SPARKS TIRE & AUTO

CALL US 636-946-5900
1665 Scherer Pkwy. St Charles, MO 63303

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8:00am-5:00pm

 

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Cooling System

 

 

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 two years.

 

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 protection.

 

Car Over heatingWe’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.

 

The coolant in your car or light truck is the mix of water and antifreeze that 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 right kind of coolant. Different makes of sedans and other vehicles require different coolant formulation to protect against corrosion.

 

Checking coolant fluid

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.

 

 

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 problem.

 

We see leaky water pumps and hoses in our area that need to be replaced, too. Car overheatThere’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 properly.

 

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 look.

 

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 more)

 


 

Sparks Tire & Auto Advice on Your Cooling System

Last week I was out running errands in St. Charles and my temperature warning light came on – total panic! I pulled over and my car was overheating. After it cooled down, I went right into my St. Charles service center to have them take a look. My service advisor at Sparks Tire & Auto told me my water pump was leaking and needed to be replaced. He said water pumps just wear out and that you need to replace them because they pump the coolant that cools the engine.

He told me they checked out my radiator hoses, serpentine belt and tensioner and that they were OK. But I was overdue for changing my coolant – like, embarrassingly overdue. I didn't realize there was a schedule in my owner's manual for when to change my coolant. My Sparks Tire & Auto service professional said that the coolant actually becomes corrosive over time and could damage my radiator, head gaskets, intake manifold gaskets, heater core, metal cooling pipes, expansion (frost) plugs, etc. That's why Sparks Tire & Auto recommends changing the fluid on schedule.

So, Sparks Tire & Auto replaced the coolant with the kind my owner's manual recommends. I learned there are different kinds of coolant and you need to use the right one. I was on my way. It feels good knowing my cooling system is healthy and I don't need to worry about it.

 


 

Smart St. Louis Drivers Protect Against OVERHEATING

Engines get hot when they run. This heat can build up and damage vital engine parts, so engines need a cooling system to keep them running. Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure in vehicles. This is unfortunate, because these failures are usually easy for St. Louis drivers to prevent.

The radiator is the best-known and most recognizable part of the cooling system. Hoses filled with coolant (also known as antifreeze) connect the radiator to the engine. The coolant draws heat from the engine, and then flows to the radiator. Air passing through cooling fins on the radiator cools the coolant. The coolant then cycles back into the engine to start the process over again.

The most critical component of the cooling system, however, is the coolant itself. A mixture of water and coolant/antifreeze helps keep it both from freezing and from boiling away. Either can result in serious engine damage.

Different engines require different types of coolant/antifreeze. The owner’s manual will list what kind a vehicle requires. Using the wrong type or mixing different types of may void the warranty on the cooling system and may damage it as well.

Insufficient coolant can lead to engine failure. Coolant levels need to be checked regularly and topped off as necessary. If coolant levels drop quickly or consistently, the cooling system should be inspected for leaks. Coolant/antifreeze contains additives that protect the radiator and other coolant components from rust, scale and corrosion. Over time, these additives are depleted, so it is necessary for St. Louis drivers to replace coolant at specified intervals. Changing coolant should be part of routine preventive maintenance for any vehicle.

This service is often ignored, though, since old coolant still cools the engine. Vehicle owners don’t realize there is a problem until the system fails. They are left with major repairs and possibly a damaged engine, which could have been prevented with a cooling system service at Sparks Tire & Auto in St. Charles Missouri.

If your sedan sends a warning message to check its coolant or if the temperature gauge is reading in the red or hot zone, then the cooling system needs an automotive analysis. This service is critical and should not be put off since the potential for damage is high.

In an emergency situation, water or antifreeze can be added to your sedan so that it can be driven to a service center for proper car care. For this reason, owner’s manual contains instructions for how to top off insufficient coolant – allow 45 minutes for the engine to cool before attempting to add coolant or water. However, the fluid should be added to the coolant overflow bottle, not to the radiator itself. Removing the radiator pressure cap can result in severe burns.

Topping off in an emergency, however, does not fix the problem. The vehicle should immediately be taken to Sparks Tire & Auto where they can inspect the cooling system, repair any leaks, and clean it if necessary. They can identify what caused the emergency situation in the first place and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Regular maintenance of a vehicle’s cooling system is just good auto advice for St. Louis drivers. Cooling system service is relatively inexpensive and doesn’t take long at Sparks Tire & Auto. Lack of it, however, can put a vehicle in the scrap heap.

 

 

Also See:

 

 ● Engine Hydration for St. Charles Drivers: Role of Your Water Pump

 

 ● Coolant / Antifreeze Service at Sparks Tire & Auto

 

 ● Cool Running in St. Charles

 

 ● Smart St. Charles Drivers Protect Against Overheating

 

 ● Cooling System Components

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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We Service Diesel Engines!

 

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SPARKS TIRE & AUTO

1665 Scherer Pkwy, St Charles, MO 63303

Ph. 636-946-5900

NAPA Dealer St. Louis Missouri

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