Trucking is a vital component of the U.S. economy. The majority of goods consumed in the United States end up on a truck at some point. Consequently, the trucking industry transported 72.5% of freight in the United States in 2019, equating to 11.84 billion tons.
Along with being a career, trucking is also a popular hobby of a number of people. A lot of motor heads spend their weekends traveling around the country on their trucks. While engaging in trucking as a hobby, some do it for the adrenaline rush! In fact, the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing operates NASCAR Camping World Truck Series involving a race between pickup trucks.
While it all may sound exciting, keeping a truck and truck’s engine in pristine condition is a grind on its own. Many a time, truck owners fail to maintain their engines and one of the major causes of such mishaps is a failing radiator.
If you are new to the trucking business or hobby, you have landed on the right page. We will walk you through a simple “no-equivocate” guide about how to buy a low-cost yet durable and tough radiator for your truck and how to maintain it.
Is it worth the effort and expense to upgrade your radiators? It goes without saying that any cooling expert will tell you a purpose-built radiator will help you achieve optimal engine performance while protecting your engine, helping you avoid situations that lead to engine overheating, and unnecessary wear and tear.
It's almost impossible to argue that the cooling system on your truck would look as good as those stylish shocks or lights. The cooling systems, however, are much more complicated than they may seem. It’s also harder to appreciate the importance of your radiator system compared to how trendy those shocks are.
Understanding a few cooling basics is the key to selecting the right cooling system components. Before we dive into how to buy a low-cost radiator, it is essential for you to understand how it works, this will help you understand its indispensability.
The How – Answered
A vehicle contains several moving parts that rub together and generate friction, resulting in considerable amounts of heat. In order to reduce the heat energy being generated, motor oil provides lubrication which reduces friction and heat. Heat energy remaining after motor oil lubrication is most likely to cause abrasions and subsequent damage to delicate parts. As a result, parts of the vehicle break down sooner and their durability is significantly reduced. A superior quality radiator keeps your truck’s engine safe by eliminating excess heat and minimizing the risk of damage to your engine.
Remember, if you decide a buy a certain product, you must know important details about that particular product and about the alternative variants available.
Buying a radiator involves considering the following factors: tubing, airflow, construction, and cost. While making a purchase decision for a radiator, you should consider the following factors:
- Among the radiator fans, electrical fans are likely to be the most popular since mechanical ones are not energy efficient and are likely to consume as much as 20 horsepower. There is a significant difference between the energy consumption of electrical fans and mechanical fans.
- In order for a radiator to perform its function, coolant must be kept cool. To keep the coolant flowing through the pipes & radiator, ensure that they are free of obstructions. It is one of the most important factors to consider before purchasing a radiator.
- Definitely check whether the radiator you're considering buying is strong & wide enough to transport and circulate the liquid without breaking down any of the important components.
The second and crucial factor that must determine your purchase decision is – Material!
- A radiator made from aluminum with a plastic tank is the most popular option. In most cases, they last as long as the vehicle, however certain environmental factors or collision damage can have an impact on their life expectancy.
- In addition to being relatively easy to repair, copper/brass radiators are also more expensive. A copper-brass radiator can cope better with rough outback conditions as well as poor water quality. Despite its heavier weight, copper brass is well suited to use in trucks and on-highway vehicles. Repairing it is also easier if it has been disassembled.
- Compared to copper brass radiators of the same size, alloy radiators are much lighter. It makes them extremely practical. In spite of high temperatures, alloy is corrosion-resistant, making radiators less likely to leak. By distributing heat more quickly, alloy allows the coolant to pass through the tubes more quickly because of its excellent conductivity.
Thirdly, keep in mind the structure or the built of the radiator. To narrow it down, check the following:
- Intentions of the vehicle need to be kept in mind. For instance, whether the vehicle is being used for regular driving inside the city or being used for heavy trucking.
- Make sure to check the interior space available in engine compartments.
- Dimensions and compression ratio of the engine should be checked too.
- Check whether the fans are electric or flex.
- In the case of automatic transmissions, transmission coolers will be required.
Take the time to understand the truck you are purchasing for.
- When buying a radiator for your truck, you need to fully understand the type of vehicle for which you are purchasing it.
- Look up the OEM number to ensure you are buying the right part. It is usually possible to find the OEM number on the radiator itself.
- Additionally, we have a search bar to help you find the right radiator for your vehicle based on the model and manufacturer.
Additional Information to keep in mind.
- Row Quantity
- Tube Size
- Style – Downflow or Cross-flow Radiators and more.
Important Factors to Determine to Keep Your Purchase Low-Cost
Independent aftermarket radiators are radiators that aren't made by the vehicle manufacturer. An aftermarket radiator is designed as per the OEM radiator available for the vehicle and sold by another company or dealer. Naturally, aftermarket radiators cost less than OEM ones.
Most aftermarket radiators match OEM specifications exactly. You may also end up with a better deal in the aftermarket if you compare an OEM radiator with an aftermarket radiator.
Aftermarket parts are very popular, as they are sold in large quantities. The reason for this is that most users need a mix of quality and cost-effectiveness when choosing a replacement truck part. Consequently, aftermarket companies are gaining strength and competing with OEMs.
You have options that are less expensive to help guide your choice. Online, you can find aftermarket radiators at diverse price points.
In comparison to OEMs, the aftermarket operates on a huge scale. There are a lot of dealers that deal with these items, so it is easy to locate one. However, make sure to deal with a supplier that has industry experience. Dolphin boasts 36 years of experience, consistent research, and development to keep our products cost-effective and have a global clientele.
Maintenance – Prevention is Better Than Cure!
Popularly stated “prevention is better than cure” does not only apply to human health but to everything one survives on. If you keep your essentials maintained, they will last longer, thus saving you unnecessary and uncalled for expenses.
- Use The Right Coolant: Coolants should be used only for the make and model of your vehicle, and coolants should never be mixed. Using the usual coolant may not be sufficient for aluminum radiators or copper-brass radiators.
- Flush Your Radiator Regularly: In order to keep your radiator working properly, it is important to flush the radiator and replace the engine coolant every 12 months or 30,000 kilometers.
- Check for Leaks and Maintain Hoses: If you change the oil in your truck, make sure your radiator hose doesn't have leaks or cracks. Ensure your radiator gasket, which fits to the radiator cap, is still intact. Take a look under the engine for leaks or drips.
- Avoid Overloading: To cool down your vehicle, your radiator has to work harder the heavier the load your vehicle is carrying. Your truck overheats as a result of overloading, as it puts extra stress on the engine, increasing the load on it.
- Check Fluids: Coolant levels should be maintained at the proper level. This prevents your car’s engine from overheating in hot weather It makes sense for truck owners to invest their money in parts that are balanced between quality and cost. With an experience of more than 36 years in this field, Dolphin is your one-stop destination to find the best priced truck radiators.
Make sure, to have a detailed discussion with your regular garage mechanic or do plenty of research online. Your vehicle is an investment made by you, if you are using your truck to fulfill your trucking hobby, then your vehicle is more likely to hold sentimental value.
So, make sure to check everything in this guide to make your radiator buying experience hassle-free and cost effective.