Cooling System Repair in Naples, FL
The vehicle engine produces a lot of heat and keeping that heat in at proper temperatures is a critical job of the cooling system. Starting with the radiator, let’s dive into the engine cooling system, we’ll educate you on what can be done to keep it operating efficiently.
The engine coolant system is designed to remove heat from the engine to keep the engine operating at its optimal temperature. The cooling system is comprised of the following:
Radiator: The radiator is where the coolant flows through and it is cooled by the air flowing while you are driving. It is important to have good coolant chemical properties and condition to keep the channels clear of contamination in the radiator.
Hoses: The hoses help cycle coolant from the radiator to the water pump and from the engine to the radiator. Hoses are mainly made of rubber and can deteriorate internally and externally over time. Hose should be flexible but firm when squeezing, when your technician is performing an inspection he is checking for dry rotting, softness and cracks.
Thermostat: A thermostat controls how much flow of coolant should go through the engine by opening and closing at ideal temperatures. If an engine runs cold all the time, it can actually operate with less efficiency and if the engine runs too hot you can be facing major damage to the engine by overheating. A thermostat can fail in either an open or closed position.
Water Pump: Your water pump is either operated by the fan belt or the timing belt on some vehicles. The water pump is what helps move coolant from the radiator, through the engine, and back into the radiator.
Coolant: Coolant also called Anti-Freeze, coolant serves many purposes not just during the winter as it's common name implies, coolant (Anti-Freeze) prevents freezing, but it also provides lubrication to the water pump, thermostat, hoses and radiator; increases water boiling-point and prevents rust and scale from forming in your engine cooling system. Coolant should be changed on a mileage or number of years basis. PH level is critical to keeping your coolant from becoming a metal eating acidic fluid that will cause severe damage to your engine cooling system components.
When you bring the vehicle into Happy Wallet Quality Auto Repair for service and repairs, we test every coolant system, our test strips will indicate the levels for PH, Alkalinity and Boiling Points, as your mechanic will show you the test results.
These are common repairs needed in the cooling system.
• Broken hose. Hoses wear out or dry rot and will leak. Once the coolant levels change it can no longer cool the engine efficiently thus causing it to overheat.
• Broken fan belt. The water pump is driven by the engine belt also known as a serpentine belt. If the belt breaks the water pump will not circulate coolant through the engine. This will lead to overheating the engine.
• Faulty radiator cap. The radiator cap or expansion tank cap holds a certain amount of pressure in the coolant system. Most hold from 8 - 14 PSI. When pressure rises to the point in which the coolant will boil, and the cap stabilizes the cooling system. If the cap does not hold pressure, the vehicle will overheat specially on hot days since the system never pressurizes.
• Water pump failure. Most commonly you will hear a screeching noise and will be able to see coolant leaking from the front of the pump or under the vehicle. Early signs are small spots of coolant under the vehicle after being parked overnight and a strong coolant odor while driving.
• Head gasket. How can my engine head gasket get compromised from an overheating coolant system? The head gasket seals the cylinder head to the engine block and restricts coolant passage to the engine oil. When a vehicle overheats, the engine can expand and contract to the point of warping and the head gasket seal breaks allowing coolant to enter the head cylinder and mixing with combustion turning the coolant into vapor as the engine fires.
• Have your technician check all belts and hoses regularly. (at oil change is a good time)
• Look out for coolant leaks underneath the vehicle, if the coolant is leaking profusely that is a sign of a severe leak and needs to be addressed immediately.
• