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When, and how often, should I replace the radiator cap?

When, and how often, should I replace the radiator cap?



Should I replace the radiator cap at intervals or when the gasket is broken?
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Comments

  • edited April 2010
    I only only replace mine when there is a problem. If you want to replace yours prophylactically, I suppose once every 100,000 miles would be a good interval.
  • edited April 2010
    Radiator caps can be checked. Every cooling system pressure tester I know of has an adaptor to check radiator caps.


    transman
  • edited April 2010
    Where would I check it? The local mechanic?
  • edited April 2010
    It might be cheaper to replace it than check it.

    Are you sure this is worth worrying about? Are you experiencing some kind of problem, or is this an OCD thing?
  • edited April 2010
    I read in "Auto Repair for Dummies" that drivers should keep a spare radiator cap in their vehicle just in case the one in use stops functioning. It made me question if my old radiator cap is about to blow. I could be worrying about nothing.
  • edited April 2010
    It won't blow, it would start leaking or rather not holding pressure and you loose coolant. Rarely an emergency if you are in the habit of checking under the hood once a week. My Caravan's cap decided to go last week at 106KM, so 100KM sounds about right. I noticed some whitish dried stuff around the cap after the coolant had dried.
  • edited April 2010
    I never had to replace a radiator cap ... been driving for over 50 years.
  • edited April 2010
    If you're serious about maintenance, as many here are, you should get in the habit of inspecting the radiator cap weekly and replacing it monthly, without fail. That would also be a good time to shoot some graphite into all of your door locks. If you don't own a steam cleaner, please for the love of God get one. Your engine should be steam-blasted monthly.
  • edited April 2010
    Carrying a spare isn't such a bad idea. I carry a spare gas cap. Frankly, you are more likely to need a spare fuel cap than you are to need a spare radiator cap, but if it brings you peace of mind, I don't see any reason not to carry a spare radiator cap.
  • edited April 2010
    These things are very cheap to buy. If you're worried just go buy two. Replace your current one and throw the other in the trunk. You'll probably be out all of $15 after that.

    If there is something strange about your cap that makes it expensive (unlikely) then you might think about actually having it tested.
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