At first glance, an article on keeping your engine cool may seemingly come at an inopportune time of year. After all it is winter and in many states around the country keeping warm seems to be more of a challenge during these months. Regardless of your geographic area, constricted water and airflow can present a problem no matter what time of the year it is.
Our test subject here is an '88 IROC Camaro. This all-stock Third-generation F-body had the tendency to run on the high end of the temperature gauge. And in the stop-and-go (mostly stop) traffic of Southern California, watching the temp gauge rise can also raise your panic level to new heights. First things first, we had to have the cooling system evaluated to see the what, why's and where's of our apparent cooling problem. We took the Camaro to Mattson's Radiator to have it diagnosed. Mattson's then suggested rather than just simply flushing the system, replacing the old two-core radiator with a new three core, which would drastically help the cooling.
After installing the new radiator, we contacted the experts at Hypertech for help with our next problem. Hypertech recomended that to further solve our cooling woes, the stock fan-cooling switch be replaced with an updated lower temp switch. Hypertech also suggested along with the new temp switch, a slightly lower temp thermostat and a performance-tuning chip would also help keep our Camaro cooler. Simply put, the old switch would turn the fan on when the temperature hit a whopping 220 degrees! The new Hypertech temperature switch turns the fan on at a much-improved 195 degrees and the tuning chip would help the engine to run more efficiently.
But does this make a difference? Yes! Not once since the improved changes has the engine run hot. So now while stuck in traffic, my car can keep its cool while I lose mine.