As it generates power to move your car, your engine will generate a lot of heat in the process. That’s why your vehicle will have a cooling system to keep the engine from overheating. Most vehicles use a liquid-based cooling system, and that’s what we’re going to focus on in this article. However, if you do have an air-cooled system in an older car or specialty vehicle and you are experiencing problems, you can call Fox Run Auto for specialized knowledge and help with repairs.
As for the more traditional liquid-cooled systems, there are several key automotive components that you should know about:
This is the biggest part of the cooling system and it typically will be located right up front in your engine compartment. The radiator stores and circulates the coolant fluid (also known as antifreeze) that is ultimately pumped throughout the cooling system to regulate the temperature of the engine. Coolant will be bright yellow/green in color and should have a certain percentage of water mixed in.
The water pump is an essential part of the cooling system because it pumps coolant and water from the radiator through the engine compartment to maintain normal running temperatures. Water pumps are often known to fail over time because they work so hard, so water pump replacement is one of the most common cooling system repairs made.
Just like you have a thermostat in your house, you have a thermostat in your car that controls the temperature of the engine. If it is not working properly, it can cause problems.
Fans, Belts and Hoses
Various fans, belts and hoses are found throughout the vehicle’s cooling system. They all perform specific functions to keep the system running properly, so any leaks or component failures (no matter how small) can lead to major damage if not fixed soon.
Your transmission also utilizes the cooling system to keep from overheating. It has a transmission cooler that may need to be flushed or replaced over time.
Once the hot fluid is expelled from the engine, it runs back through the heater core as it cools and ultimately back into the radiator. The heater core is also part of your vehicle’s heating/AC system as it is what produces heat when you have your heater or defroster turned on.
Signs of Cooling System Problems
The most obvious sign that your car is having problems with its cooling system is when it repeatedly overheats. If it is overheating, there is likely a cooling system issue that you’ll want to have inspected by a professional auto repair shop like Fox Run Auto.
Another common sign is when there are issues with the coolant, whether it’s a fluid leak, low fluid levels or the fluid itself is corroded/dirty/dark/burnt. The good news is if you notice fluid issues early, minor repairs or a fluid flush can be made before major cooling system problems occur. If you see a leak and do nothing about it, there is a chance it could develop into something much more costly.
Last but certainly not least, a cooling system issue may likely cause your check engine light to turn on. Of course, that light can represent any number of engine issues—all of which are worth getting checked out with diagnostic testing and a thorough inspection by an automotive technician.
If your car is overheating, you notice a coolant leak or you are experiencing automotive problems of any kind, call the auto repair experts at Fox Run Auto. We’ll uncover the source of the problem and provide you with a fair, accurate repair estimate. Call our shop today at (302) 597-9205 or schedule your appointment online.