I too have experienced the same problem with a radiator cap. I was a student, so I didn't have much money. I had to start replacing the cheapest parts. A new thermostat didn't cure the problem, but the replacement radiator cap did. This is not the normal way I troubleshoot problems, but it worked in this case.
In my experience along many years (at least 32 or 33), one of the worst options to maintain and fix my vehicles, is the "dealer" shop. But many other shops are mediocre ones. That's why I prefer to make 99% of my repair and 99%+ of the maintenance of my cars at home.
(the only service I remember that I HAD to order in the last years, was a brake system hydraulic fluid purge ("bleeding'), and that is only because present day automotive "engineers" are terrible designers, and had made pedal purging impossible, having placed hydraulic brake lines full of up and down curves and empty ABS valve housings where air accumulates when one changes de brake fluid... and the brake cylinder hasn't enough volume to displace those air bubbles completely, REQUIRING a power flushing device to achieve a COMPLETE air purging).
The reason Dealer's shops are so bad, is that Dealerships have high operating costs because the locations need to be large enough to accomodate large and spacious new car showrooms, plus spare parts space, but because they sell fewer parts at those overpriced amounts, they end up selling much less and then they go the easy route to overcharge in all services. Because they pay low salaries to their mechanics, the average mechanic prefers to work for other shops, as Dealerships press on them too hard, assigning impossibly short repair times, which causes many mechanics to leave soon, lowering the expertise of the personnel. All this ends up producing a stong tendency to make sloppy repairs by changing parts instead of carefully analyzing the real problem. It is faster for a mechanic to just change the part than to try harder to analyze the root problem. And the poor client has to pay for all those inefficiencies! The Dealership looses money because the parts department ends up supplying too much parts that didn't need to be changed at all... and many customers return to demand more repair time because the Dealer shop did not fixed the problem. A perfect vicious circle!
On the other side, the absurdly stupid (ab)use of electronics on recent cars, make them difficult to fix, to start with. Even when recent models have improved reliability over the first three or four years, they are much more difficult to service because so called automotive "designers" have produced the worst designs of all time in respect to component placement, free space under the hood, and a complete lack of actual experince with the repair ability aspects! They could be expert AutoCad manipulators, but the worst "designers" of all time, no doubt. Heck, I could write a whole book full of real life examples just describing how failed are today´s underhood designs! Amclaussen.
Amclaussen wrote "the only service I remember that I HAD to order in the last years, was a brake system hydraulic fluid purge ("bleeding'), and that is only because present day automotive "engineers" are terrible designers, and had made pedal purging impossible, having placed hydraulic brake lines full of up and down curves and empty ABS valve housings where air accumulates when one changes de brake fluid... and the brake cylinder hasn't enough volume to displace those air bubbles completely, REQUIRING a power flushing device to achieve a COMPLETE air purging)."
You might have been able to purge the brake system using a handheld vacuum pump with a fluid-catching jar. This combination costs about $25 at discount auto parts stores and has many other uses.
While I have the best Mityvac vacuum hand pump available (the metal body one), and use it for my 1991 and other cars succesfully, it is useless for my 2002. This model has such a large cavity in the empty volume inside the ABS valve body, that the air bubble that accumulates there when I perform a complete brake fluid change, that the mighty "Mityvac" is not powerful enough to completely remove the resulting air pocket. That is why better brake repair shops here where I live, have resorted to buy an expensive but excellent machine: the ATE FB30s is a bleeding unit that has a pressure cap that installs over the brake fluid reservoir atop the master cylinder, that feeds fresh fluid maintaining the proper reservoir level while the technician goes around the car opening and closing every wheel cylinder to purge any air bubbles in every line. The pressure is adjusted about two bar (30 PSIG approx).
First the technician uses a vacuum hose to remove almos all the old fluid from the reservoir, and then attaches de cap adaptor, pressurizes the system and manually opens one by one the bleeder crews at the wheels.
The pressure, and specially the VOLUME of fluid that this machine can flow through the lines is more then enough to be able to pull along the large bubbles that my 2002 accumulates.
