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Busted-up radiator fins with 10 years’ worth of embedded moths and grasshoppers don’t only look nasty, they also reduce the efficiency of whatever cooling system they’re serving. If a radiator’s still structurally sound, you don’t need to replace it — several manufacturers offer radiator fin combs that make cleaning out and realigning fins a snap.

Check the number of fins per inch on your radiator to determine the size of fin comb that you need.  You can get a comb that’s meant for only one fin pattern, or you can go for a multi-combed, flower-looking unit with six or so combs that’ll work on several different patterns.

Radiator fins on an auto or A/C unit are usually delicate aluminum, so combing ’em requires a bit of patience and a deft touch — but if the finished product is a cooler-running car or a more efficient A/C that saves you money, the roughly $6 investment is well worth it.

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5 Responses to Straighten Up With A Radiator Comb

  1. Larry says:

    I bought mine from Harbor Freight a little while back. Worked pretty good, however you should wear gloves while doing this.. I ended up with a few nice evenly spaced cut knuckles from the fins. Maybe I was doing it worng, but in the end the result was positive.

  2. Chris says:

    Yea Harbor Freight always has these pretty cheap. I find its sometimes a little easier to use the comb if you remove the handle. Also Simple Green works great for cleaning the gunk off the coil

  3. scubasteve says:

    I have used the harbor freight version and found it nothing but frustrating. Not that the HF version was made any more poorly than another brand, I just dont think the device concept was terribly effective. Or perhaps my fins were just too far bent for it to work. I used a barely opened pair of Chinese scissors to do most of the straightening.

  4. eschoendorff says:

    I have had teh same experiences as Scubasteve has. I just don’t think that these tools are the best design for the application….

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