Maybe you are a DIY expert who is just looking for the best tools to do your work, or you may be a professional who wants top quality tools. Here is a comprehensive guide to five top-rated radiator pressure testers.
First, why would you want to buy a radiator pressure tester at all? These kits are used to test for any leakage in your radiator system. A radiator is meant to cool down the engine. When one is leaking, it can't properly perform its job.
If your car engine overheats, you may have bigger repairs than a radiator to worry about! You should test before you find yourself stranded somewhere because of a car that is overheating.
When you buy a kit, you want to make sure that you know exactly what is included in each kit. You must also be sure that it is something that won't fall apart at the first use!
Balancing affordability with usability may be the most difficult aspect because there are so many different factors involved. That is exactly what we will be trying to help you do, so that you can make an informed decision regarding your tool purchase.
Top 5: Radiator Pressure Testers Review
Product Image & Rating (Out Of 10)
The first radiator pressure tester that should be noted, and the one with the highest reviews, is the FJC 43645 Radiator and Radiator Cap Pressure Test Kit. This seems to have no negative elements at all!
It includes adapters for late model cars from General Motors and Ford and apparently BMW as well. It is quite a heavy kit at 9.14 pounds, and it is one that is utilized by professionals to test for radiator leaks. There are several pros for it.
In any product you will buy, you can expect at least one con. This particular set has a rather funny one.
This is truly the top-rated brand, but what if you are thinking of something that is a little less expensive still?
The next one is one that you can really get at a low price. The Kauplus Radiator And Cap Test Kit Cooling System Pressure Test Kit Radiator and Pressure Cap Test kit Coolant Pressure Tester (try to say that 10 times fast!) is just well priced as well.
It has surprisingly good overall reviews, considering the price. It says that it works for many domestic and imported vehicles. It has a hand pump and tester head. The cap can be fine adjusted, and pressure can be safely released with the rotating lever. The system is able to test car cooling systems that have up to 30 PSI. Surprisingly, this one has few cons and a number of pros.
However, there is also one very significant con depending on what type of car you happen to have.
Depending on what kind of cooling system you have, you can probably expect it to work just fine, at less than half the price of the previous option.
Another long name that seems to be a good in-between of the last two in terms of quality and price is the Goplus 28PCS Universal Radiator Pressure Tester Leak Checker Vacuum Type Cooling System Automotive Radiator Pressure Test Kit Purge and Refill Kit Set w/Carrying Case.
The whole set is of course universal, with 17 test caps included. It works with pressure anywhere from 0 to 35 PSI. Also, you aren't likely to choose the wrong cap on this one! They are color-coded. Some pros:
There are, however, a couple of cons.
These cons do not represent the typical user experience, and most people are more than satisfied with this great, complete kit!
The fourth kit that has to be mentioned thankfully has a shorter name. The OEMTOOLS 27065 Radiator and Cap Test Kit is another very popular and high-rated choice. The price is quite reasonable as well.
This one is much less involved than any of the previous kits mentioned. It contains just three adapters and a cap adapter. The pressure pump is chrome plated to resist corrosion. Here are some of the good points:
This one in particular, though, has some of the disadvantages you might expect from a cheaper, less involved kit.
All in all, this one has some pretty negative reviews and several very positive reviews. Depending on what you need, it might be just the perfect choice for you.
The last we will mention is the freebirdtrading 8MILELAKE 28pcs Universal Radiator Pressure Tester and Vacuum Type Cooling System Tool Kit. It is another affordable option.
This kit is 28 pieces, so it is more complete than the last one mentioned, as you might imagine. It would probably have everything you would need to test your radiator on a great variety of cars. Since it is universal, it should work for imports and domestic. There are some definite pros.
Unfortunately, there are also some pretty significant cons.
best radiator pressure tester - Buying Guide
In Summary, You Have Basically Five Main Options Here...
At least you don't have to memorize all those names! It can be a real pain to try to do cost and quality comparison, so here it is for you.