The owner of tha shop told me that he decided to buy that equipment because they have foung that many recent cars are problematic to service because of complicated ABS, EBS and all sorts of acronims, plus the fact that hydraulic line placement and paths are no longer properly made. (Guess what: the factory uses pressure fluid fillers too!).
Believe me, I've been maintaining my vehicles for decades, by later models are becoming a nighmare to work on them. I'm facing the decision about tackling the timing belt change in my 2002 with 53,000 miles, or to take it to a shhop, because the belt change implies a lot of disassembly in overly tight spaces. And the belt change requires changing the coolant pump, belt tensioner and idler, all are inside the engine, which obligues to remove ALL the accesory belts, pulles, many covers etc. So much for progress and "advanced design".
To make matters worse, the steering rack has started to exhibit some play, so that is makes a metallic noise when the car goes over bumps, and is leaking a little steering fluid too. Now, to remove the steering rack from the car is not easy at all, requirin to remove the whole front subframe... In comparison, my older 1991 has twice the years and over twice the mileage and has no problems like these.
Amcloaussens response about increasing complexity and penny pinching of automotive companies makes me think about timing belts. Most cars these days have a timing belt that must be replaced around 100,000 miles with a cost of between $750-$1000. If you don't change it and it snaps, you can destroy the top end of your engine when the pistons strike open valves. Of course, some engines have valve relief pockets machined into the tops of the piston but many manufacturers have decided that these cost money and put the risk on the consumer. My question is when was the last time you heard of a timing chain snap on a small block Chevy? Probably never.
@ LarryM; The vacuum gauge is not necessarily a good thing. I have both a pressure and a vacuum bleeder, the pressure bleeder goes on the fluid reservoir the vacuum bleeder goes on the individual bleeder fittings-one at a time. The flexible lines going to the front wheels and to the rear-end have a outer rubber (something) cover, a braided steel layer and an inner rubber (something) layer. When you pull a vacuum on these flexible lines it is quite possible you will collapse the inner rubber layer - it will still pass fluid but it is likely to collapse in such a way that it acts like a one way check valve. Send the car down the road and after repeated applications of the brakes the pressure in the wheel cylinders cannot release and the resultant friction causes smoke and very irritated customers. I have enough experince with bleeding brakes and irritated customers that I no longer use the vacuum method. Also, flushing brake fluid should not permit air to enter the lines, thus no bubbles will be available to accumulate.
Amclaussen, I'm with you, there are few/none auto designers who care about servicability, They need to work on their own cars for a while. They have become like electronics & appliance designers who just think when it goes bad you get a new one.
I red somewhere that automotive assembly effenciency experts, hahaha, don't like screw threads because the only worthwhile turn the fastener makes is the last one when it tightens. They would replace everything with push on fasteners, try taking that in & out several times.
@Charles, I think you could have done better in addressing the multiple design flaws in the new car. Maybe they were due to the fact that you were buying a used car and some malfunction was to be expected but, as in the case with the radiator cap, it was a genuine manufacturing flaw that should have been brought to the attention of the manufacturers; if only for the sake of other drivers who may have similar issues.
Now this perfectly fits into the description of monkey-designed products. I blame it squarely on automation on steroids, a very common practice in some countries. Automation should be closely overseen and supervised so that any malfunctions can be identified and corrected in good time before they let any faulty products slip through, as seems to have been the case with your radiator cap.
My HiLux 4X4 Pick-up I bought new '84. I've gone through at least two dozen headlights. Had to change out the fuel filter which the manual does not locate. Put in two clutches because of the big boat I towed. The water pumps kept failing probably from over tight belts. But when I put in a factory water pump have had no problems. The engine cracked a sleeve around 175K. Had a used Japanese engine put in w new clutch and now I have about a quarter million miles on the frame. Had to replace one emissions part a vacuum actuated electrically held valve. The emissions equipment is shot now but it does not matter as it is older that 24 years and does not need to be tested any more. The only down side is people will pull in front of me and slam on their breaks. No ABS in and ABS world is exciting.
