What Is Your Vehicle’s Cooling System?
For most vehicle’s their engine generates power with the help of thousands of controlled explosions within the cylinders to push the pistons down, turn the crankshaft and send power through the transmission to the tires. This method of internal combustion develops a lot of heat within the engine. Too much heat can begin to warp and destroy vital components of the engine.
To combat this heat and have the vehicle operate at its optimal temperature range everyone is designed with a cooling system. Most vehicle cooling systems consist of a series of sealed pathways inside the engine to allow coolant to flow through and provide proficient cooling.
When your vehicle begins to develop leaks or blockages within the coolant system it drastically increases the possibility of the engine overheating and eventually failing. Making sure your cars cooling system is operating properly is critical to ensuring its reliability for the future. Here we will outline the most common points of failure within the cooling system, what can be done to prevent leaks and where you can have a coolant leak repaired by a certified automotive technician.
What are the most common coolant leaks or points of failure?
The radiator is responsible for cooling down the hot coolant after it has passed through the engine before it makes its way back to the expansion tank. It utilizes the air flowing in front of it to cool down the coolant that runs through the radiator. The Radiator is the main contributor to keeping the coolant from getting too hot.
Overtime with continual use a radiator seams can become weak to the point that they are not able to provide proper seal and will develop a radiator leak. This is due to how much a radiator will expand or retract with changes of temperature and the pressure within the cooling system with normal use.
The thermostat is responsible for managing the flow of coolant to the engine. The reason for this is engines have to operate within a certain temperature range. Too cold and the engine will not operate efficiently. Too hot and it will cause damage to the engine. The thermostat is designed to open and close at a specified coolant temp to modulate the flow of coolant.
As a thermostat ages from use it will eventually fail by no longer opening or staying open.
Radiator/coolant hoses are designed to safely transport coolant throughout the cooling system. Think of it like the veins in your body. However many are manufactured with a form of rubber composite which will begin to dry up over time and develop coolant leaks.
The expansion tank is responsible for containing the extra coolant that is not needed to flow into the engine yet and manage the pressure of the system. As coolant heats up and cools down, it will expand and contract thus changing the pressure in the system. The expansion tank is designed to manage that pressure to provide an optimal coolant flow within the cooling system.
In most vehicles the expansion tank is manufactured out of a specialized plastic composite, some are made of metal. However overtime, with continuous expansion and contractions, small hairline cracks can develop.
The radiator fan is responsible for providing additional air flow for the radiator and engine. This is most important when the vehicle is stationary and at idle because there is not sufficient airflow coming through the engine bay. Most radiator fans in European vehicles are powered by an electric motor. With age the motors are known to fail and not provide the proper amount of airflow when stationary.
Signs Your Vehicle Has a Coolant Leak
- Coolant puddle forming underneath vehicle
- Vehicle running hot/overheating
- Coolant smell noticeable while operating vehicle
If your vehicle is experiencing any of these symptoms its highly recommended to have it inspected by an experienced automotive technician and have a coolant leak diagnosis performed.
What Maintenance Can Be Done To Prevent a Coolant Leak?
It’s recommended to have a coolant service performed every 30,000 miles by an authorized mechanic. Overtime coolant’s ability to dissipate heat diminishes, during a coolant service the old coolant is drained and replaced with new coolant.
Not all coolant is the same however! Every manufacturer has designed their own coolant to be used in their vehicles. Utilizing the improper coolant can cause more damage than good. Having a coolant service performed by a dealer-trained technician can ensure the proper coolant is used. Furthermore during a coolant service it allows a technician to perform a visual inspection of the vehicle to look for signs of leaks or points where a leak can develop.
At Eurofed automotive we offer courtesy multi-point inspections during every service we offer to ensure that the customer is fully aware of the condition of their vehicle and its factory-scheduled maintenance needs.
Where Can I Have A Coolant Leak Diagnosed At a Shop Near Me?
You can have a coolant leak diagnostic and repair performed by a dealer-trained automotive technician at any local Eurofed location across the American southeast.
Contact your local Eurofed today to learn more about our affordable auto repair services.