Radiator maintenance

New to 2-stroke. I purchased a used Intrepid chassis with Vortex ROK GP motor. The guy I bought it from was helpful and took me for a very quick once over the kart.

His guidance was to empty the radiator after each session and leave the system dry until my next session. He showed me the drain bolt/plug on the bottom of the motor.

He told me to only run distilled water in the cooling system to avoid track damage if a spill or leak were to occur.

It’s still the start of he season in Canada and pretty cold and rainy, but when things really start to warm up, my hope is to get out on it at least weekly.

Question - does the radiator/cooling system need to be drained after every day before storing the cart?

Does anyone run anything other than distilled water in their cooling system?

Is there any other maintenance I should be aware of to keep my coolong system operating efficiently?

Many thanks in advance!


I can’t speak for karts, but I never drained the radiators on my race bikes or cars except to store them over the winter so they don’t freeze. That seems a little excessive and may allow for the water pump seal to dry out? I’d throw some Water Wetter in there before you fill it as it’ll drop coolant temps and help lubricate the pump seal, and is legal at tracks that forbid glycol- based products. But the advice about distilled water is absolutely true. Do not ever run tap or bottle spring water as the minerals will cause corrosion and can clog small passage ways.

One thing I did to mine was to add a thermostat. I use mine for autocross where the runs last less than a minute. I don’t like the idea of littering the track with duct tape tear offs and honestly wouldn’t have time to screw with them during the run anyway. Due to the short duration of useage, my kart will need to be fully up to temp before the run and I wont have time for 20 minutes of throttle blipping to warm the whole thing up only to watch the temp crash halfway through the run due to the radiator getting airflow while the coolant circulates unregulated. If I were using it on a kart track, I probably would not have installed a thermostat but even in that case, I don’t see it as being a bad thing.

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Thank you @Mandrake, I will run out and buy a new jug of distilled water and a bottle of water wetter and fill my radiator back up.

I appreciate the help!

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