If lights keep burning out the usual reason is the voltage regulator in the alternator is set too high a 12 volt system may charge at 13.8 to 14.2 but NO HIGHER. At 15 the battery life is shortened and lamps life is 3 months but at 13.8 lamp life reaches 5 years...The headlights being on continously at high rpm and therefore max voltage are most secespectable to the voltage regular mis adjustment replace the regulator if is is seperate from the alternator or the entire alternator if the regulator is internal and your headlamps will last years.
Good point on the voltage. Got a lifetime alternator from Shucks several times. But I think it was rocks into the lens. Most were the left side. Now that O'Reilly has bought out Shucks the life time warranty isn't much good. Oh! I also finally replaced the starter after years of growling. So the other day it did not want to start but I could see the lights went dim. Time for the bonking stick — well had to use the crescent wrench I use for the drain plug on the boat. Tap tap and cranks right up. Same problem with the '00 Cavalier. Only used the WIFE's cane (actually its mine). Boink boink starts right up. Gee must have been the cold weather.
Learning to turn the ignition on in the Model A before cranking. Well, it needed a charge of mixture any way. Now there the voltage is critical. Its still 6v but has an alternator and halogen head lights. Just fixed a couple of wiring errors. One was the instrument lights on the parking light in the head light. Only worked in parking. Changed it to the tail parking — running light.
And those are voltage levels AT the filament... so that many cars and trucks have puny wires that have to go from the main harness to the samll switch located on the steering column or the dash, to then return all the way to the headlamps, so that the light output diminishes easily, unless one takes the task of installing relays to feed much shorter wires od enough section to send the full 12.8 to 14 VDC to the filaments.
In your case, the voltage regulator must be misadjusted or faulty. Another thing to know, is that many automotive voltage regulators have negative temperature coefficients, so that they can put out even more voltage at freezing temperatures, like 20°F and below, and that's an invitation to blown bulbs!
If your older vehicle has dim lights, visit Mr Stern's website to learn how to properly install headlamp relays. (I'm not associated with him, but I admire a true expert everytime I see one!)
Radiator caps have three seals...One lets fluid out at 14 to 16 psi. one lets fluid back in from the overflow tank, and the third seals the top of the cap to the top of the neck to direct the overflow toward the overflow tank and holds a vacuum so the cooling engine can draw the contents back into the radiator and "Top-it-off" each time you shut the engine off. In the old days radiators ran a couple of inches low for expansion but now their kept tight full.
Dealer service is mostly parts replacement today. A friend bought a NON-waranteed used car, a week later it wouldn't start, the wrecker came and took it to the dealer's shop. They replaced the battery. $75... a week later it wouldn't start "Ditto" and they replaced the alternator. $150...a week it wouldn't start "Ditto" and they replaced the starter. $200 ... Still running a year later. She asked the service about the Batteery and alternator that did not fix the problem... Reply, "They were 'weak' " In consumer service we call that "Shotgun" service, just keep trying until the sympton goes away.. In my opinion, Dealers service is performed by "Parts Changers" not Mechanics!
The problem is that at many service establishments the person doing the diagnostics has no understanding of how things work. I NEVER let anybody do diagnostics on a vehicle for that reason. On my NEW Dodge van I had a radiator fluid loss problem, which I discovered was a slightly bent lip on the radiator filler where the cap is supposed to make the top seal. Evidently it caught on something during the installation and was bent up just enough to leak. A real 1 minute repair, but a couple minutes to find. Then at about 5000 miles the starter stopped working consistently. Thedealer told me that it was not covered by the engine warranty since it was an accessory. I purchased a new front armature sleeve bearing, and replaced the worn out one with it, which took a fairly short time since everything was still like new in the engine area. That lasted for the next 20 years. Then I had a noise that sounded like spark knock, except that stepping on the gas made it less loud. That turned out to be the thermal clutch fan, which the dealer also refused to fix under warranty. So I bought a flex fan at a junk yard for $15, and it was good for the next 20 years. After 15 years the automatic choke failed when part of it rusted away, so that had to be replaced. I did that.
