guide.