Auto Cooling System Problems
With our hot weather right now, it is the time to have your vehicle’s cooling system checked. Whether you’re running daily errands or taking a weekend road trip, you will appreciate the extra sense of security. Remember, poor maintenance is the number one cause of engine overheating. Here are five auto cooling system problems to watch out for.
Most automakers suggest changing your coolant roughly every 30,000 miles. Unfortunately, far too many drivers in North Carolina fail to do so. Neglecting this important maintenance item can cause the vehicle’s auto cooling system to experience trouble.
Over time, coolant gradually begins to break down. The anti-corrosion inhibitors will eventually degrade, thus allowing rust to build up. It’s then only a matter of time before sludge begins to develop within the auto cooling system. This slimy substance can ultimately block the radiator core and other key components. When coolant can’t flow properly throughout the engine, overheating is often the end result.
Blown Head Gasket
Some head gaskets prematurely fail due to a manufacturing defect. However, frequent engine overheating tends to be the biggest cause. Head gaskets can only withstand a certain amount of pressure before they fail. To fix the problem, a mechanic will need to remove the engine’s cylinder head and install a new gasket.
There are some telltale signs that you’re dealing with a bad head gasket. For starters, you could experience a serious loss of power. A faulty head gasket can also cause coolant to mix with the motor oil, which often leads to even more trouble.
Your auto coolant system features a few different hoses. While hoses are quite durable, engine heat causes them to gradually wear out. Ideally, you should have these parts inspected at least once a year.
An experienced automotive technician can quickly determine the condition of a hose. If the hose feels soft or has started to bulge, it’s already on borrowed time. When driving on a hot summer day, a worn radiator hose could burst at any given moment. You will then be left stranded.
When a vehicle’s auto cooling system is routinely serviced, the radiator can last for more than 10 years. On the other hand, failing to perform the recommended car maintenance will drastically shorten this component’s lifespan. Radiator leaks are especially common on high-mileage vehicles. Although “stop leak” products are readily available at most auto parts stores, avoid them at all costs. They can actually cause even more damage in the long run.
If your radiator goes bad, the only legitimate solution is to have a new one installed. You can then drive for thousands of miles without any worries.
Low Coolant Level
Of the common auto cooling system problems, a low coolant level is the easiest to prevent. Drivers simply need to develop a habit of regularly checking the coolant level. On most vehicles, you can easily keep tabs on the level by reading the markings on the coolant reservoir.
If the coolant level is frequently low, you’re almost certainly dealing with a leak somewhere in the system. Just a few of the parts that can allow antifreeze to seep out include the water pump, plastic hose connectors, and radiator cap.