The charging system on another car would not charge adequately, and I traced that to a slightly loose connection of a ring terminal lug. A similar complaint on a friends Chevt love pickup I traced to a connector pin on a multi-pin connector that had not been seated correctly. They had replaced alternators, batteries, and a voltage regulator, all to no avail. I fixed it in about ten minutes at no expense.
My point is that service organizations are primarily in business to make a quick buck, not to do good work or even effect a repair. Just take the money and run.
William, your point is right on. I worked for a time, for a sales and service organization, which was a franchise for a major copier company. The firm had a good reputation, and the service staff were well trained, and the customers were well pleased, with the service staff and the service group, but, because the service paid a reasonable wage, and kept the staff satisfied, (We were not paid on percentage of labor billing.) But, the service department was not making enough, for the franchising manufacturer, and eventually, we were sold off, to another franchisee. Because, they actually did not pay as well, many of us tried them for a time, but, almost everyone started seeking alternative employment. In a couple months, even I was ready to leave, and I took a job teaching again. Eventually the sales firm I had started with dropped the manufacturer's line, and switched to another major brand. I still believe, service is the key, to continuing sales, and poor service will, definately, kill the sales, requireing discounted pricing, just to keep sales moving, but, it will never be as good, as sales with good service can be, even if service is not profitable, the sales will be so much better, that customers will be loyal.
@Zeeglen, I like the cars and they have been fun to drive and mostly no big problems, so my solution is to just not use the dealer service, rather than dump the whole product line.
The one really dumb, as in "monkey class dumb" design goof was the radiator in my Neon. It had plastic tanks top and bottom, and a solid copper and brass core, and a thin band of cheap quality steel as the crimped on clamp to hold the pieces togather. Poor quality steel rusts quickly in the heavy salt application that we get every winter, and not even a lot of JB WELD epoxy was able to keep it from leaking for more than a few weeks at a time. So it was a couple hundred dollars for a new radiator, which did hurt my feelings. How could anybody be dumb enough to use cheap steel in such a critical location?
Have owned several Chrysler/Dodge products, and was mostly happy with them until their recent Marketing 101 college grad shyteheads ruined the company. What turned me off Dodge finally was a 96 Neon. Flaking paint, failed head gasket that I had to take twice to the dealer before they admitted under warranty that the oil leak was due to the head gasket, spark plug wire misfires that they would not repair under warranty because the problem was "intermittant" and could not be reproduced, dashboard flex pcb with all the solder joints breaking, some wierd oil coating film on the windshield whenever I used the air conditioner (which some dumbshyt in their service department assured me was not poisonous even though he could not tell me what it was), a failed valve at only 75,000 miles - whatever, after once having been an advocate of Dodge/Chrysler I can now state that I will never purchase Chrysler crap again.
And I strongly recommened to anyone reading this that they avoid Chrysler products.
Z, I also had the flaking paint, but the beauty of a white car is that applianc e white at $3 per can made it look good again. I did have a few problems with the cooling system and it did blow a camshaft oil seal after a few overheating sessions, which I had presumed it was a headgasket, which would have been a much bigger job. I should have replaced the oil seal myself, since the garage that did it messed something else up and caused a lot more problems. And the reason that it went to a garage instead of the dealer is that the dealers price quote was about what the car was worth. But at least the dealer was honest. And the other problems you mentioned I would have handled myself because I am always far more intent on doing the job right than on doing the job fast.
I presently own and use two Dodge cars (and have had many others) and have been mostly satisfied, but I admit that you have a point!
While my older 1991 Spirit R/T Turbo was and continues to be an excellent sporty sedan, the 2002 Stratus R/T Sedan Turbo is not as good, and that is for certain.
