Cooling System Maintenance Makes the Difference June 25, 2010
Although our cars have improved a lot over the years… …they still have the tough job of turning chemical energy into mechanical power to help us cruise our highways and byways. Since most of the energy in the gasoline is converted into heat, the cooling system has the tough job to cool it off quickly and efficiently.
Cooling System – "The Heart of Your Vehicle" You can think of your cars cooling system as the heart of a vehicle. The water pump circulates vital fluid, car coolant / antifreeze, through the engine’s radiator and the primary job a car's cooling system is to "regulate" or keep the engine from overheating by transferring this heat to the air.
Cooling system has several other jobs The cooling system also has several other important jobs, such as allowing the engine to heat up as quickly as possible, and then keeping the engine at a constant temperature. Unlike the human body, your car does not reproduce new car coolant to keep it running optimally. A regularly scheduled car coolant flush and fill is critical to maintain your cooling system and the overall health of your vehicle.
Watch for Obvious Warning Signs Keeping your car's cooling system maintained and functioning properly with a flush and fill can save you from potentially harmful and expensive damage. Understanding the warning signs of cooling system problems and practicing proper maintenance, can help you extend the life of your vehicle. It’s important to note that during a car's normal operation, car coolant doesn't just get used up; so, if your car’s coolant level is consistently low, your car most likely has a coolant leak. An ASE certified mechanic can conduct a coolant pressure test to verify if you have a leaking radiator.
Here are some additional obvious cooling system problems and warning signs to be aware of: • Antifreeze / car coolant drain beneath your vehicle • Temperature gauge is higher than normal or warning light on the dashboard • Overheating engine – steam from beneath the hood or near your coolant reservoir • Antifreeze / car coolant on the floor of the passenger compartment • Poor heater or car air conditioning performance
Notice these symptoms? Your radiator or heater could be clogged or corroded. Any one of these signs can also indicate a worn or leaking radiator or hoses. It is important to get your vehicle to an ASE Certified Technician at your local tire store right away. Prolonged overheating can severely damage cooling system components and even your engine, resulting in some very expensive repair bills.
Tire Stores Perform Flush and Fill and Regular Maintenance By regularly checking fluid levels, belts and hoses yourself and bringing your vehicle in once a year for a car cooling system maintenance check, you’ll be much more likely to avoid these problems and enjoy trouble-free driving. Most cooling system repairs require the help of a trained professional. Have your system checked by a qualified ASE Certified Technician at least once a year, or every 12,000 miles, at one of your friendly neighborhood tire stores.
Avoid corrosion and clogs If you are not experiencing any of the above problems, it is a good idea to check your owner manual for the recommended cooling system service interval. To help avoid corrosion and clogs, most OEMs recommend having the coolant flushed and changed every 40,000 - 50,000 miles. Keep in mind that most car coolants are toxic and also pick up heavy-metal contamination during use. Reputable service centers and tire discount stores know how to dispose of it safely.
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