The FJC is the most expensive, but it is also the best quality. It has not had a single negative review on Amazon, so if you have a little more money or are looking for a professional tool, this may be your best option.
For lower cost tools, the Goplus is universal, has good reviews and seems to have only the occasional complaint. It is top-of-the-line for a lower-cost alternative to big name brands.
For the absolute budget option, the least expensive still has great reviews. The Kauplus, while not really universal, and does great with most cars. Just make sure you know what it really works for!
Commonly Asked Questions
How do I Test for the Blockage of my Radiator?
Your car's radiator system is critical, and it needs to be well functioning to retain an excellent moving vehicle. If you notice any issues with the radiator, you’ll need to stop using the car to avoid further damages. When it has signs of blockage, it affects the cooling system and damages the engine leading to a high cost of repairs.
The best way to know if you have a radiator blockage is when your car overheats at any time of the driving. Before you take it for the repair, you'll need to check the effect or any damages caused. Here is the process to check it out.
Take the car for a standard drive to restore its moderate heat temperatures. After a trip of about 20-30 minutes, turn off the car and check out the radiator. You can use gloves to avoid getting direct burns from the heat. If the place is cold, then it means there is a blockage in your radiator.
You can also do a cold engine test to check if there is a blockage in the radiator. Let the engine cool down and take off the radiator cap, let the engine run for about 3-5 minutes then check if there is leakage in the radiator. If there is a change of color from the natural color to a rusty color and a stagnant fluid, then there is a blockage.
What Steps do I Follow to Test My Radiator?
Step 1: Check the pressure system: Before you remove the radiator cap, find out if it has pressure. You can do this by squeezing the upper part of the radiator hose. Check the pressure resistance by putting your thumb into the air hose. If there is pressure in the system, you'll remove the radiator cap gradually.
Step 2: Remove the radiator cap- Remove the radiator cap once the system gets little to no pressure. You'll be able to attach the pressure tester when the a is less.
Step 3: Prepare the tester- Open the case on the pressure tester and check the unit's progress. Also, check out that you can see the gauge. Connect the adaptor to the radiator and push it in the lower direction as you rotate it.
Step 4: Pressure test – The pressure tester and the pump will build pressure in the system. The pressure tester needle will make an upward movement. You will probably see a leak from the engine, the radiator, or the hose.
The system needs to hold the pressure, and if it doesn't, then the chances are that it’s leaking or you dint fix the pressure tester well. Check out if the connection is okay as you avoid high pressure which could damage the cooling system.
Step 5: Remove the Pressure Tester- Gradually remove the pressure tester once the test is complete as you rotate the connector lock. You'll notice coolant or water expelled from the connector. Clean and store it safely in its case.
What are the common Signs that My Radiator is failing?
Overheating engine- This is a common sign that there is something wrong with your radiator. When the engine overheats, it’s because the thermostat is faulty and no longer opens, which may cause engine breakdown.
Leaks- If the coolant begins to leak under, it implies that your radiator is falling. The fluid could be red, yellow, or green. The leaking causes the coolant levels to become low, making the engine hot since there isn't enough coolant to regulate it.
Shifting issues- An integrated transmission cooler doesn't change well, as the fluids get contaminated with coolant.
Fluid discoloration- A bad radiator causes deposits and sludge to contaminate the coolants and turn it to a rusty color from its usual bright yellow or, pink, red, or green color.
Can You Drive a Car that has a Radiator Problem?
A car that has a radiator problem may not be suitable to drive. When you drive, it overheats, damaging the engine and could cause the head gasket to fail. Further driving with a faulty radiator causes additional damages and a high cost of repairs. It would be best to let your vehicle cool down if you notice that your engine is overheating.
All in all, doing testing yourself with one of these kits can save you hundreds of dollars in technician fees and engine repairs, so they are well worth the investment.
If you are concerned about a radiator leak, or even if you just know you may have one in the future like most other care owners, you should check out these high-quality products today. It may save you a lot of time and money in the end!