In general, Dodge cars with "R/T" badges have been above average in respect to performance/price ratio, but since 1995 the company has been lowering their former standards. The "grace shot" was the terrible Daimler-Chrysler "merging" (it was more an Overtake than a merger). The stupid germans that displaced many americans in engineering plus the worst administration lead by those bean counters, plus the new "Let's make a half cent more from each car" mentality executives, have destroyed the company. I'm shure that the company has replaced former trusty parts manufacturers to "save" the company a few bucks, but threw the former reliability into the trash can. I can personally attest to the shity quality of many parts on their cars from 1995 on. The steering rack on the Spirit is still working like new after more than 22 years of use. The same assembly on the Stratus has developed some play and since 2005 has had a "clunk type" noise. Why the hell they replaced a trusty manufacturer to find another that produces much poorer parts? I also had to replace a damaged turn lights switch made with plastic and too flimsy internal mechanism, (made by Valeo BTW), while the same part in the old Spirit keeps working like new... The Stratus used a very "Monkeyish" two-wire door lock wiring, that depends on the Body Control Module, deeply buried inside the dash, to command the door locks. As you may have guessed, the locks stopped working less than three years from new, while the much stronger door lock motors used in the Spirit doors keep on ticking thanks to their three wire system, that does NOT need a damn "control module" at all. (Automotive electronics "designers" should be hit at the knuckles whenever they "save" about 20 feet wire lenght" by using a damn expensive "module" that costs about 300 times the money they "saved" from the third wire!)
On the Stabilizer bar, the Spirit uses std. type rubber isolated links, while the Stratus (and a lot of other cars) now use links that have a ball joint that is housed in a PLASTIC cavity... that develops cracks (a true potentially dangerous condition), so I had to replace both of them. While Chrysler was aware of the propensity, they only provided me with one part, on the condition that I returned them the failed part and made me sign a letter stating I was "satisfied" with the deal... And that was only Thanks To me having mentioned the potential risk at a Mopar internet forum! (I was surprised THEY contacted me after I wrote that comment). As the second part needed to replace both sides was tremendously expensive at the dealer, I resorted to go to a parts store, where I found a similar part, made totally from metal, that had provisions to install a grease fitting. Curiously, the parts dept. manager that handled my complaint, told me He had replaced the same parts of his Corvette with much beefier aftermarket ones, and showed me both.
On the Brakes, the Spirit R/T has a very good to perfect four wheel disc brake system that can be improved only by using better aftermarket pads, that stops this fast car on a dime, thanks to Kelsey-Hayes solid design.. but when the dumb (Monkeyish-dumb) germans took control, they replaced the tried and true KH brakes with a puny "ATE" (Alfred Teves Continental) german braking system that is only good enough for a Jetta, a car that is more than 400 pounds lighter. Not only the brake booster diaphragm area is now 30% less, but the front disc calipers are too flexible and do not perform as well as the older KH designed ones.
But we must recognize that quality of design and manufacture in cars in the last 15 years has been in a steady decline. While newer cars do not (and they usually don't) require almost any maintenance in the first 4 or 5 years, after that they start to fail miserably from bumper to bumper. And that applies to many manufacturers, not only Chrysler! Teror stories can be found on Fords, GM and even previoulsly "sacred" brands such as Toyota. Is is a very extended, industry wide phenomena. You can blame the dashboard flex pcb with all the solder joints cracked to the dumbest european politicians for their RoHS banning of lead solder. And FYI, some Pontiacs suffer from complete instrument panel failure too. And how about the Corvette's placement of the computer UNDER the battery tray, ready to be eaten by the slightest acid spill or even vapors! or the piles of Ford Focus at every dealer shop, waiting to be repaired from all kind of electronic maladies... (and I could continue on and on.)
At least my two Dodges have been mostly trouble free up to now... And they have a great advantage for Do-It-yourselfers like me: you can retrieve the Diagnostic Trouble codes from the odometer with three simple key movements from Off to On, without requiring the use of a scanner. And that is a BIG advantage should something happen in the middle of a dark and lonely place!.
But thinking about buying a new car (in my case a new Dart R/T, IFand only IF they decide to make the 2.4L Turbo version) I will do a profound investigation about it, before I star to decide to buy again from them.
Good description of the recovery tank radiator system, EVprofessor.
