Four Common Issues with Your Cooling System
The internal combustion process involves causing a mixture of gasoline and air to literally explode in your engine cylinders in order to place force on a piston which in turn pushes your car forward. As you can expect, these thousands of small explosions happening every single minute can build up a lot of heat. If too much heat builds up in your engine, the metal could fatigue, collapse, and your engine could grind to a screeching halt, leaving you stranded and in need of a new motor. This is why having a good, working cooling system is so critically important to a healthy car.
Unfortunately, your cooling system isn’t immune to problems, and the problems they have usually snowball into devastating damage to your engine that may even ruin your car for good. This is why being able to recognize the signs of a cooling system problem is something every car owner needs to be capable of. The first step to making sure that a cooling problem doesn’t quickly escalate to ruin your motor is to be able to detect these issues and bring your car in for repairs as soon as possible.
The four common problems with cooling systems we will cover on our blog, include:
- Water pump failure
- Leaky radiator hoses
- Radiator leaks
- Thermostat failures
Water Pump Failure
Because your engine is located beneath a giant metal hood for better aerodynamics and fuel efficiency, it can’t rely on air flow to stay cool. Thus, it uses liquid cooling in the form of water flowing through a series of hoses in order to reduce the heat. The water circulates using a device known as a water pump, which is powered by a pully system that’s turned by your serpentine belt. If this pump fails, the water can’t flow through your engine system, and your engine will quickly overheat.
Leaky Radiator Hoses
Remember how we said that water flows through your engine and cools it through a series of hoses? Well, if one of those hoses springs a leak, not only will the water not have the pressure needed to properly complete its cycle, but eventually it will drain out. Radiator leaks also lead to rapid overheating, and as the water in these lines heats up and expands, they can actually make the leak worse, which only allows the water to drain out faster. Radiator hoses become more and more likely as they age, so be sure to change them periodically.
Your radiator is a large grid located just behind the front grill of your car. The purpose of this large and critical piece is to cool the water in your cooling system after it has absorbed heat from your engine, and it does this by running it through this grid, through which airflow from the front of the car is passed through to remove the heat. Small leaks in your radiator not only affect its ability to cool your engine, but have similar effects to a leaky radiator hose as well. However, if a rock or other piece of debris puts a large hole in your radiator, you’ll probably have to replace it outright.
A failed thermostat is another huge problem for cooling systems. Your thermostat is a device that regulates the temperature of your engine and controls how much coolant is allowed to flow through your radiator. When your engine is hot, the thermostat opens wide for maximum cooling. When your engine is cold, the thermostat remains closed, which then allows your engine to warm up to its optimal temperature faster. However, a failed thermostat may not open, preventing heat dissipation and resulting in your engine overheating and failing faster.
About Christian Brothers Automotive
When your car has a cooling system problem, getting it fixed quickly should be your number-one priority. At Christian Brothers Automotive, repairing your cooling system is just one of the many services we offer. For over 30 years, we’ve strived to make getting the car care you need as simple as possible, and our honest, friendly technicians can advise you on the best possible repairs to keep your car on the road and running safely.
To find your neighborhood Christian Brothers Automotive shop, search our interactive map here.
Posted by, Christian Brothers Automotive