Your radiator and cooling system is responsible for keeping your car’s engine at the proper operating temperature at all times. A special mix of water and engine coolant, sometimes called antifreeze, is cycled trough out the engine and draws heat from the engine into the radiator where it can be dispelled into the outside air.
If you own a car in Cleveland, OH car radiator repair is something you definitely want to avoid. Regular inspections and maintenance of your cooling system can prevent costly repairs down the line and give you the peace of mind knowing your vehicle is road worthy. At MasterWorks Automotive we perform a free multipoint inspection with every oil change which includes a look at your cooling system for any questionable components or leaks. We’ll advise you based on your vehicle manufacture’s maintenance schedule as to when service is required as well as by physical inspection of your system.
During a typical cooling system service our ASE certified technicians will perform the following:
- Check belts & hoses
- Check for radiator leaks & cracks
- Check hoses, lines, & clamps
- Flush cooling system with new antifreeze
- Check radiator cap
- Check for hot and cold spots in your radiator
- Pressure check your cooling system before and after repair
- Test cylinder head and block integrity
There are several parts of the cooling system common to just about every car on the road today. Below is a discussion of each of these parts, what they do, and some suggestions to keep them in good working order to prevent needless repairs.
Engine Coolant (antifreeze)
Engine coolant is special mix of water and chemicals. These special chemicals serve three main purposes:
- These chemicals serve to raise the boiling temperature of water and lower its freezing point. Raising the boiling point of water allows the engine to run at temperatures where regular water would boil and evaporate as steam. Lowering the freezing temperature of the engine coolant protects the engine from freezing when the engine is not running in very cold climates hence the name antifreeze.
- Engine coolant serves as an anti rust agent that helps to prevent oxidation of critical cooling system components and internal engine parts.
- Engine coolant serves as a lubricant for any moving parts in the cooling system.
These special chemicals in engine coolant break down with time and mileage. All manufacturers have an interval for which an engine coolant flush is required.
Not all engine coolant is the same. Different manufacturers use different kinds. It is important to know which kind your vehicle uses before performing any service to the cooling system. At MasterWorks Automotive, we keep a variety of different types as well as some universal coolants in stock to make sure we have what you need when coming in for service.
Heat from the engine is transferred from the engine to the radiator. Car radiators are always located in the front of the engine where it is exposed to outside air moving through the front grill. This allows the air to cool the radiator, and thereby coolant, dispelling engine heat into the outside air.
Today’s radiators are largely made of aluminum and plastic. Because of the cold winters and hot summers, car radiator repair in Cleveland, OH is common. Today’s practice is to actually replace the radiator rather than repair it. Manufacturing methods of new radiators have made it more cost effective to actually replace rather than repair car radiators. Additionally, traditional repairs can no longer be performed because of the use of plastic in most of today’s radiators.
2 Simple Steps to Keep Your Car Radiator in Tip Top Shape
- Check your coolant levels regularly and especially before a long trip.
- Have a radiator coolant flush about once every two years.
A car thermostat is a thermo mechanical device placed in the coolant stream that opens or closes based on coolant temperature. Your vehicle’s engine works best when operating within a specific temperature range. The thermostat has preset opening temperature and will open and allow coolant to flow past when the coolant temperate reaches it. It will close again when coolant temperature drops. This allows the engine to stay within the optimal operating temperature range.
A malfunctioning thermostat can cause a lot of problems. It can stick closed causing the engine to overheat with the potential to cause more serious damage should the overheating go unchecked. If the thermostat sticks open it can cause lower fuel economy and poor cabin heat during cold weather.
Many manufacturers recommend that your thermostat be replaced at regular intervals to prevent engine damage and the other concerns listed. When you receive cooling system service or repairs at MasterWorks Automotive your thermostat’s performance is something we always check and will advise you if maintenance is required.
Did You Know…
A ’68 VW Beetle doesn’t have a radiator since it has an air cooled engine?
The water pump is the part of the cooling system that keeps everything moving. Early cars used to use only water as an engine coolant that’s how the water pump got its name. The water pump is typically driven by the vehicle’s accessory drive belt (sometimes called a serpentine belt) or the timing belt. In some cases water pump replacement is recommended as maintenance. Usually this is done for systems where the water pump is driven by the timing belt.
Water pumps do wear out and because of the potential to cause catastrophic engine failure, vehicle manufacturers will recommend to replace the water pump along with the timing belt between 60,000 and 100,000 miles.
Hoses and Lines
A series of hoses and lines are used to transfer engine coolant to and from the engine. Rigid lines are usually made of steel and the hoses are typically nylon reinforced rubber. Continuous exposure to high temperatures and harsh road conditions cause hose and line failure. In Cleveland, salt from the road and high heat accelerate the rusting of steel lines and degradation of the rubber compounds in hoses.
Regular inspection of these hoses and lines can prevent needless breakdowns and engine damage that can be caused by the sudden loss of coolant associated with a failed line or hose.
Radiator Cooling Fan
Often times there is not enough air passing over your car’s radiator. This can happen when your car is sitting at a light or on a hot day when you’re just driving around town. The vehicle radiator cooling fan is controlled either by a thermoelectric switch or the car’s power train control module or PCM.
When the cars coolant temperature gets too hot this fan will come on and cool the system down. Radiator fans do fail with time and it is important especially during hot weather months to make sure your radiator cooling fan is working properly. With any cooling system service, radiator fan operation is always checked. .
So as the summer months are quickly approaching, don’t let the coming hot weather take its toll on your car radiator. If you think you may need car radiator service in Cleveland, or you just have a simple question, please don’t hesitate to call us.