How To Use The Truck Radiator During Winter

Learn Important Things To Use The Truck Radiator During Winter

Every part of the truck has an important part of the functionality of the truck. Some parts are having a more important influence in winter other in summer. Maintaining the truck is the right thing to do. According to the United States Department of Transportation, the main reasons for truck breakdowns are the failure of the truck radiator or other part of the cooling system.


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Knowing the functionality of every part of your truck can teach you how to protect your vehicle from the rough conditions.

Simple maintenance can be performed by every truck driver because driving trough the harsh winter conditions can be hard on your truck. Don’t sip a salt on the wound with not proper truck radiator treating in these conditions.

OSHA regulations exist to ensure the safety and health of the workers, so you as truck driver would be able to take care of the truck. Be one of the truck drivers who are willing to learn how to treat the truck radiator to pull the best performance from it.

Being a truck driver is not just taking the steering wheel and starting the engine it is also an ability to learn and understand the FMCSA safety regulations. Don’t let your radiator become a fallen warrior in the field. Maintain the truck radiator and ensure your safety and safety of other drivers on the road. Take care of it and you will get a truck that will take care of you.

Purpose of the Truck Radiator

First, I want you to understand the functionality of the truck radiator before we continue further. Truck Radiator is a heat exchanger (heat transfer fluid) used for cooling internal combustion engines.

The system works in a way that the cooled liquid called engine coolant is circulating through the truck engine block where is heated to the tubes and fins of the truck radiator where it is losing the heat and after the cooling it is going back again to the engine.

How To Use The Truck Radiator During Winter

Engine coolant can be water based or a mixture of water and antifreeze. The radiator is one of the most important parts of the trucks because it protects the engine from overheating and protects the parts from seizure. The truck radiator is the segment that is providing adequate temperature flow.

The heat that is produced from the pistons and other moving parts is reduced by the truck radiator using:

  • Water
  • Antifreeze
  • Water-Antifreeze mixture

The liquid/coolant is moved by a centrifugal pump known as liquid or water pump. The water pump is pushing the heated water or the antifreeze out of the engine chambers and moves it to the truck radiator to cool it down before it returns it back to the engine.

This circle system known as Heat Exchanger is running as long as the truck engine is working. If the truck radiator fails there is a danger of overheating of the engine.

Use Proper Coolant Mixture for the Truck Radiator

The radiator liquid/coolant needs to flow freely from the engine to the truck radiator and back again. If the flow is interrupted by some blockage in the radiator tubes the cooling will be compromised and the engine will overheat.

That is why the coolant levels should be properly maintained as coolant type needs to be with the proper mixture to the outside wetter conditions.

How To Use The Truck Radiator During Winter

Normal coolant mixture is 50 percent water and 50 percent antifreeze but this is in normal temperatures. In the normal condition, the antifreeze has an anti corrosion purpose and the water has temperature reducing purpose. Remember that in the winter the antifreeze has the main role to the truck radiator performance. Be aware of this when the low temperatures will attack.

In the winter conditions, you need to put more antifreeze which will provide lower freezing temperatures. If the temperatures are low, you can use higher percent of antifreeze to protect the truck radiator and the engine.

How To Use The Truck Radiator During Winter

Proper coolant mixture:

Temperature Mixture
-34ºF 50% antifreeze with 50% water
-84ºF 70% antifreeze with 30% water

Proper mixture can bring:

  • Good performance of the truck radiator
  • Proper temperature reducing
  • Prevent frizzed blockages in the system

In the winter by my opinion, there is nothing worse than finding your truck radiator frozen when you want to start driving. If the water freezes the expansion can destroy and block the engine which can cause additional downtime and additional cost for truck repair.

Warm it Up Before Driving

I want to understand that there is a difference between idling and engine warming up for 30 seconds to 1 minute. With warming up your engine will warm up and will allow other parts to work better. You need to have in mind that in cold winter temperatures the engine oil is thicker and need a little time to warm up to get the best performance of the engine.

How To Use The Truck Radiator During Winter

Warm up before you drive off. With brief engine warming up you will prepare the radiator to perform at the highest level. Also, the cold wetter can affect the water pump productivity which will need more time to pump the liquid with its full capacity.


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I will mention again don’t mix the warming up with the idling because with idling of 5 minutes you are forcing the fluid to flow and pistons to move without actual moving of the truck which can lower the life of the engine and truck radiator.

Don’t Force the Gas Pedal

Even if you let your truck warm up for 30 seconds before you take the road first 15 to 30 minutes you need to be gentle with the gas pedal. Being gentle at first allows your engine to warm up and the truck radiator coolant to take the flow.

How To Use The Truck Radiator During Winter

If you start with exercise you should first warm up the body before proceeding with the exercises that require a bigger effort. The same thing is with the engine and the truck radiator. They need first to warm up before you force them to run at high speed.



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