KEEPING YOUR COOL WHEN THINGS GET HEATED
AAA Radiators has supplied automotive cooling solutions to automotive businesses, insurance companies and private motorists for over four decades
Just about all of us have experienced the agony and frustration of an overheating engine as we’ve been left stranded in the middle of nowhere and well out of phone range.
Such is the impact, it usually only happens once before we seek out a radiator specialist, such as AAA Radiators, to make sure it never happens again.
A family run business, AAA Radiators has serviced the needs of motorists for more than 45 years. The company supplies a range of products, including, OEM and aftermarket radiators, oil coolers, air conditioning condensers, turbo intercoolers, fan shrouds and genuine Subaru coolant.
In addition to these cooling products, AAA Radiators also markets OEM and aftermarket headlamps for most makes and models, such as Toyota, Hyundai, Kia, Subaru, Mitsubishi, VW, Audi, Mercedes, BMW and Jeep, just to name a few.
“We are a specialist reseller for Subaru Australia and we also stock leading brands, such as Behr, Valeo, Koyo, Cryomax, Magnetti Marelli, Denso and Delphi,” AAA Radiators Client Manager, Lorry Olivieri, said.
“We supply those products in OEM and aftermarket, so customers have a choice.”
Many factors determine whether OEM or aftermarket parts are the most suitable to the customers’needs.
“It depends on the make, year and model of the car, whether the vehicle is under warranty or not, and if not, how far out of warranty it is. And of course, price and quality come into it,” Lorry said.
OEM parts for some of the older vehicles are not available. That’s where aftermarket parts come into play and repairs as well. All repairs are performed in house.
“If there is a failure with a radiator it undergoes a testing procedure to determine what went wrong with it and what caused the failure, a report is done and we also can have it done by an independent specialist as well,” Lorry said.
While numerous problems can occur with radiators, one of the more common examples is a blocked radiator.
“You can’t tell if a radiator is blocked just by running a hose through it, depending on how many cores are blocked, you still get a flow of water through it. Normally a radiator specialist can tell how good the flow is, whether it is a good flow or not. The best way to check whether a radiator is blocked is to pull the top and bottom tanks off and check every component,” Lorry said.
While the radiator is understandably the first thing to blame when an engine overheats, it is not always the reason.
“A lot of people come to us saying their radiator has a problem but it’s not always the case,” Lorry explained.
“However, a lot of the time you can analyse the problem by looking at the radiator. If it’s got too much pressure you will see the radiator bellow out, pushing out sideways. That tells you there’s a problem with the cooling system. The wrong radiator cap could be fitted. Excessive pressure could also be caused by a blocked thermostat,” he added.
While the design principles of radiators have remained constant for decades, there has been one notable shift in recent times – the change in material from copper to aluminium.
Much debate has ensued regarding which material is more suitable, though the discussion is not exactly technically based with people over the age of 45 seeming to favour copper while those aged under 45 prefer aluminium.
“Look at new cars, they all have aluminium radiators, so you really can’t debate it any further, can you? Every new car has an aluminium radiator and it is a reliable material. The only thing that fails over time on a radiator these days is the seals or the plastic tanks. The cores seem to last okay,” Lorry said.
Another raging debate concerns coolant; more specifically mixing different brands of coolants. Often a layman is told not to mix different coolants together.
“You can’t go by colour because colour is only a dye that they put in the coolant,” Lorry said.
“You can’t mix coolants, you can’t mix colours and you can’t assume red is red, blue is blue, and green is green.
“The proper way to maintain your cooling system is to fully flush the cooling system, add good quality coolant and keep a note of the type of coolant you has in your vehicle, whether it be your log book, service sticker or service records.”
When it comes to intercoolers, AAA Radiators supplies products for both factory turbocharged cars as well as vehicles that have had turbochargers added to them by the aftermarket industry.
While most of AAA Radiators products are manufactured elsewhere, the company performs some custom intercooler fabrication.
“We get some call for that, we have some in stock but if we haven’t got it in stock we ask the customer for their dimensions, draw up what they want, and we get it made for them,” Lorry concluded.
For more information contact AAA Radiators on 1300 725 683.