KEEPING THE ENGINE FROM OVERHEATING
The use of proper engine coolant and the vehicle’s radiator is the key element of a vehicle’s cooling system and maintain the important task of keeping the engine from overheating.
Engine coolant is pushed through the coolant system by the water pump and circulates through a heat exchanger (radiator) and transfers the heat to the metal/aluminum cooling fins that surround the core. These cooling fins help to dissipate the heat from the hot coolant by exposing the surface of the fins to the cooler outside air. Air is forced through the radiator with the help of a fan.
Radiators are typically mounted in a position where they receive sufficient airflow from the forward movement of the vehicle, usually located behind an opening in the front grill. The radiator may also provide cooling assistance for the automatic transmission fluid as well.
Proper repair and maintenance of your vehicle’s cooling system are essential to the health of the engine. If you have ever seen a vehicle on the side of the road, hood up with steam billowing from underneath, chances are it is experiencing a cooling system failure.
Disappointments such as these can be avoided with regular inspections when you perform scheduled maintenance to your vehicle. Common items to be replaced are the thermostat and the coolant. Over time, coolant loses its ability to perform at its peak because as it ages, it becomes more acidic and requires changing. These variations in the coolant’s ph can cause severe damage to the radiator, heater core, and the radiator hoses. For the best result, the entire cooling system should be flushed out and a new coolant installed. By doing this, all the components can be inspected. However, your best bet is to follow the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals for these maintenance items.
Today’s modern engines use a pressurized cooling system that helps to raise the boiling point of the coolant helping your engine operate at higher temperatures for greater fuel economy. The faster the engine reaches operating temperature, the more efficiently it can run.
By maintaining your vehicle’s cooling system at the recommended intervals, you will help extend the longevity of your vehicle and provide peace of mind motoring.