The engine in your vehicle creates heat that is transformed into the mechanical energy that moves you down the road. However, only about a 1/3 of the heat generated actually becomes energy, another 1/3 goes out the tailpipe, and the remaining 1/3 is absorbed by the metal engine parts. Most of the last proportion must be dissipated or serious engine damage can result. The cooling system absorbs the heat and transfers it to the ambient air via the radiator.

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The typical radiator has a central core of fins and tubes, with an inlet tank on one side and an outlet tank on the other. Most radiators have aluminum cores with plastic or aluminum tanks, but there are also copper/brass radiators. The radiator is mounted at the front of the vehicle where it is exposed to airflow through the grille. Coolant flows from the engine and through the core tubes, where the fins absorb the heat and transfer it to the air.

The most common type of radiator failure is a leak. Aluminum/plastic radiators generally leak at the juncture of the core and the tanks, due to a worn gasket, and copper brass radiators can leak at the seams. Rocks and airborne debris can puncture the core tubes and cause a leak. Leaks can also be caused by corrosion. The elements and road salt can erode the exterior of the radiator, and old depleted coolant can allow the inside to corrode. Internal corrosion and exterior debris can also reduce a radiator’s efficiency. If a leak is not obvious and can’t be visually detected, the cooling system should be pressure tested.

Internal corrosion and scale buildup can clog the small coolant passages in the radiator, and debris that collects on the outside of the radiator can damage the delicate fins and prevent airflow through the radiator. Either type of restriction will prevent the transfer of heat from the coolant to the air, which could cause the engine to overheat. External restrictions can be removed from the core, and with care sometimes the fragile fins can be straightened to allow airflow. Tubes that are plugged internally can be found with an infrared thermometer. Clogged tubes will be cooler than other areas when the engine is running.

Small leaks can be patched by brazing, soldering or welding, and flushing the cooling system can remove deposits and sediment, but for the most effective repair, the radiator should be replaced. All of our replacement radiators are built to meet or exceed OEM specifications, using premium materials on modern manufacturing equipment. You can be assured of precise fitment for easy installation, and optimal cooling system performance. And you get this quality at a price far below what you would pay at the dealer. Plus we have the necessary components you need to complete the repair including radiator caps and petcocks.

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Saturn sl2 APDI Radiator
Great product, OEM quality. Fits perfect into vehicle and works great. Would recommend to anybody looking for a quality replacement.
JPosted by Jonathan (Olney, IL) /
2002 Saturn S-series
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