The engine cooling system affects your car's overall dependability and engine longevity. Cooling systems have advanced over the years with new coolant formulations and new radiator designs and materials.
The key parts of the cooling system remove heat from the engine and automatic transmission and dissipate it outside. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine. The coolant absorbs the 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.
Research performed by Gates (a leading producer of cooling system parts to vehicle manufacturers) shows:
Healthy, balanced coolant is the key for long term vehicle coolant health. Learn more about the flush process. And if you have the cooling system flushed before 100,000 miles your vehicle will be enrolled in the BG Protection Plan which covers major expenses such as radiator, heater core and water pumps!
Remember when a vehicle overheats it is important to always replace the thermostat, perform a full flush and replace the engine oil in addition to replacing the source of the overheating problem.
The cooling system refers to your engine. It is important not to confuse the cooling system with the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) System.
Function: The radiator transfers heat from the engine's coolant to the outside air while the radiator cap seals and pressurizes the system.
Signs of Wear: Radiator: Leaking, engine overheating, rusting, physical damage. Cap: Lack of pressure in cooling system, vapor escaping from cap, ill-fitting cap, worn gasket.
Function: The hoses route coolant throughout the engine while the hose clamps secure the hoses in place.
Signs of Wear: Indications of hose leaking, cracking, splitting, hardening, brittleness or lack of heat in vehicle cabin.
Hoses have a service life of approximately 10 years or 100,000 miles
Function: Maintains proper engine operating temperature and allows the engine to warm up faster.
Signs of Wear: Engine overheating, lack of available heat in the vehicle cabin, as well as reduced fuel economy.
The thermostat maintains engine temperature by flushing hot coolant and replacing it with unheated. When a vehicle overheats is always advisable to replace the thermostat
Function: The radiator cap allows coolant to escape to an external reservoir when coolant pressure becomes too high. When the spring in the radiator cap becomes weak, the coolant fluid is able to escape from the cooling system sooner than the ideal pressure. This lower pressure level also results in the coolant boiling at a lower temperature. The radiator cap pressure capability is easily tested using a cap tester, and the cap should be replaced whenever the spring becomes weak.
Signs of Wear: Weak spring.
Function: Drives the radiator fan to move additional air through the radiator.
Signs of Wear: Engine overheating, fan doesn't turn, squealing noise.
Function: Circulates coolant through the radiator and engine system to maintain proper engine temperature.
Signs of Wear: Engine overheating, leaking coolant, excessive looseness in water pump shaft. rumbling nose in pump.
The water pump pushes coolant through the engine, and is driven by either a timing belt or a serpentine belt.
Function: Routes the heating and air conditioning system's liquid and gas.
Signs of Wear: Evidence of hose leaking, cracking or hardening, brittleness or lack of heat/cooling within the cabin.
Function: A small radiator through which engine coolant flows in order to heat the air entering the cabin.
Signs of Wear: Sweet-smelling vapor coming through the defroster or other cabin vents, insufficient or lack of heat in the cabin
Professional Auto care is Southwest Houston's premier auto repair and auto maintenance facility. We offer cooling system repairs and cooling system maintenance. Periodic, planned, budgeted maintenance can help avoid costly breakdowns.