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How To Properly Maintain Your Mustang Aluminum Radiator

Created by Tyler Rodriquez
Last Updated 5/17/2021

Proper preventative maintenance and ongoing maintenance is important when switching over to an aluminum radiator. Late Model Restoration walks you through the steps of caring for your new aluminum radiator to prevent electrolysis and other common problems.

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When switching to an aluminum radiator in your Mustang, it is very important that you take the proper steps to ensure you prevent electrolysis and other common problems that can occur from a poorly maintained radiator. These quick and easy tips will help prevent electrolysis and ensure your SVE radiator will perform at its best.


First off is the fluid. Like with any other vehicle, when you are replacing your radiator you need to do a 100% complete flush of your entire cooling system. Always refer back to your user manual for the proper type of coolant for your application. This means all hoses and block as well. By doing this you can ensure that all of the cooling system is clean from any old fluid or contaminants. If you fail to do this you can cause a few different concerns. The most common being ELECTROLYSIS, you may be asking “what exactly is electrolysis?” Electrolysis is the result of electricity flowing through the cooling system. This causes an electrochemical charge across aluminum. This can cause severe corrosion and damage across multiple components in the cooling system. Most commonly being pitting or pin holes on the surface areas of the aluminum. The only way to fix this issue is basic maintenance of the system. As mentioned before, cleaning and proper fluid and mixture (50/50 mix) is a must! A good rule of thumb is normally every 30,000 miles for flushing and inspecting the cooling system. One other common mistake made on aluminum radiators is using it as a ground. DO NOT DO THIS. If you have made your new radiator a ground circuit for any of the many electrical components, this will actually speed up the electrolysis process.

Other Common Problems

There are a few other areas to discuss for improving the overall life of your new SVE Radiator. These will include basic cleaning and upkeep of the exterior of the radiator. Some of you out there may have to deal with pesky road salt in your area. This can also cause exterior deterioration of any aluminum surface. Basic water and soap will help maintain this from becoming a problem. Also verification of your water pump and cooling fan is a must as well. If either of these components are faulty, this can cause the overall life of your radiator to be diminished. One last thing is going to be your overall inspection of proper airflow to the radiator. Always make sure there is not trash or any blockage to the surface of the radiator. This will also include any air deflectors and front bumpers used on your Mustang. If your radiator cannot get the correct amount of air over the fins, it cannot operate the way it was intended.

We hope this overview has helped break down on how to properly maintain your new SVE Radiator.