Quite a few european cars avoid the cap complexity by using a pressurized tank system, that absorbs the volumetric expansion of the coolant (about 5% volume expansion from 40 to 195° F with a 65% ethylene Glicol coolant solution). The advantage is that the coolant has much less tendency to become contaminated because that way the system is completely closed. (I have cleaned many open type plastic recovery tanks, where the interior became covered with all kind of dirt and lime or fungus!). Correctly done, the sealed system should be superior, but I've seen a lot of cracked plastic tanks on those too!.
If the cooling system had been checked by any INDEPENDENT RADIATOR SHOP, the total cost for the " repair " would have been about $50 at today's prices. That would have also included a NEW Stant brand radiator cap.
That was the common fix that my dad found working at a radiator shop. If the usually plastic coolant tank was cracked, it would take another day to get an OEM part.
NONE of this extra work would have had to be done IF AN OLD SCHOOL REPAIR PERSON saw the problem in the first place!
I'm watching my daughter go through the ASE coursework. Sometimes the " If you can't do the job, teach " applies here.
That is similar to the many IT " experts with a cert " who are arrogant and think their s--t doesn't stink. They either get humble really quick or get let go after their 90 day probation period.
A company cannot afford to keep these types on their staff for very long.
They are not like IBM...
Dealership repair shops need to think the same way.
( I think you are implying that IBM maintains a lot of dead-wood in its staff ? Hmmmm --- I couldn't comment, as I never worked there. However, if you were to make a similar accusation about Motorola --- then yes, you would be correct!! )
Seeing as we're on the engine/temperature topic, I recently discovered a quick way to destroy a diesel fuel injection pump $$$. As you may know the tolerances inside one of these pumps are very tight - so tight that if you warm the rotor in your hand, it will no longer fit into the collar, I've been told. The working pressure of injection nozzles is around 200 atmospheres or 3,000psi. The rotor part of the distributor in the pump is a vertical cylinder with a series of radial holes each of which lines up with a specific fuel injector's line. The collar that surrounds this rotor has holes that lead to each of the fuel injectors. - no seals at those rotation speeds and pressures - tight tolerances are the rule.
If you have a diesel truck, tractor or combine and have had an especially dirty day out in the field, the temptation is to clean things up with a high pressure washer. I've been farming for 39 years, and nowhere in any of the manuals does it warn you not to do that. You have a hot injection pump whose outside collar you cool down and shrink fit on to the rotor, gouging things up, and breaking the drive. The fuel injection shop crumpled two snap-on sockets trying to press the two pieces apart and finally had to torch them apart. The fuel injection tech was good enough to tell me that hosing down a hot fuel injection pump is the number one cause of catastrophic pump failures ($1,600 in my case). In my 39 years of farming I've had three such experiences without realizing what was going on. Make sure your engine is cold before you hit it with water, and then let it stand for a good while to let temperatures equalize before you start it up again. A hard lesson to learn - you may want to pass it on to your diesel powered friends.
Pressure washing the engine bay is frequently a source of trouble, but only because it can be done wrongly! Properly done it should be perfectly harmless.
First: Remove all loose grease and dirt in heavily soiled and neglected engine bays with the help of scrapers and brushes. The engine should be warm, not very hot or completely cold.
Next: use a good quality engine cleanser spray can. This facilitates the grim removal, so that it only requires a quick flush of water, avoiding the temptation to use the strong pressurized water stream as a mechanical scraper!
Then flush the already dissolved grim and dirt but using a wider angle nozzle (like a 40°) avoid using any one more concentrated, keep at least 3 or 4 ft away, nearer to the engine and the stream will be too hard on the engine components, in those cases the water can easily penetrate the seals on electronic connectors and cause damages, short circuits etc. Be gentle but still benefit from the pressure cleansing effect.
Last; and the most important: allow water to evaporate (the reason for doing this on a warm -but not hot- engine. Use plenty of compressed air to blow out any puddles on voids and places where water can collect. Dry all sparkplug wires by hand with a dry cloth, preventing high voltage streaks that are those that can damage the car's computer or electronic modules. Avoid the use of extra-shine products: they can give a contest look at first sight, but they also tend to collect any dust that settles on the engine.
