How to Clean The Outside of a Car Radiator

Updated February 21, 2017

If your car is overheating, it is an indicator that you will need to clean the radiator to allow better airflow. Clean fins on the outside of the radiator allow for air to flow freely around the radiator and keep the antifreeze cool, therefore keeping the engine cooled. Dust, dirt and road oils easily accumulate on the radiator fins, but cleaning the radiator is a safe and easy solution to removing the debris on your radiator.

Put on your safety goggles to prevent eye injury.

Park your car on a slope so that when you rinse the radiator the water will flow away from the vehicle. Pop the bonnet. Allow the car to cool down for an hour.

Spray degreaser on the fins of the radiator. Allow the degreaser to soak in for 15 minutes. This will help the mineral and oil build-up on the radiator wash free easily.

Hook the pressure washer up to a water source and plug it into a standard 110 volt outlet.

Spray the radiator from every angle with the pressure washer. Try to get under the vehicle at an angle to rinse the under side of the radiator and radiator fins. Allow the radiator to air-dry for an hour before driving the vehicle.

Things You'll Need

  • Goggles
  • Degreaser
  • Pressure washer
Cite this Article A tool to create a citation to reference this article Cite this Article

About the Author

Mark O'Brien started his professional writing career in 2000 at the "Newman Grove Reporter" newspaper. He was an English tutor while in school and earned an Associate of Arts in English from Northeast Community College. O'Brien indulges his mechanical side by fixing mowers part-time.