This video discusses cooling in these trucks. A radiator, an AC condenser, cooler, or intercooler that is there to dissipate heat is only as good as its ability to transfer heat. When you have a truck that has a couple 100K miles on it, it probably has acquired a bunch of road grim and bugs that have clogged up the coolers, the AC condenser, the intercooler, the radiator, the transmission cooler and power steering cooler. These things only work as good as they ever will when they are new. As soon as they get any mud, dirt or grime on them, they don’t work as well. As a result, your truck may not cool enough especially under load. One of the things you can do to combat this is to use an AC coil cleaner available at any hardware store. AC coil cleaner is designed for cleaning the coils in your AC unit outside at your home or business. This stuff is caustic, so you don’t want to get this on the painted surfaces of your vehicle. I would suggest that you remove the radiator, the charger cooler and your AC to clean them.
The first part that sits out there in front of everything is the AC cooler. A lot of people like to use a pressure washer to wash them. That is really a bad idea. A pressure washer actually lays down the coils which prevents air flow and pushes the debris into the AC condenser further. Also, you don’t want to use Purple Power on aluminum; it will oxidize and ruin the aluminum. Coil cleaner is simple to use. You just spray it on the coils and let it soak for a few minutes and then wash it off with a good strong hose. You don’t want to use pressure. You will be surprised at the mess that will come out of these coolers and radiators.
You want all the black stuff to come out from between the coils. Every little bit of debris that is there is going to make the cooler work with less efficiency. You want to just take your time to clean out all the coils so that they are as clean as they can be and continue until there are no more suds coming out of the unit. Once you have all the suds out, it’s as clean as its going to get. If you have a real nasty one, then you need to do this twice. Let it dry out and then spray some more on it and do it again.
My truck, Spot, has almost 900,000 miles on it. We have done this little trick several times on it. It is a necessary part of maintenance to clean the radiator, intercooler, and AC condenser. Heat is the enemy; it will kill your engine and your transmission. Being able to manage this heat, making sure that everything is cooling like it should, is absolutely crucial to making your truck live as long as possible. This is a preventative maintenance item that needs to be done especially if you have a bunch of miles on your truck. You will be amazed at what you see come out of your coolers on the front of your truck. ~Bill Hewitt