Here at Sundance Automotive in Lakewood, we have information about you’re your cars cooling system works and what can happen when there is a problem.
Unfortunately, the main reason the cooling system fails is neglect and failure to give the system the attention it needs. We hope the more you understand about the basics of your vehicle’s cooling system, the more you will follow the guidelines for preventative care to extend the life of your car.
It’s All About the Heat
Most car owners don’t realize how hot your car engine gets. The heat is so hot, that if not cooled, the pistons can melt seizing to the cylinder and that’s an instant game over for your engine. To stop this from happening, the water pump in your vehicle runs coolant through various passages to cool your engine and absorb the heat produced.
Freezing Can Be a Problem Too
The coolant in your vehicle serves many purposes. It is a mixture of ethylene glycol and water and is also commonly known as antifreeze. Antifreeze prevents freezing as the name implies. If there is not enough coolant in your system and your vehicle is sitting in particularly cold temperatures, you may experience freezing. Because liquid generally expands when it freezes, the force can be strong enough to crack the engine block. A quick check of your engine coolant level and following your cars manufactures service schedule when replacing your coolant is the best way to make sure your cooling system is ready to keep your engine running smoothly.
Your Thermostat is Important
The thermostat is a key component in your cooling system. It controls the flow of coolant based on the temperature of your engine. Sometimes, issues with your cooling system may point to a problem with your thermostat. A faulty thermostat can cause your engine to run too hot or too cold.
Don’t Forget Your Hoses and Fan Belts
Hoses keep everything flowing in your cooling system. Unfortunately, the hoses are rubber and over time they may develop cracks. Leaking hoses will cause problems with your cooling system because it will change the rate of flow of your fluid. Your hoses should be regularly checked for cracks and leaks.
The fan belt drives the water pump and much like the hoses, it can crack or break. Without a fan belt, no coolant runs through your system and your engine will quickly overheat. Follow the recommendations for checking your fan belt in your owner’s manual.
Remember Your Radiator Cap
One of the basics of your vehicle’s cooling system is a small and simple part. Your radiator cap is easy to overlook as a source of trouble. Your radiator cap helps control pressure in your radiator system. There is a spring-loaded plunger in the cap, which diverts coolant when the pressure is too high. Sometimes, the spring-loaded plunger gets stuck. If there is an issue with the cap, your temperature gauge will read normally but you may hear a boiling sound. If you ever need to remove your radiator cap, do it only when your engine is completely cooled, otherwise, a rush of boiling fluid will spurt out and cause some very serious burns.
If the Needle is Moving to Red
If your engine temperature is reading more towards the red, there are a couple things you can do. Turn off your air conditioner or even run your heater on high. Turning off the air conditioner will lighten the load on your engine. Running your heater allows your car to pull additional heat from the engine. Either of these or both may allow you to get to a place. If the needle is in the red, you need to pull over immediately.
Regular Checks of Your Cooling System
To avoid serious problems, it is best to have your cooling system checked on a regular basis. If you check your system when you get your oil changed, this will get your cooling system checked on a regular enough basis to spot trouble before you have a serious problem on your hands.
Bring your car to Sundance Automotive in Lakewood we will take care of your vehicle’s cooling system and make sure your vehicle takes care of you while you are on the road.