Your radiator protects your engine and air
conditioning condenser from overheating. It also plays an
important role with the computer controlled system. An
engine temperature sensor actually tells the computer what
the engine temperature is so the computer can adjust the air
and fuel mixture and engine timing. The efficiency of the
radiator directly effects the efficiency of your engine.
That's why flushing the cooling system and
pH balancing the coolant is recommended at least once every
Our coolant system power flush removes
contaminates. We pressure test the cooling system for leaks,
clean the recovery bottle and pressure test the radiator
cap. The system is then refilled with the proper mix of
coolant and water to reach the -35 degrees for winter
Be Careful Removing The Radiator Cap!
The radiator’s heat and pressure build up to dangerous levels when a car is running.
Serious injury can come from removing the cap from a hot engine. If too much pressure has built up, removing the cap
can send boiling water and steam up and out in all directions. Allowing the car to sit for around 30 minutes will
ensure the pressure and temperature has dropped to a safe level before you attempt to remove the radiator cap. Most
caps have a clear warning label on the outside of the cap itself warning about this important step.
We’re often asked questions about the
cooling system – the system that cools your engine
and keeps it at the proper operating temperature. Let’s examine
the topic in two areas: first the coolant itself and, second, the
parts that make up the cooling system.
your car or light truck is the mix of water and
circulates through the engine to draw off heat. First, you need to
have the proper amount. If you don’t have enough coolant it can’t
keep your engine cool.
You also need the
kind of coolant. Different makes of sedans and other
vehicles require different coolant formulation to
Finally, your coolant needs to be fresh. Over time and miles, the
anti-corrosion additives in the coolant are depleted and the
coolant can actually start to eat away at the cooling system
parts. Your owner’s manual and our
service adviser can help you with the
recommended coolant replacement schedule and make
sure you’re getting the right type of coolant.
Now let’s talk about the
cooling system components. These will all eventually wear
out and need to be replaced.
Starting with the
radiator, we see them coming into the shop with leaks or
clogged with deposits. Depending on the damage, we will clean,
repair or replace. We also see radiator pressure caps
that can no longer hold the proper pressure. We recommend
replacing pressure caps when you change your coolant to avoid this
leaky water pumps and
hoses in our area that need to be replaced, too.
There’s also a part called the thermostat that
opens and closes to regulate the flow of coolant. Sometimes they
stick open or closed and the cooling system won’t work
Engine damage from overheating
can be very expensive to fix so it’s important to maintain your
cooling system properly with scheduled
coolant replacement and periodic inspections of the cooling
system. Certainly come in if you suspect a leak and have us take a
DID YOU KNOW?
The water pump's like the heart of your cooling system,
circulating the fluid throughout. It's a small pump that's driven by the engine: usually by belt, but sometimes by a
chain or gear. The water pump only operates when the engine's running. Water pump failure is pretty routine for St.
Charles . Some start failing at around 40,000 miles, but most fail by 100,000 miles. Consult your owners' manual or
Sparks Tire & Auto to see what's recommended. Since a water pump either works or it doesn't, you need to change it
when it fails. Water pumps fail in one of two ways: the bearings fail or they begin to leak. It's possible to have a
leak from a cracked water pump, but it usually leaks at the gasket where it attaches to the engine. For a cooling
system inspection, call Sparks Tire & Auto... (Read