That radiator cap on your car does a lot more than just keep the coolant from spilling out of your radiator. A properly sealing cap raises the boiling point of the coolant and keeps your coolant from boiling and evaporating. It also controls the flow of the antifreeze as your engine heats up and cools down. Having a cap that doesn't seal correctly will cause your engine to overheat at low temperatures and we all know that a overheating engine can lead to bigger and more serious engine problems. An overheating engine can cause your head gasket to crack or even lead to warped cylinders, both of these problems carry with them a hefty repair bill. So changing a small part like a bad cap will certainly be cheaper and easier than having to deal with any additional problems that may arise from an overheating engine. If you hear a boiling sound coming from your radiator, that can also be a sign of a faulty cap. Other signs that might point to a bad radiator cap are low coolant levels or a collapsed hose. A test can be performed to check if the cap is holding pressure by using a radiator pressure tester.
The radiator cap on your vehicle is basically a pressure valve like one you would find in a pressure cooker. As the coolant gets hot and starts to expand, pressure in the cooling system also begins to increase. Once it reaches the pressure rating on the cap, a spring loaded valve on the cap will open; allowing coolant and pressure to escape to the overflow jar. If it wasn't for this feature, the pressure would just continue to build, which would lead to leaks. Once the coolant cools down, a vacuum is created in the cooling system, which then opens another valve on the cap to allow the coolant to return to the radiator. This process all goes on while you are driving your car and the temperature in the engine heats up and cools down and it's all because of your radiator cap.
Before you attempt to remove the radiator cap
from the radiator, please make sure your engine has had enough time to cool. Removing the cap while the engine is still hot can lead to serious injury. Replacing the cap is something anyone should be able to do and only requires a few seconds of your time. All that is required to remove a cap is a little force to push it down and to turn it counter clockwise at the same time. Simple as that! When you purchase a replacement cap, be sure to get one with the same pressure rating recommended in your owner's manual. Most cars will have a radiator cap with a pressure rating of 14-15 psi.
If your car is overheating, especially at low temperatures, take a look at your radiator cap. If you determine that it is the cause of your problems, replacing it is cheap and easy, compared to other problems that will start to show up if you ignore it. Car Parts Discount has the radiator cap that you are looking for, so give us a call, and with our low prices you can't go wrong.