For improved under-the-hood performance, upgrade your vehicle with an aluminum radiator. Compared to stock radiators, aluminum ones have multiple benefits that result in real-world improvements that you’ll notice.
Better Construction Prevents Cracks
Most stock radiators are comprised of a metal and plastic mixture that makes these OEM units weaker than all-aluminum ones. The difference in build quality isn’t immediately evident, but it does become more noticeable over time.
After thousands of miles and years of driving, stock radiators are more prone to cracking than aluminum ones. When a radiator develops a crack, it needs to be replaced and further problems can develop if too much coolant leaks out.
Larger Tubes and Multiple Cool Faster
While not universally true, the design of many aftermarket radiators allows these units to cool more efficiently than stock radiators.
For example, an aluminum radiator will often have larger tubes than its OEM counterpart. The larger tubes allow coolant to flow more quickly through the radiator, and that helps the radiator cool the engine faster.
Additionally, some aluminum units are also available as multi-row radiators. This means they have multiple rows of fins, usually two or three, instead of the stock radiator’s single row. The multiple rows increase the surface area of the radiator’s fins and also speeds up cooling.
Lighter Weight Improves Fuel Economy
If you drive an older car, an aluminum radiator will likely weigh less than the radiator that’s currently in your vehicle. The radiators in many older vehicles have copper cores, and copper weighs more than aluminum. Thus, these radiators are heavier than aluminum ones.
If you drive a newer car, the radiator in it probably weighs about the same as an aluminum one. Newer models have lightweight stock radiators.
The difference in weight between an aluminum and an older stock radiator won’t be huge, but it will provide a nominal improvement in fuel economy. It’s one way to reduce the vehicle’s total weight so that the engine doesn’t have to work as hard to move the car.
Flat Top Creates a Cleaner Look
Should you be concerned about the aesthetics of your vehicle’s engine compartment, an aluminum aftermarket radiator will create a cleaner look than the stock one. Many aftermarket radiators come with a flat top that hides the radiator’s fins from view.
Get an Aluminum Radiator for Your Car
If your vehicle needs a new radiator, get an aluminum one. They’re available for the vast majority of vehicles, and they have multiple benefits over stock replacement radiators.