The main purpose of the radiator of our car is to cool down the hot engine. But if your car overheats, you must not open the radiator cap of your car, as you might risk hurting yourself.

The radiator

Every car has a radiator, where its primary purpose is to cool down the hot running engine of your car. Inside the radiator is coolant, which is a mix of water and specialized coolant which you can get from stores or online.

This mixture runs through a pump which pumps it to different parts of the engine to absorb the heat generated by the engine. It then passes back to the radiator which is a piece of metal with a lot of fins, which helps to cool down the hot mixture when it comes back from the engine, which the cool water then gets pumped to the engine again.

Why you shouldn’t open it

When a radiator is in use, temperatures can get high, which makes pressure build up inside the radiator because of the steam. During this time, if you open it up, the pressure build-up will release and spray hot steam and water out of the radiator, which will harm you, leaving you with burns at places that come into contact with the hot steam and water.

If your car’s radiator overheats, a common misinformation is to open up the cap to let the radiator cool down, but this is a big no and should be avoided. The proper way should be to leave it be and let it cool down on its own, then take it to a workshop afterwards to have it checked.

To top up or check your coolant

Before topping up or opening up your radiator and reservoir to check your coolant, make sure the engine of your car has cooled down, so that hot water or steam doesn’t spray onto you.

When you open your radiator cap, make sure that the coolant level reaches the top, and you can add more coolant inside if it isn’t. Your coolant colour should also be the same as the coolant you’ve added inside, if it’s a different colour then you should change out your coolant or get it checked.

Then for the reservoir, there should be a minimum and maximum level shown on the reservoir. This is because when the temperature fluctuates, the coolant level will increase when it’s hot and decrease when it’s cool, so it is sufficient to keep the coolant level of the reservoir in between the minimum and maximum threshold.

If you notice that your car is prone to overheating, or that the coolant frequently decreases, there could be a problem with your cooling system, and it is better to have it checked.