Who pays much attention to a car’s coolant system? Not many people; most just add some water if the coolant tank when it gets low. Frankly, you might want to pay closer attention to this part of your car or truck, though. Especially if it is an older vehicle, there is some maintenance involved that could save you some big money down the road. Before we get into the maintenance part, though, let’s look at what the coolant system in your car does.
The primary job of a cooling system is to remove the excess heat generated as your engine runs. As a result of burning gasoline, the coolant temperature in an engine can heat up to well over 200 degrees, and that energy has to go somewhere! That’s when your radiator and engine coolant start working. The coolant absorbs engine heat and transfers it to the radiator where it is dissipated into the outside air.
As a car owner, you should know that a major factor that affects the reliability of your cooling system is the frequency of regular maintenance it receives -such as coolant changes and checks of hoses and belts. Motorists should consult their owner’s manual for specific recommendations about how often to check belts, hoses and coolant system flushing. A coolant flush is a technique where the old coolant in the engine is power-flushed out and removes the dirt and sediment that has accumulated over the years.
Something that all drivers should know how is how to check the coolant level in their cars. It should be regularly checked at the reservoir and there are indicator lines that will show you what level it should be at. If you are unfamiliar with what your car’s coolant reservoir looks like, and how indicator level lines work, consult your owner’s manual. If the coolant is low in the reservoir, a 50/50 mix of approved antifreeze and water should be added. By the way, when the coolant level is checked, do a visual inspection of hoses, belts for age-related cracks, and the radiator for any coolant leaks.
Drivers should always be aware of signs of trouble, particularly with older cars. Obvious signs of cooling system problems are the vehicle temperature gauge on the dash rising near the danger zone. If the temperature gauge does rise into the red zone, you can be almost certain that you have a cooling system problem of some sort. If see leakage of a green fluid inside your car, under the hood, or on the ground under your car, you likely have a coolant leak and should consult a mechanic too.
The coolant systems in today’s cars are very reliable and only need periodic maintenance. If you attend to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule and perform a visual inspection periodically, your car’s coolant system should last for many years.
Article Source: Hoffman Chrysler Jeep Dodge