Anyone that drives a car in Marlborough knows that engines get hot when they run. But did you know that engines need to be cooled to keep running? Heat inside an engine can cause the metal parts to expand, which can seize up an engine and make it stop running. It can even ruin the entire engine! Good car care requires keeping your pickup cooling system in good condition.
A vehicle’s cooling system circulates water and antifreeze (coolant) through the engine where it absorbs heat. It then flows to the radiator where the water and antifreeze are cooled by the air that flows over the radiator. Then it circulates back into the pickup’s engine to absorb more heat.
Why shouldn’t Ballwin motorists just use water? Because water boils at temperatures that are often reached inside of an engine. Steam won’t cool your pickup engine and is hard to contain within the cooling system. The antifreeze keeps the water from boiling.
So why do we call it antifreeze? Shouldn’t it be antiboil? Truth is, the antifreeze performs another critical task. Water freezes in cold MO weather. That would spell disaster for your pickup’s engine. So antifreeze also keeps the water in your cooling system from freezing in all but the most extreme cold. Pretty neat stuff!
Taking care of your cooling system is part of good preventive maintenance for your pickup. Dupo drivers should check coolant level often and regularly inspect your cooling system for leaks.
That is just good auto advice. Your pickup’s manufacturer has maintenance requirements for draining and replacing engine coolant. Consult your owner’s manual or ask your courteous Carsmart Auto Service technician for these recommendations, as they vary widely from among auto makers.
Changing your coolant is also part of good preventive maintenance. Water is great at collecting all kinds of dissolved substances, especially when it’s hot. Water circulating through an engine picks up dirt, debris, pollutants, and other stuff. It actually becomes corrosive over time. This can damage engine parts and your radiator.
Replacing your coolant regularly keeps the pickup cooling system functioning well and doesn’t allow it to sneakily become the cancer that wipes out your engine.
But don’t just slop any antifreeze into your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual or ask your Carsmart Auto Service service professional if you don’t know what is the right type of antifreeze for your vehicle. Using the wrong kind can void the warranty on your pickup cooling system.
You may have noticed that different types of antifreeze are different colors. Manufacturers tint them different colors to make them harder to mix up. It’s easy to notice that you have purple fluid when you normally use green! That way, you have less chance of damaging your pickup engine by using the wrong antifreeze.
One last word of warning — a little outside the area of car care. Never, ever let anyone or pets drink coolant/antifreeze – it is deathly poisonous.
Take care of your car, and take care of yourself! Just some good car care tips from Carsmart Auto Service to keep you on the road and help your life in Marlborough run more pleasantly.
Marlborough auto owners’ cars have to operate in a wide range of MO temperatures which requires our engine coolant to be able to perform ‘no matter what’. Think for a moment about the environment where the coolant does its thing. Very hot, high pressure, corrosive…
And all the while, it has to protect the components of the cooling system from corrosion. These components are made from steel and aluminum, plastics and rubber. The coolant has to be formulated to protect against corrosion for all of these different materials. That’s why car makers recommend different types of anti-freeze for our Marlborough, MO vehicles.
There are several different ‘families’ of anti-freeze available to us here in Marlborough, MO. Your owners’ manual will tell you what kind you should use. Of course, the automotive professionals at Carsmart Auto Service will know the right kind for your car.
It’s essential to stay on top of this because coolant system failure is the most common mechanical problem people have here in Marlborough, MO. Regular service at Carsmart Auto Service needs to be done to avoid failures and also to keep your warranty in place.
While the specifics of the service required may vary from vehicle to vehicle, your courteous Carsmart Auto Service service advisor will know what to do. You’ll be advised to replace the coolant at specified intervals.
Some auto makers recommend periodic coolant system flushes. A flush adds a cleaning step to the fluid replacement process. Again, check to see what your Marlborough service specialist recommends.
Someday, you may have to deal with an overheating problem, so you need to know what to do if your coolant temperature warning light comes on or your temperature gauge is in the hot zone.
Now, overheating can be very costly. Marlborough car owners can literally melt down their engine and have to replace the whole thing. So don’t ignore warning signs.
