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symptoms of a plugged-up radiator?

Mine was clogged up when I got it - had to replace it before I could
drive it home.
I could tell because It was hot at the inlet and hotter than it should
have been at the outlet, but there were spots that were still cool, so
the coolant wasn't flowing throughout the entire thing.  You might not
be able to tell without a pyrometer to get actual temps, but if it's
bad enough you'll be able to feel with your hands.  It should have a
heat gradient where it comes in hot but goes out cool.


On 5/24/06, T. Reed <treed2@wsu.edu> wrote:
> Hi all,
> I'm moving to Arizona soon and since its typically a good 30-40 degrees
> warmer down there than Seattle, I've been thinking about whether my 16v
> has any chance of not overheating at every stoplight.
> Lately it's been running a little hot for my tastes in mere 70 degree
> weather.. in the past it has tended to sit at or just above the LED, but
> lately on hot days it has crept up to 3/4 and doesn't seem to go down even
> when I'm moving at a pretty good speed.
> Lots of new parts: water pump, low temp thermostat (87 deg C), heater
>    core, heater valve, radiator fan motor, low temp radiator fan switch,
>    expansion tank cap, lower expansion tank hose, 't' hose at front of block
> I checked the engine's coolant passages when I had the motor out to put on
> the 2 liter bottom end and they were clean. There's a small hole drilled
> in the thermostat, and I already fought the air bubble battle when I last
> changed the coolant about two years ago. The radiator fan runs and seems
> to turn on when it should. I hosed all the dried plant matter and rocks
> out of the radiator fins when I pulled the A/C.
> As far as I can tell, all that's left is the radiator itself.. but I don't
> know whether or not it's worth replacing just on a hunch. It would
> certainly be easier to do now when I'm set up to do it than down there.
> But since it's a closed-loop system, I'm not even sure if my concern about
> warmer weather is a valid one - why wouldn't the thermostat just spend
> more time open?
> Does anybody here have any first hand experience with plugged radiators or
> keeping roccos cool in hot climates that they'd care to share?
> -Toby
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