As I enjoy maintaining my vehicles, I do perform all their oil changes and tune-ups at home, saving quite a few bucks and doing it much more correcly than any commercial shop. I have never had any problem following these guidelines, but have seen several cases of damaged computers at careless "quick-and-dirty" places too. and it is a real pleasure being able to work on a truly clean and shiny engine BTW. My two cents. Amclaussen.
Not to be a Monday-Morning Quaterback, but checking the radiator cap is always one of the first checks, right after leaking hoses and thermostat.
I had a similar situation on my '01 PT Crusier. The overflow bottle would fill up but not empty back into the radiator as the car cooled. I went over quite a lot of possible solutions, including leaking hoses, etc... including pressure testing the radiator cap, but the solution was found by vacuuming testing the cap. And a new aftermarket replacement ALSO had the same problem!
I also had the problem that the cap would remain under pressure (vacuum?) when the car cooled down and was difficult to remove. BTW, try never to let the temp get much higher than on click above normal. Besides warping the heads, pressure failure/leaking of the heater core can happen quickly. (I know from personal experience). In the above example, my heater core started leaking around where the supply pipes were connected to the core. Replacing the leaking core was a chore an a half. I swear that cars are built starting from the heating/AC units out.
Yes, the cap is easily over looked and probably not replaced ofent enough. I have always wondered how much of the cooling system is thermal syphin dependant. Our 1913 Overland is 100% thermal syphin, no water pump, and keeps the 4 cylinder engine cool. Modern cars have radiators that are just enough to get the job done. I know radiators are really poorly made and some are better built than others even if they look exactly alike. I replace the radiator 3 times in my 96 cadillac. Twice with a radiator from AutoZone's expensive unit and the last time was charm. It was cheaper and came from a radiator shop. The pet cock on the bottom kept blowing the square rubber ring that sealed the valve.
@ John: "Modern cars have radiators that are just enough to get the job done"
YES! I have confirmed that many cars lately come with the smallest/cheapest radiator available in them. Is part of the Philosophy of "if I save two cents on every car..." mantra that plagues present day economy and manufacturing. As fully new engines are free from any hard deposits and fouling, engineers (of the mokeyish style) are specifying for the least possible heat transfer area, taking advantage of the relatively high heat transfer coefficients. Some of the HTC increase is due to modern selection of fin improvements, like sliting or corrugations, but after the first few years of the car life, those fins lose the additional heat transfer capacity and the radiator becomes undersized for the requirement. As the engine wears and start to foul, the cooling system will now be undersized! and replacing the radiator with a new one identical to the original one can still overheat the engine. Another case I frequently see at auto racing and performance circles, is that, in an (futile) attempt to improve cooling an overheating modified engine, a larger transfer area radiator is fitted. But the mistake is using a three or four (or five) row radiator, that surprisingly, is still incapable of lowering the temperature of the engine. What is often ovelooked, is that by indiscriminately adding more rows of tubes several things happen: OK, larger radiator has more area... BUT, the second, third and fourth rows are less and less efficient because their temperature difference is lower and lower as they now receive warmer and warmer air from the first rows; and a factor that is mostly understimated: the transversal flow area of the added rows is now too large for the true flow capacity of the coolant pump, so that the velocity of the coolant in the multi-row radiator drops down, the flow regime is now laminar and not turbulent enough. suddenly, the heat transfer coefficient drops down to the floor, unless the pump is replaced with a special, larger flow pump. I have solved several of this cases by using a single row radiator with larger frontal area and correct flow area in the tubes. This requires one to do some fast calculations and tube measurements, and sometimes an enlargement of the cooling air area or ducting modifications, but the slimmer radiator now works way better than the specially made 4-row ones, and costs much less. A little number crunching does it.
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With major product releases coming from big names like Sony, Microsoft, and Samsung, and big investments by companies like Facebook, 2015 could be the year that virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) finally pop. Here's take a look back at some of the technologies that got us here (for better and worse).
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