What a Blown Radiator Looks Like: Video

With summer fast approaching this time of year we start to see many overheating engine failures. The number one failure is coolant hoses and belts. This is because they're the most overlooked part under "recommended preventative maintenance" in today’s automobiles. Many drivers don't understand or believe how important they are. In this video, you see what a blown radiator looks like and what kind of damage it can do to a modern engine. From 1980-2000 our belts and hoses were made from neoprene compound (rubber). Over time as they heated up and cooled down they would naturally start to crack, making it easy to identify worn belts and hoses. When your car was being serviced the technician would point this out and recommend their replacement and many people would listen because they could see the wear. Flash forward to today. Since 2001, like everything else we make, belts and hoses are synthetic. They are made from EPDM compound and they wear out but do not crack. While there is some minor difference in recommendation the Automobile Club (AAA) based on their nationwide roadside failures statistics, it's recommended that  belts are change at 60 months or 60,000 miles (whichever occurs first) and hoses are replaced at 72 months or 75,000 miles. Today’s engines are made from aluminum (a soft, pliable metal) and they do not do well when overheated. A belt or hose failure can lead to rapid and severe overheating which causes some very expensive internal engine damage. To put this in context, if you car starts to overheat on the freeway and you noticed right away you could pull over to the side of the road and immediately shut off the engine and you may save the engine from damage. However, if you drive to the next off ramp or try to find a repair shop or dealer with this damage you will likely do severe damage to your car engine. Yes, it happens that quickly, unfortunately. We're always told that a pound of medicine is worth an ounce of prevention, and this is true for cars as well. Especially as we get into the hot summer months, pay attention to your car and those belts and hoses - they're more important than you realize.

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Car Tips