One of the most vital components in an agricultural engine is the radiator. Just like a car, the radiator’s job is to regulate the engine’s operating temperature, by delivering a steady flow of coolant into the engine and other internal systems. If it fails, the radiator and engine will overheat, and – if left for too long – suffer permanent damage.
When it comes to running a farm, sudden equipment fail can spell bad news for your productivity, bottom line, and even your livelihood. That’s why, it’s so important to have your agricultural equipment regularly serviced by a licensed radiator technician, at least once a year.
Common Causes of Faulty Radiators
Of course, problems can (and do) occur between service appointments. So, it’s a good idea that you know how to identify the cause of a malfunctioning radiator, before it brings business to a grinding halt. Some of the most common causes of a faulty radiator are:
- Faulty Pressure Caps
Radiator caps do more than just keep radiator fluid inside. They are specially made to seal and house the coolant under a predetermined amount of pressure. Why are radiators kept under pressure? To increase the boiling point of the coolant fluid so that it can’t boil and evaporate. When the pressure cap fails, it can cause the system not to pressurize and then overheat.
- Internal Clogging
When your radiator is clogged, it can no longer deliver a consistent flow of coolant to the engine. As a result, the engine will overheat. What causes a blockage? The most common materials to cause a blockage include dirt, grime, dust, bugs, and leaves. Be sure to inspect the internals of your cooling system and perform a coolant flush at least once a year.
- Cracked radiator
Heavy-duty radiators are made to handle the stress of extreme hot and cold. Yet, despite their strength and durability – thanks to the steel construction –, cracks do form eventually. You’ll know when this happens when you find the coolant is leaking, the temperature gauge is constantly high, or you have to keep refilling the coolant in your equipment.
Benefits of Routine Radiator Maintenance
To keep your agricultural engine at a consistently safe temperature, while ensuring it has a long service life and runs at peak efficiency – regular maintenance is vital. Here are just some of the many benefits to a routine maintenance plan.
Avoid costly downtime
As mentioned previously, equipment failure can be detrimental to your productivity. Fields go unploughed. Crops go unharvested. And pesticide is unsprayed, which leaves your stock at risk of exposure to insects, fungi, and weeds.
By having your agricultural equipment serviced once a year, you’ll spend less time waiting for emergency repairs – which takes longer than a routine check-up – so you can stay productive and meet customer demand.
Prevent rust and corrosion
An annual radiator flush is the best way to keep your cooling system clean and prevent the build-up of rust and corrosion. Can you do this yourself? Yes. As long as you know how to correctly flush out the old coolant, and put in the correct mix of new coolant and water (distilled) into the radiator.
But if you’re unsure, leave this task to a certified radiator technician. Not only will you save time and hassle, but your technician will also be able to check for leaks, add the correct mix of coolant and water, and test the radiator to ensure it’s in correct working order.
Stay within warranty
Have you recently purchased a new radiator? If so, you’re most likely covered by a manufacturer nationwide warranty. While the length of this warranty varies between providers, it should be at least 3 years or more. During this period, you must have your radiator serviced by the same provider every 12 months to keep the warranty valid.
Be careful. If you try to service the radiator yourself, and it becomes damaged due to the incorrect use of coolant, improper flushing, or stray current, your warranty will effectively be void. Avoid the risk by having your radiator regularly serviced by a professional who backs up their work with a satisfaction guarantee.