Car Overheating can come from a variety of sources. If your Engine is running hotter than normal, either shortly after starting or over time, or if you find coolant (commonly referred to as Antifreeze) puddled beneath your Car, it's time to have it tested. Engine Combustion generates tremendous heat that must be dissipated to avoid Engine destruction. Aluminum Cylinder Heads can warp. Cylinder Head Gaskets can blow. Worse yet, the entire Engine can fail. These are expensive repairs that could be avoided if the Cooling Issue is found early enough.
Proper avoidance starts with regular Maintenance. Replacing the Engine Coolant (Antifreeze) periodically with fresh Coolant will provide the best fluid for drawing the heat from the Engine to the Radiator where it is Cooled. The Coolant 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 vehicles require different coolant formulation to protect against corrosion. 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 your service adviser can help you with the recommended Coolant replacement schedule and make sure you're getting the right type of coolant.
When replacing Coolant here at Benchmark Autoworks, we use industry leading databases to select the proper Coolant for your Car, be it GM DexCool, BMW Blue, HOAT, any of the variety of Asian, European Car coolants, or the old standby Green Coolant that was used in older Cars. This regular Maintenance of your vehicle's Radiator and cooling system can help avoid car overheating and costly repair services. And it’ll help keep you off the side of the road.
A properly functioning Cooling System, which circulates Antifreeze/Coolant and dissipates the heat away from the Engine, is absolutely necessary to prevent Car Overheating and destructive Engine temperatures.
Your Vehicle has five principal components in its Cooling System.
The Cooling System components 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, or replace (modern Radiators with plastic components cannot be economically or as quickly fixed). We also see Radiator pressure Caps that can no longer hold the proper pressure and Expansion Tanks that are cracked and leaking due to age of the plastic. We recommend replacing pressure caps when you change your Coolant to avoid this problem. We see leaky Water Pumps and Hoses that need to be replaced. Even if the Hoses are not currently leaking, a Bloated or Weak Hose is likely to Burst and leave you and your Car stranded. There's also the Thermostat that opens and closes to regulate the flow of Coolant. Sometimes Thermostats 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. Come in and request a Cooling System test if you suspect a problem in between regular Coolant replacement intervals.
Remember also that your engine’s other major fluid, the Engine Oil, also plays a major role in Cooling the Engine as it addresses the lower part of the Engine. It must be maintained and replaced regularly as well. Read more about that in our discussion about engine oils.
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