First turn off the air conditioner. This will lower engine temperature right away. Next, crank up your heater to maximum heat and run the fan at high speed. You might need to roll down the windows, but this will take a lot of heat off the engine. Pull over as soon as you can safely do so, especially if you are stuck in slow-moving traffic, and shut the car off. It may take as much as 45 minutes for the engine to cool to the point that it’s safe to operate the car again.
If you need to add water or antifreeze, be sure to wait until the car cools down. Opening the radiator cap or even the overflow bottle when the coolant is hot and under pressure may result in serious burns.
After the engine has cooled for 45 minutes or so, look to see if the coolant is low in the overflow tank. If so, you can cover the overflow tank cap with a large cloth and open the lid. Then start the engine and pour in some water or antifreeze. Pouring it in when the car is running will circulate the new, cool fluid with the warmer fluid in the engine and avoid engine damage.
Of course, overheating is a serious problem and you need to get it fixed right away. Carsmart Auto Service can make sure the coolant is right before you drive home.
Those spring and winter inspections really come in handy when they head off a cooling system problem. And don’t forget that severe service driving conditions, like towing or hot, dusty driving around Marlborough, MO, mean that you’ll need to service your coolant more frequently.
At AutoNetTV, we suggest that you have Carsmart Auto Service inspect your coolant system to find small problems before they become big, and to change belts and hoses before they fail. After all, we don’t want you to lose your cool out there in Marlborough, MO.
Today we want to talk about an important system in our cars – the cooling system. It’s one of those things that Marlborough drivers don’t give much thought to until it fails and then they’re stranded by the side of a road in Marlborough.
Cooling systems fail more often than any other mechanical system – usually because of neglect. Don’t you hate it when something breaks, and you could have done something to prevent it?
The good news is that if Marlborough car owners take care of their cooling systems they can keep working for the life of their car.
Here at AutoNetTV and Carsmart Auto Service in Marlborough, we emphasize critical preventive maintenance services like replacing your coolant according to the factory schedule. But the various parts that make up the cooling system need attention too. The major components of the cooling system are the water pump, freeze plugs, the thermostat, the radiator, cooling fans, the heater core, the pressure cap, the overflow tank and the hoses.
It sounds complicated, but we Marlborough drivers don’t have to be experts – we can leave that to our courteous technician at Carsmart Auto Service. But, having an overview will help us remember how to take care of your car’s cooling system.
Most Marlborough folks would be surprised to know that burning fuel in your engine produces up to 4,500 degrees of heat. And all that heat has to be dealt with. If the heat can’t be drawn off the engine, the pistons will literally weld themselves to the inside of the cylinders – then you just have to throw the engine away and get a new one. That would cost thousands of dollars.
Now the water pump is what forces the coolant through passages in the pickup engine to absorb heat. The pump is driven by a belt that needs replacement from time to time. And the water pump will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Spending some cash on replacing the belts and water pump is much less than the cost of repairing the extremely costly damage that can be done when an engine seizes.
There’s another little but important part of the coolant system that protects the engine. It’s called a freeze plug. If you remember from high school chemistry, water expands when it freezes. In very cold areas, the coolant can actually freeze when the pickup is left sitting.
It is hard to believe, but the expanding frozen coolant is strong enough to actually crack the engine block. The freeze plugs fit into the engine block. They fit tight enough to withstand the pressure of a running engine, but can expand or pop out if the coolant freezes. These little things save a lot of engine blocks.
That brings up a good point. An engine has to work in all kinds of MO temperatures – extremely hot as well as very cold. How does the pickup cooling system adapt to external temperatures as well as varying operating conditions?
Well, it’s much like the way you keep your Marlborough house at a comfortable temperature all year round – with a thermostat. The thermostat in your pickup controls how much coolant flows through your engine. When the engine is cold, it restricts coolant flow until the engine comes up to an efficient operating temperature. Then it starts opening up to move more coolant to keep the temperature within a specified range.
The thermostat needs to be replaced from time to time as well. It’s easy for your Carsmart Auto Service technician to diagnose a failed thermostat and is fairly inexpensive to replace. We can do this for you at Carsmart Auto Service in Marlborough, just give us a call: 314.968.9496. Now we’ve been talking about all this heat we’ve got to get rid of, but haven’t really talked about where it goes. That’s where the radiator comes in. The hot coolant passes through the radiator. Air flows past the cooling fins and cools the coolant.
