Never Open a Hot Radiator

We all know that sinking feeling as we watch the temperature gauge on rise on a hot day.  As luck would have it, this usually happens in the middle of nowhere with a car full of children on a blistering hot Aussie summer day. 
There is only one thing worse than being stranded on the side of the road with an overheating car and that is having to treat a burn.

Never touch a hot radiator!  Absolutely never try and remove the cap of one.  When your radiator overheats pressure builds up and the resulting rush of steam and hot coolant when opened can cause third degree burns and permanent scaring.
Ideally you should wait at least a couple of hours with the bonnet up and then carefully open the radiator using a thick cloth (a towel will do), and gloves if you have them.
Here are four steps to treat a burn should you be unfortunate enough to suffer one…  

  1. Cool the burn under cool running water for 20 minutes. The longer a burn is left untreated, the deeper and more serious it becomes. If running water is not available, two dampened cloths can be used and alternated as heat will be transferred from the burn area to the cloth quite quickly
  2. Remove any clothing & jewellery from area which isn’t stuck to the skin
  3. Cover area with clean lint free cloth or if a large burn area, cover loosely with cling wrap.
  4. Seek Medical Advice if the burn area is deep, is larger than a 20 cent piece.

Prevention is always better than the cure, so if your dashboard shows your car is running hotter than normal or you are leaving puddles of coolant where ever you park, it is time to have your cooling system checked out.