Six Parts of an Auto Cooling System That Can Wear Out
An auto cooling system is one of the most important features on a vehicle. It helps the engine to maintain the proper temperature throughout the year. Here are six parts of an auto cooling system that can wear out.
1. Coolant Reservoir Cap
Most modem vehicles are designed with a coolant reservoir cap, which must be removed when adding antifreeze to the system. Although this part may look simple, it serves a very important function. The coolant reservoir cap actually helps your auto cooling system to maintain a constant pressure. If this cap fails to properly tighten, overheating is more likely to occur.
Most automakers recommend replacing the coolant reservoir cap every 60,000 miles. When it goes bad, the coolant reservoir tank may start to overflow. While the cap may appear to be in good condition at first glance, there’s a good chance its inner seal has worn out.
2. Radiator Hoses
Ideally, you should have your vehicle’s radiator hoses inspected at least every six months. Although radiator hoses may still look good on the outside, they typically begin to degrade from the inside out. Fine cracks in the rubber will slowly start to develop. If the hose has already developed a swollen appearance, it’s definitely on borrowed time.
Replacement of the radiator hoses is an important aspect of auto cooling system maintenance. The last thing you want is for a hose to suddenly burst while you’re driving. While some splits can be temporarily sealed using emergency tape, this method doesn’t always work.
Coolant, also referred to as antifreeze, isn’t meant to last for the life of a vehicle. While some formulas are rated to last for 30,000 miles, others have a life expectancy of 100,000 miles. Neglecting to have the antifreeze flushed out at the recommended interval can cause big trouble.
Coolant contains rust inhibitors, which gradually deplete over time. This means old antifreeze makes rust more likely to develop inside your auto cooling system. Various parts of the system will be more prone to experiencing premature failure, including the radiator.
The radiator is the heart of an auto cooling system. While a radiator can last for the life of a vehicle when properly maintained, this isn’t always the case. In the past, these components had more durable copper cores. To cut costs and improve thermal efficiency, many manufacturers now use aluminum cores with plastic headers. The downside is that the radiator may not last as long.
Every two years, it’s a good idea to have your radiator pressure tested. This will enable a mechanic to track down any leaks. Even a tiny pinhole can cause you to lose antifreeze.
A thermostat is another key component in your auto cooling system. This small valve is designed to open and close based on the engine’s temperature. If the thermostat fails in the open position, your vehicle will have trouble reaching the proper operating temperature during the winter. On the other hand, a thermostat that fails in the closed position can cause overheating.
In most instances, a bad thermostat will set a trouble code. There’s a good probability your check engine light will turn on at some point. Luckily, new thermostats are typically inexpensive.
6. Water Pump
A water pump is responsible for circulating antifreeze throughout an auto cooling system. When the water pump gives out, you can expect engine temperatures to rise immediately. If you’re on the road at the time, the only option will be to call for a tow.
Water pumps often give warning signs before completely failing. They are designed with a weep hole, which leaks out a small amount of coolant when the pump’s seals are about to go bad. You may also notice a low grinding noise, thus indicating the internal bearings have worn out. Remember, this isn’t an issue that you can wait to get fixed. Promptly schedule your vehicle to be serviced at an Asheville repair shop.