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Rats increasingly causing more car repairs, says New York Times

If you’ve noticed more customers coming in with chewed wires and chicken bones in their engine bay, you’re apparently not alone. The New York Times published an article today on a reported rise of rats in cars causing all sorts of mayhem, from cutting wires to leaving...

Is that catalytic converter actually bad?

Diagnosing a catalytic converter isn't always the most straightforward process simply because it's so far downstream from other parts that affect its operation. You might watch this video and say, "Of course!", but not every technician has been given the proper...

5 surprising facts from the 2023 Auto Care Association Factbook

For more than three decades now, the Auto Care Association, the leading trade association for the automotive aftermarket, has released a massive trove of data called the Auto Care Factbook. It’s intended to provide a sweeping overview of what’s happening across the...

What do techs recommend for a “car crate?”

Many drivers on the road have what I call “car crates” or “car boxes”: the milk crate or cardboard box you keep in your car for auto needs. As a rather non-mechanically inclined individual, I have one in my car, which is primarily made up of things I use fairly...

RIP iPod, the best way to listen to music in your car, maybe ever

The news came out recently that Apple is no longer manufacturing the iPod Touch, the last remaining model of a piece of technology once as ubiquitous as smartphones are today. I must admit it made me feel extremely nostalgic, because the iPod was possibly the best way...

VIDEO: (Spoiler within) Crimp or solder?

The spoiler here is that Nick and Lem don't solder much at all, so if you're not a die-hard crimp aficionado, this might not be your favorite video. They’re pretty different mechanics working on very different items most of the time, but this is an area where the guys...

Where do you leave your hitch?

One of the things I really can’t stand is coming around a truck too quick and whackin’ my shin on a trailer ball. After this happens, I say “Ow!” real loud, and then a swear word. Then I wonder why in tarnation I just busted my leg. Why oh why is that thing hanging...

5 unconventional brake job tips

We’ve all read articles on brake jobs and are familiar with the standard tips. Check the rotor thickness and runout. Pay attention to pad wear patterns. Don’t add fluid to the system when pads are worn. Blah, blah, blah. Here’s another list of tips that’s slightly...

A simple tip for burping a radiator

by | Dec 7, 2021

Ever drain and fill a coolant system and watch the temp gauge spike afterwards? Air trapped in there can cause a car to act like it has a cooling problem. It’s annoying to let the car cool so you can work on it, then re-bleed and possibly still have the same problem.

This minor inconvenience is so prevalent that many cars include a little hole (with a jiggle valve) built into the thermostat housing, which should be the highest point in a cooling system.

Burping (so named because of the noise made by the bubbles of coolant exiting the radiator filler neck) is done with the radiator cap removed on cars without a valve.  You wait for the car to warm up so the thermostat opens, and then the pressure of the expanding coolant being heated drives the air out. Or at least that’s how it’s supposed to work, anyway.

I learned a trick from an old racer that works real well to bleed that rarely leaves me repeating my work.

Thermostat forcibly opened with aspirin

Take a screwdriver and manually open up the thermostat. Wedge an aspirin – the old white kind you can get at the drug store for 97 cents – in between the thermostat frame and the mechanical valve itself. It will keep the thermostat open, allow coolant to flow wide open even in the coldest of temperatures, and will dissolve in fifteen minutes – plenty long enough to get the system purged of air.

Related Articles

Is that catalytic converter actually bad?

Is that catalytic converter actually bad?

Diagnosing a catalytic converter isn’t always the most straightforward process. Here are some tips from Nick and Lemmy at Dorman on what to watch out for.

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