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Why Does My New Radiator Have Extra Ports

Created on: 2020-02-19

Got a new radiator but it has extra ports or connectors? That's normal in the aftermarket. Check this video out to see why its OK!

Hey friends, it's Len here at 1A Auto. Today I want to talk to you about radiators. Let's start by what it is. Hey, friends, while I've got your attention, make sure you leave a comment, like, subscribe, ring that bell. Let's get back to what you came here to see.

The radiator is basically just a fluid, air, heat exchanger. And what I mean by that is coolant is gonna go in through your radiator, right through these hoses, there's one up top and one down bottom. It comes through, gets forced by all these little fins. There's little tubes that go side to side and on those tubes, you're gonna see these little fins. And the fins is where the air goes through. Primarily, this radiator is gonna be made out of aluminum. What you're gonna notice is all these fins, they're very delicate. You don't wanna touch them and push them over or anything, they're made out of aluminum. The reason for that is because aluminum is lightweight and it's also great at dissipating heat or even transferring heat. Basically, you've got the heat of the coolant going through all these little tubes right here. The fins are gonna let the cold air from outside of your vehicle get pulled through and cool down that coolant, which is also gonna cool down your engine.

So, now let's talk about air restriction. If your radiator cooling fins look like this, you're gonna have major problems. You need air to be able to go through here like I said before. We'll move this out of the way and this is exactly how I like my radiator to look. Look right through that. So, that leads us over to here. Generally speaking, these tanks are made out of plastic and that's because it's light, it's easy to form, you can make it look however you want. And this is the area where the aluminum meets onto the plastic tank. Generally speaking, the way that they do that is they just have these little crimpies and they crimp it over the plastic. Of course, there's a seal in there and that's very important. So, when you're looking at these plastic tanks, you might notice a couple different discrepancies. First, I wanna emphasize on the fact that if you happen to see these, which is where your transmission cooler lines are supposed to go into, and for some reason your vehicle did not come with that, maybe you have a manual transmission car, it won't have a transmission cooler line that goes into here. So, people generally speaking, will get a little bit worried. They're gonna say mine has an extra part. What do I do? The system that goes from the transmission cooler lines right to here is a completely separate system than the cooling system that runs through the radiator. If I was to blow air through here, there's gonna be no air coming out of here. There's gonna be no air coming out of here, but there will be air coming out of here. And then of course, if I was to put air through here, it would come out of there and nowhere else.

Okay. So, now let's talk about how it works. You're gonna come right over to the radiator. We'll take a peek at it. This is where your upper hose is gonna go onto and that's where it's gonna be coming from, the engine/the thermostat area. It's gonna come up through here. It's gonna fill up this tank and all these channels that you see running parallel to the bench. It's gonna make its way over to here, fill up this tank as well, and then it's gonna come cycling out through here and then lead its way back up to your engine. So, it needs to be able to flow through this radiator. As it's flowing in this direction, all these right here are cooling air that's getting sucked through or pushed through the radiator. Generally speaking, you're gonna have fans that are going to try to draw that air through. They're going to turn on. Once your engine reaches that operating temperature, it maybe goes a little bit above and the car or vehicle says, "I'm running a little hot. Let's open her up, pal." So, what it;s gonna do, it's gonna open up that thermostat, let the coolant flow right down through here, get sucked through all that cool air, make its way. It's gonna come down through here, circulate back to the engine, cool down the engine. What you're gonna notice is up top right here, you're gonna have your fill. You need to make sure that your coolant is full. This is where you would fill it and that leads us down to the drain. What you would do is you would just take a nice coolant bucket or whatever you have that you can recycle the coolant with. Open this up just like that, coolant will come out safely. Once you're done draining it, you can just go ahead and close that back up.

Okay. We made our way outside. It's a little chilly, but we're over that now. Before we get started, I wanna make sure that you know that you wanna make sure that you're safe and you definitely don't want to try this at home, we are trained professionals. Let's get started. We've got our radiator hooked up. I've got this set up, so it's gonna hold pressure a little bit. We're gonna see this fill up with water. I'm gonna come over here. The petcock is closed, nothing is gonna come out of here. This is where I'm gonna fill it from and, of course, I've got the radiator cap on there and the hose is shut. Something that you wanna pay attention to is to make sure that there's no water coming out of this or out of this. That's what this demonstration is about. Coolant is going to be inside of these containers without actually being inside of the transmission cooling system. I'm gonna put on the hose and let's just pay attention. All right. We're building some pressure here. This is cool. Right now the water is flowing through here, coming through these channels and going right over there. Okay. So, as we can see, nothing is coming out of there. Wiggle this around. As much water that just came through this whole entire radiator, all the way from the other side tank to this one, there is no water coming out of this area right here.

All right. So, what I did is I took the liberty of peeling all these up. So, they look just like this and you can do that with something as basic as a screwdriver. Now, I'm just gonna give this a little twist. You can see that there's the seal. Let's keep pulling and now we can see right inside of this tank. So, as you can tell, the transmission cooler unit is a completely separate unit from the inside of the radiator where the coolant is gonna ride. You're gonna see these slots coming down along here. That's where the coolant is gonna get forced through. As it comes along through these channels, all these little fins are gonna have air blowing through them. It's gonna cool down that coolant before it gets to the other side and then gets pushed right along back to that engine and hopefully cools down your engine so you can run at the perfect operating temperature.

Okay. One more thing before we get going. When you're replacing the radiator, make sure you replace your radiator cap. That's very important and it's fairly cheap. Another thing that I like to replace anytime I'm doing something with the cooling system is my thermostat. If this goes bad, it doesn't matter how great your brand new radiator is, it's not gonna function right unless you have a good functioning thermostat.

Thanks for watching. Visit 1AAuto.com for quality auto parts shipped to your door, the place for DIY auto repair. And if you enjoyed this video, please click the subscribe button.

Obviously, I'm trying to prove a point that nothing is coming out of there. Boom. Awesome.


How to Replace Radiator 2001-05 Honda Civic

Check out this video to learn how to replace the radiator in your 01-05 Honda Civic. You can do it yourself with this step by step guide from 1A Auto.

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