What Is The Cooling System And Why Should You Care?

As we mentioned in our series on Air Filter Service, debris in the engine can cause major system damage. Likewise, the engine running too hot can cause the metal parts to wear away on one another.

To mitigate the problems caused by excessive heat, the cooling system keeps the engine running at optimal temperature.

Most drivers confuse the cooling system with the AC system. To clear up the confusion, and to help you better understand one of your cars most important systems, Christian Brothers Automotive is dedicating the month of October to Cooling System Service.

For the next 4 weeks, we’ll discuss the in’s, out’s, and misconceptions associated with your vehicle’s cooling system.

Today, we’ll discuss the main components of this essential system and the system’s primary purpose.

What is the cooling system?

The engine cooling system is comprised of several parts, including:

  • The water pump
  • Anti-freeze (or coolant)
  • Upper radiator hose
  • Radiator
  • Lower radiator hose
  • Several pipes and fans

As coolant travels through the system’s passageways, it picks up excess heat from the engine. The coolant then disperses this heat into the radiator, where it is sent into the passenger cab or the outside air.

What does the cooling system do?

While it’s called the “cooling” system, this system does more than simply cool the engine. In fact, the cooling system has three main functions.

  • Disperse excess engine heat
  • Quickly heat a cold engine
  • Maintain optimal engine running temperature

The most obvious function of the system is to cool down the engine, which creates a series of controlled explosions during operation. However, the coolant’s responsibilities include heating the engine to the right temperature necessary to run and maintaining that temperature during every drive.

Today’s engines are designed to run around 200 degrees (+/- 10 degrees), and it’s up to the cooling system to keep the engine at this temperature.

As you can see, your car’s cooling system has a big job

While not a part of the vehicle’s AC system, the cooling system is responsible for cooling, heating and maintaining the engine’s temperature. With proper, regular cooling system maintenance, you can avoid catastrophic engine failure down the road.

If you have any questions about the cooling system or are in need of an inspection, call your local Christian Brothers Automotive. We’ll show you the nice difference!