The radiator has two tanks that hold coolant: sometimes one at the top and bottom or one on either side. If you have an automatic transmission in your pickup, one of the tanks will also contain a second tank that cools the transmission fluid. Large SUV’s and trucks often have a separate transmission cooler. So when Marlborough car owners drive around Marlborough, the air is forced past the radiator. But driving doesn’t produce enough air flow. So the radiator has cooling fans that force fresh air over the radiator. These fans may be powered by a belt or by electric motors.
Marlborough drivers also have something called a heater core. The heater core is like a mini radiator. A small fan blows air over the heater core and into the passenger compartment of your pickup. That’s how Marlborough motorists warm their cars when it’s cold out in MO.
Next is the radiator cap. With most newer cars around Marlborough, you never remove the radiator cap, except to replace it. You add coolant through the overflow tank. The radiator cap is also called a pressure cap, because its important job is to maintain pressure in the cooling system.
High pressure raises the boiling point of the coolant, so it cools more effectively even in very demanding Dupo conditions. That is why Marlborough auto owners need to replace the cap from time to time. The team at Carsmart Auto Service recommends changing it out every time you replace your coolant.
Coming back to the overflow tank, it is important because when the coolant gets hot it expands and the overflow holds the extra volume. The tank helps maintain the proper level of coolant and keeps air out of the system. Marlborough auto owners should never open the radiator cap or over flow tank when the engine is hot. This could lead to serious burns.
What else do we Marlborough auto owners need to do to keep our cooling systems working well? Well, there are the hoses that hook all of these pieces together. They’re obviously very tough to deal with the pressure and high temperatures. But they do get worn. Sometimes they get spongy from the heat. Sometimes they lose their connection to the radiator, water pump, etc. It’s a great idea to have your Marlborough service center or courteous Carsmart Auto Service service professional inspect your hoses at least once a year and replace them, if needed, before they break.
The team at Carsmart Auto Service can check your cooling system and make any necessary adjustments or repairs. Give us a call at 314.968.9496. Carsmart Auto Service 7921 Watson Road Marlborough, MO 63119 314.968.9496
The coolant system is a vital part of your vehicle. It is also the second most common cause for vehicle failures. Even though coolant system failure is fairly common in Marlborough, it is easy to prevent.
Carsmart Auto Service 7921 Watson Road Marlborough, MO 63119 314.968.9496 314.968.9496
The most recognizable part of the coolant system to Dupo car owners is the radiator. It is connected to the engine with hoses and is filled with coolant. The coolant draws heat off the engine and then passes into the radiator. Air passes through cooling fins to reduce the temperature of the coolant and then it’s back to the engine again.
There are several ways for the cooling system failure. Most common is with the coolant itself. Coolant is comprised of water and antifreeze. The proper ratio keeps the coolant from either boiling away or freezing. Understandably, either can lead to massive engine damage.
Another critical coolant issue that is often overlooked by Marlborough drivers is the age of the coolant itself. Antifreeze has additives that protect the coolant system from corrosion. As these additives are depleted over time, they can’t protect the radiator and other parts from rust, scaling and corrosion. That old container of coolant gathering dust in your garage may still keep your engine cool, but it won’t protect it from corrosion.
If get a warning message to check the coolant or if the pickup temperature gauge is in the hot zone, your cooling system needs to be checked. It’s OK to add water or antifreeze yourself. But you need to be cautious. Remember four things:
First, you never want to open the radiator pressure cap. You could be severely burned.
Second, get to Carsmart Auto Service in Marlborough immediately if your coolant is low. If that is not possible, follow the directions in your pickup owners manual – it will direct you to only make additions to the coolant overflow bottle.
Third, remember that you need a proper mixture of water and antifreeze. If you make an emergency addition to your cooling system, follow-up with your Carsmart Auto Service service center where we can make necessary adjustments.
Fourth, not all cars use the same type of antifreeze. You need to check your pickup owners manual to make sure you use the right kind. Mixing antifreeze types or using the wrong kind of antifreeze may void the manufacturers warranty on your cooling system. Again, another reason to depend on your Carsmart Auto Service service center in Marlborough to do things right.
Remember, your Marlborough service center has the equipment to change your coolant quickly and inexpensively.