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4 Questions About the Aluminum Radiator on Your Vehicle

Aluminum Cooling System Radiator
You are probably well aware that when there is something wrong with the radiator, your vehicle has an increased chance of overheating. This is because the radiator is a key component to your vehicle's cooling system. But did you know that not all radiators are made the same?
Until 1980, every vehicle had a radiator made out of brass and copper. Brass-copper radiators were expensive, which is one reason they were eventually replaced with radiators made out of different materials, including aluminum.
If your vehicle has an aluminum radiator and you would like to know more about it, here are the answers to four frequently asked questions about the aluminum radiator on your vehicle.

1. What Are the Benefits of Aluminum Radiators?

Besides being less expensive than copper-brass radiators, and the fact that they are easier to repair than plastic radiators, some other benefits of aluminum radiators include:
  • Aluminum is a light weight material, and the lighter your vehicle, the more fuel efficient it is.
  • Aluminum is strong and durable, which makes the radiator less likely to crack or bend, even when subject to high temperatures.
  • Aluminum is less susceptible to corrosion and rust.
  • Aluminum conducts heat well and absorbs it faster, which allows the hot coolant going through the tubes to cool more quickly.
One more added benefit of radiators made out of this material is that aluminum is a recyclable metal, which means it is completely safe for the environment. If you do end up getting your aluminum radiator replaced, simply take your old one to a local recycling center where it will be melted down and made into a new radiator or another aluminum part.

2. How Long Do Aluminum Radiators Last?

It might surprise you to know that when compared to copper-brass radiators, aluminum ones generally last longer. In fact, most aluminum radiators usually last between 8 and 10 years. Compare this to copper-brass ones, which last between 6 and 10 years.

3. Can I Replace My Copper Brass Radiator with an Aluminum One?

If you have a car that was built before 1980, you might be wondering if you can replace it with an aluminum radiator. In most cases, you will be able to make the switch to an aluminum radiator.
When you do need to get your radiator replaced, here are some instances when an aluminum radiator should be your first option:
  • If the original radiator on your vehicle was made out of aluminum
  • If your vehicle has poor air flow and it overheats on a regular basis
  • If you don't have a lot of space underneath your hood
  • If you're not sure what type of radiator to use
There are also instances when you might prefer to have a custom-built radiator. This is especially the case if you have a classic car or truck and you want to replace your copper-brass radiator with an aluminum one.
If you have a muscle car, hot rod, or race car, these are other instances when you might choose to have a custom built aluminum radiator.

4. Where Can I Get My Aluminum Radiator Repaired?

You may have been told that the aluminum radiator on your vehicle is a throw-away, but the truth is these radiators can be repaired or replaced. This is true whether you need to get your aluminum radiator repaired or you just need the plastic tank on your radiator replaced.
If your aluminum radiator needs a small repair, a complete overhaul, or you need a custom built one, contact Kell Radiator Service. We have been in business for over 50 years and specialize in radiator repair for most types of vehicles.