Need a part or service found for you?
Call our experts on 1800 595 454

Radiator Upgrade: Does Your Car Really Need It?

Educational  ·  April 4, 2023

Radiator Upgrade: Does Your Car Really Need It?

The radiator is a critical part of your car that stops your engine from overheating. Like most other mechanical parts, you can invest in a radiator upgrade that works more efficiently. But when does a radiator upgrade become necessary?

Stock radiators are more than capable of keeping your engine cool when they’re in good working condition. However, if you’ve tuned or upgraded your engine to produce more power, it will also generate more heat, possibly overwhelming the radiator. That’s when you need a radiator upgrade, including radiator hoses, cores, and fans.

This guide will help you understand when a radiator upgrade is necessary for your vehicle. It also covers the different components you can change to make your radiator more efficient.

What Is a Radiator, And How Does It Work?

Before diving deeper into getting a radiator upgrade, we must first refresh our understanding of what a radiator is and how it works. It will help you understand when it becomes necessary to upgrade your car’s radiator and why certain upgrades matter more than others.

The radiator is a critical part of your engine’s cooling system. Without it, a combustion engine will overheat, destroy the vehicle, and endanger people.

The cooling system circulates a liquid (called coolant) through the engine to absorb and remove heat. The coolant flows through the radiator, which can dump heat into the surrounding air and return to lower temperatures. 

From there, the process will repeat as the coolant flows back to the engine to collect more heat.

The radiator is exposed to airflow whenever you drive your vehicle. It also works with one or more fans to force more air through and remove heat from the coolant.

So, when does a car need a better radiator? 

The short answer is this: You need a radiator when the existing one can’t keep the engine cool enough. 

In other words, when the radiator can’t remove enough heat from the hot coolant, you’ll need to invest in an upgraded radiator.

You’ll learn more about that in the next section.

How Do You Know Your Car Needs a Radiator Upgrade?

As you read earlier, you'll know your car needs a better radiator when the existing one can no longer keep the engine cool and prevent overheating. That's assuming your existing radiator is in good shape to begin with.

Stock radiators are more than capable of keeping your engine cool when they’re in excellent working condition. That’s true even if you’re pushing your stock engine to its performance limit.

So, if your engine is overheating and you think you need a radiator upgrade, take a step back. Your existing radiator might be experiencing a problem that requires a simple fix. Diagnose the radiator, and you’ll likely solve your problem.

For example, you don’t necessarily need a costly Hilux radiator upgrade if your pickup is overheating. Instead, a radiator flush and fresh coolant might be all that it needs.

However, it’s a different story if you want your engine to produce more power than usual. For example, tuning or upgrading your engine beyond factory specifications will undoubtedly cause it to produce a higher power output.

With more power comes additional heat (plenty of it!) When that happens, your stock radiator won’t be able to cope, leading your engine to overheat.

In other words, you’ll have little choice but to upgrade your radiator if you ever decide to increase your engine’s power through tuning or upgrades. 

Types of Radiator Upgrades

One crucial thing to understand about radiator upgrades is that they’re not just about sticking a bigger radiator under your hood. Instead, a radiator upgrade can include changing one or more parts for more efficient versions that do their job better.

Here are 6 kinds of radiator upgrades that you can invest in:

1. Coolant and Additives

The first way to upgrade your radiator is to replace the fluid flowing through it. Many vehicles still rely on distilled water to cool their engines, but using coolant instead is a quick way to improve your radiator.

Remember: Coolant is the lifeblood of your engine’s cooling system. That’s what does the ‘heavy lifting’ of removing heat from the engine and bringing it to the radiator to cool down.

On top of that, you can also purchase additives for your coolant to make it much more effective while protecting your radiator from inside.

2. Radiator Hoses

You can also improve your radiator’s performance by switching out its rubber hoses for better ones made from silicone. 

Hoses matter because they carry the fluid in and out of the radiator for cooling. So, upgrading them to durable silicone ones reduces the chances of leaks that jeopardise cooling.

3. Radiator Cores

Of course, you can also upgrade the core of the radiator itself. The core is where most of the radiator’s work is done, where heat from the fluid is transferred to the passing air.

As you might’ve guessed, radiator cores made from better materials like aluminium, such as the one in a 1hz radiator upgrade, are significantly more efficient at releasing heat into the air.

4. Radiator Cap

Another minor but overlooked radiator upgrade is the cap. The cap keeps the radiator and its components safe by regulating pressure. So, while it doesn’t improve your radiator’s performance directly, upgrading it protects all the other upgrades you install.

5. Radiator Fan

Lastly, you can upgrade your radiator fan. An upgraded fan will force more air through the radiator core (described above), releasing heat much faster.

As a result, the radiator becomes more efficient overall.

Does Upgrading Radiator Improve Performance?

Yes, an upgraded radiator will improve performance but only indirectly. As you might already know, the radiator generates no power output and only functions to remove heat from the engine and keep it cool.

So when an upgraded radiator does its job efficiently, it will help the engine produce more power and speed.

Earlier, you read that a more powerful engine will generate more heat. When your vehicle is equipped with an upgraded radiator, that extra heat won’t be a problem. The radiator does its job, keeping the engine within optimal temperatures to perform better.

Searching for components to upgrade your radiator? Or perhaps you’re in the market for something specific, like a GU patrol radiator upgrade. Whatever you need, you can find it through CarpartAU. Check out the marketplace to find great deals or submit a request through the Part Finder to get what you need!


By Ray Hasbollah

More from the Blog

Explore the Opportunity of Owning!

For Sale: - Your Gateway to the Automotive World

Are you ready to own a premium domain in the automotive industry? is now available for purchase, offering you an exclusive chance to step into the driver’s seat of this established online platform.

What’s Included in the Package?

  • Domain Name: Secure the highly sought-after, a single-word domain that speaks volumes in the automotive realm.
  • Website: Acquire the entire website, featuring the single largest directory of automotive suppliers. Benefit from top-notch Google rankings, providing instant exposure to a vast audience.
  • Instagram Page: Take over the Instagram page (@carpartdotcom) with a whopping 240,000 real car enthusiasts following. Become an instant influencer and leverage years of engaging content.
  • Carpedia: Dive into a treasure trove of automotive information. includes Carpedia, a comprehensive resource that draws daily traffic seeking valuable insights into vehicles.


  • Instant Exposure: With thousands of top-ten Google rankings, you can own the next car parts marketplace and enjoy instant visibility in a competitive market.
  • Endless Possibilities: The opportunities are boundless with a domain like In a time where single-word domains are rare, secure your place as a key player in the automotive industry.

Price: $1.45 Million AUD

How to Inquire: For inquiries or to express your interest, call the number at the top of the page telling us your interested in the sale of the website. Leave a message with our office, and expect a prompt call back.