Diagnosing and Fixing Faulty Radiator Caps in Industrial Equipment


Industrial equipment and machinery such as forklifts, cranes, and loaders rely on radiators to dissipate heat from internal combustion engines during operation. During operation, the radiator cap ensures that the pressure in the cooling system is maintained at optimum at all times. It allows air out of the system in case of high pressure. A faulty radiator cap can cause the coolant to overheat and boil, preventing the radiator from cooling the engine and subsequently causing overheating and breakdown of the machinery.

A faulty radiator cap can bring equipment operations to a stop and even cause damage to the engine. For this reason, it is important to understand how to diagnose a faulty radiator cap and how to prevent and fix the problem.

Signs of faulty radiator a cap

Regular inspection of your radiator before equipment operations can help you identify the signs of a faulty radiator cap. They include the following:

  • The coolant fluid leaking from the edges of the cap.
  • Cracks on the pressure seal or return seal. You can visually inspect the seals for any signs of damage.
  • A radiator cap that is stuck or not releasing fluid or pressure. This can cause pressure build-up and subsequent overheating of the engine.
  • Boiling coolant fluid under normal temperatures. This is usually heard as a bubbling noise emanating from the radiator.
  • Pressure-relief valve that does not spring back in place after pressure is applied to them. You can manually test this by pushing down against the valves with your finger.

You can also identify a faulty radiator cap by testing its pressure. If the cap fails to match the pressure indicated on the manufacturer's manual, it is defective and should be fixed.

Radiator cap replacement tips

A faulty radiator cap should be replaced immediately to avoid damage to the engine due to overheating. Replacing the engine of industrial equipment or machinery is quite costly compared to a standard automotive; therefore, it is cost-effective to replace the cap as soon as you notice signs of defects. Here are some tips to follow:

  • Ensure that the engine has completely cooled down before removing the radiator cap to avoid burns from the coolant fluid.
  • Select a radiator cap with the same pressure rating as the one specified for your equipment. Using a different rating can overwork the cooling system components and cause failure.
  • Choose a quality cap to avoid frequent repairs. You can go for manufacturer radiator caps of they are available in your location. Alternatively, choose good quality after-market ones.

A faulty radiator cap can have detrimental effects on the entire cooling system of your industrial equipment and machinery. Undertaking regular radiator servicing and scheduled maintenance can help prevent these problems and extend the life of your radiator.


1 August 2016

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