January 12, 2018

Parts to Inspect if the Radiator Starts to have an Issue

The radiator in your vehicle actively dissipates heat that builds up in the cooling system. As coolant runs through the radiator, the walls of the internal passageways start to develop a thick layer of scale. Debris running through the cooling system may also cause a blockage to develop in those tight radiator tubes. When this happens, the radiator’s cooling abilities drastically decrease. When one component fails to work properly, other parts throughout the cooling system also run the risk of failure. The three parts that commonly cease working after the radiator goes bad are the thermostat, water pump, and heater core. Each engine size and configuration has a specific ideal operating temperature. To control the temperature, the thermostat sits at the end of the bottom radiator hose and directly regulates the flow of water through the cooling system. When the engine reaches ideal operating temperature, the thermostat opens and allows the cooling system to flow freely. When the radiator stops working correctly, too much pressure is put on the thermostat, often causing it to stop working. When the thermostat fails, the valve inside gets stuck either open or closed. With a closed thermostat, your engine will immediately start to overheat. You can tell the thermostat is stuck closed by carefully touching the radiator hoses. The top one will feel hot, yet the bottom hose will remain cold. When the thermostat sticks open, the engine will never reach operating temperature, which negatively impacts gas mileage. The water pump uses an impeller to continuously move coolant through the hoses and passageways of the cooling system. On most engines, the impeller is actually made from plastic materials. Any contaminants or tough debris breaking away from the radiator will cause abrasions and other damage to that part. If the radiator stops cooling the fluid before it moves past the impeller, the high temperatures could also cause damage to the plastic parts. Make sure you notice if your vehicle starts to run hotter than normal, or your vehicle is overheating. By making an appointment, we can inspect the vehicle for you.
June 8, 2017

Preventing the Vehicle from Overheating

Driving in the summer can lead to the vehicle overheating if it has not been maintained properly. There can be some issues that would cause the vehicle to overheat. If your vehicle overheats, you could be facing major engine trouble including a cracked engine block or other problems. Overheating can be caused by a few problems in the engine. It may be caused by a malfunction with the radiator, lack of coolant in the engine, or even a problem with the engine oil. If the engine overheats it could be doing more damage to parts of your vehicle, which can result in a costly repair bill in the future.   The radiator is one of the most important parts for cooling the engine. Without the radiator, there is no way to release all of the heat from the engine. Common problems in a radiator can include leaks or cracks. The main issue is that whenever these problems occur, there is not anywhere for the heat to go. It could also flow out of the vehicle so there is nothing left to cool the engine. If you see coolant on the ground where you park, there is more than likely a leak in the system that needs to be fixed. If you notice steam coming from under your hood, you have a real problem with the radiator that needs to be fixed.   Being able to complete fluid checks on your own can help to alleviate many problems. It is important to locate the engine coolant reservoir on your vehicle. Some will use a separate dip stick to measure the amount of coolant in the vehicle. Others will use a bobbing stick to indicate how full the reservoir is. If the fluid is not at the appropriate level, make sure that it is filled up. If the fluid looks dirty, it may need to be changed.   The engine oil you are using has a major effect on your vehicle. Not only do you need to make sure to have the right amount of oil, but you also need to use the right kind. By using the wrong oil, it is possible for it to break down faster. The faster your engine oil breaks down, the less lubrication it will provide to moving parts. When this happens, the parts will start rubbing against each other more and the engine will start to heat up. High performance engines should always use synthetic oil because it does not break down as quickly. If you are unsure how often to bring the vehicle in for an oil change, make sure to contact us, and we can inspect the vehicle for you. Also remember if you notice anything out of the norm, make sure to contact us and we can schedule an appointment for you.  
February 8, 2017

Knowing How the Cooling System Works

  To keep the vehicle operating efficiently, you will want to make sure the engine is in the best condition possible. The engine in your vehicle produces incredibly high levels of heat and the cooling system is essential in cooling the engine of your vehicle enough to avoid damaging the parts inside it. Without a cooling system, your engine would quickly reach temperatures that would damage most of its components. Every engine is designed to function in a very specific temperature range. If it gets colder, the engine’s oil is too thick to move efficiently, and the moving parts in the engine don’t get lubricated properly. Any hotter and the engine is vulnerable to being damaged by heat. Heat damage is one of the leading causes of engine failure. Excessive heat can cause cracking in the engine block, cylinder head and manifold as well as accelerated wear to bearing surfaces in the engine bearings and valve train.   The coolant, or radiator fluid, used in your car’s cooling system is perhaps the most vital part of the system. Coolant flows throughout the entire cooling system, dissipating the heat created in the internal combustion engine. It is specifically designed to retain important properties while it is in the demanding environment of a vehicle’s engine. If you notice you have to replace the coolant often, it could be a sign of a leak.   The water pump is a mechanical pump pushes the coolant through the radiator and the engine. Since the water pump is mechanical, it requires a belt to turn the rotor. This type of belt is commonly referred to as the serpentine belt. The thermostat detects the operating temperature. It is also designed to regulate the flow of coolant from your radiator to your engine. When your engine reaches a certain temperature the thermostat releases the flow of coolant and when the engine is cooler, it restricts it.   Knowing where the radiator is located is also important. It is a square or rectangular shaped metal box that fits in front of your engine and draws in cooler ambient air from the outside to help cool the radiator fluid. A radiator is usually made out of a metal such as aluminum, or in some cases copper, that conducts heat very well. It includes a series of tubes and fins where the fluid passes through and is cooled by air drawn into the radiator. Hot coolant flows into the radiator and is into tiny passages connected to the small metal fins. As the coolant moves through the passages, heat is transferred into the fins. Heat is then radiated into the air and away from the engine. Once the coolant has gone through this process, its temperature is drastically reduced. The radiator cooling fan is usually located directly behind the radiator itself. Its function is to pull air through the radiator when the vehicle is operating at slower speeds. No matter what issue you notice, make sure to bring the vehicle […]