It doesn’t cough or wheeze but there are telltale signs that your vehicle’s cooling system is under the weather. The most noticeable symptoms are overheating, leaks, a sweet smell of antifreeze and repeatedly needing to add coolant.
A fairly common household disaster is flooding of the laundry area due to a split hose on a washing machine. Also vulnerable to a similar disaster is your car. A bulging radiator hose, carrying hot water (coolant) under pressure, can rupture.
Cooling system neglect is cited as a principal reason for mechanical failure of a vehicle. In addition to the danger and inconvenience of a breakdown, the damage to the engine and transmission can add up to thousands of dollars. Discovering a leaking radiator, hose connection, a sticking thermostat or other cooling system component that’s on “borrowed time” can save the life of one’s engine.
The engine cooling system affects a vehicle’s overall dependability and engine longevity. The key parts of the cooling system remove heat from the engine and automatic transmission and dissipate heat to the air outside. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine. The coolant absorbs heat and returns it to the radiator where heat is dissipated. The thermostat regulates the coolant temperature to keep it consistent for efficient engine operation.
Douglas Automotive Repair Inc can inspect your vehicle’s cooling system. Give us a call today if you are experiencing any of the above “symptoms!”
A major factor that affects the replacement of cooling system parts is the frequency of regular maintenance, such as coolant changes. Coolant should be changed annually on most vehicles, although motorists should consult their owner’s manual for specific recommendations about how often to change antifreeze and flush the coolant system. A coolant flush and fill is basic to cooling system maintenance as new antifreeze helps the engine run cooler and a flush removes dirt or sediment that could damage other cooling system parts.
To underscore the importance of proper care of the cooling system, here is a multiple- choice quiz. See how much you know about this vital engine system. Take the Cooling System Quiz.
1. For maximum freeze protection antifreeze mixture should be:
A. half anti-freeze and half water;
B. pure antifreeze;
C. 70% anti-freeze, 30% water.
2. In the cooling system the thermostat:
A. controls engine temperature;
B. works the air conditioner;
C modulates the diodes.
3. A radiator cap is designed to:
A. keep water from sloshing out of the radiator;
B. keep the cooling system operating at a specified pressure;
C. last indefinitely.
4. A broken drive belt can cause:
B. loss of power steering;
C. dead battery.
5. Cooling systems on many cars today:
A. have no water pump;
B. never need to be flushed;
C. are equipped with an electric fan on the radiator.
Answers to Cooling System Quiz:
1. (C) is correct, although a 50/50 solution is adequate for most climates, protecting to -34o F. Never use pure antifreeze.
2. (A) is correct. As stated above, a faulty thermostat, causing an engine to run too hot or too cold, can damage the engine.
3. (B) is correct. And when replacing the cap, be sure to install the right one for your vehicle. Pressure recommendations vary.
4. Because all three functions are dependent upon the drive belt (or belts) all three answers are correct.
5. (C) is correct.
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