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National Automotive Radiator Service Association Cooling Check

Annual 7 Point Cooling System Checkup Can Benefit Automotive Consumers

EAST GREENVILLE, PA. A seven point maintenance check could prevent the possibility of sitting stranded on the roadside, freezing in sub zero degree weather because of a vehicle's breakdown. Or, it could mean the difference between enjoying a holiday or sweating through the unexpected cost and inconvenience a cooling system failure could bring. During National Car Care Month, the National Automotive Radiator Service Association (NARSA) is reminding consumers that they can benefit from a seven point annual maintenance check. NARSA is a not for profit trade association of automotive cooling system and radiator repair specialists. Radiators are an integral part of the cooling system, designed to protect engines from the destructive effects of too much heat. The seven point program is designed to identify any areas that need attention. It consists of:

  1. a radiator pressure cap test to check for the recommended system pressure level
  2. a thermostat check for proper opening and closing
  3. a pressure test to identify any external leaks to the cooling system parts including the radiator, water pump, engine coolant passages, radiator and heater hoses and heater core
  4. an internal leak test to check for combustion gas leakage into the cooling system
  5. a visual inspection of all cooling system components, including belts and hoses
  6. a system power flush and refill with car manufacturer's recommended concentration of coolant
  7. an engine fan test for proper operation

By doing annual checks, a NARSA radiator specialist frequently can help a motorist prevent problems, emergency type repairs or replacements, saving the consumer money in both the short and long terms. Today's NARSA radiator shop is equipped to repair all kinds and makes of automotive radiators, foreign or domestic. Radiators vary and can be made of several different materials such as aluminum, plastic, copper or brass. A radiator repair can often cost less than replacement and can extend the service life of the existing radiator.

As specialists, NARSA members provide a range of service options, from routine maintenance to cost effective and reliable repairs, to new replacement radiators matched to a car's cooling needs. "Often many radiators can be saved and re - used rather than replaced," says NARSA president Dave Doll, a Montana shop owner. "NARSA members can determine if a radiator can be fixed. They have the equipment and know how to do it." Currently, there are about 1,500 automotive radiator repair shops in the United States and 200 in Canada which are NARSA members. A NARSA radiator repair shop can fix leaking radiators, clean aluminum and copper/brass radiators and reattach broken fittings that otherwise would consign a radiator to the scrap heap.

Even plastic tanks which are used on radiators in many 1989 and newer vehicles can be repaired or replaced. Many NARSA radiator shops stock tanks. The installation of a new plastic tank can save the replacement of the entire radiator and often can cost one third or less the total replacement cost.

In addition, NARSA members are able to perform other services such as rebuilding and restoring classic or antique radiators or repairing or replacing the "core" or center section of the radiator. All can save money over replacing an entire radiator. To find a specialist in your area look under "Radiators Automotive" in your Yellow Pages. To find a NARSA member look for the NARSA emblem. Call 215/541-4500, email to or write: NARSA, P.O. Box 97, East Greenville, PA 18041 for a regional guide. NARSA provides its members with the latest technical information on the proper servicing and repair of the cooling systems of today's automotive fleet.

Courtesy of The Car Car Counsel


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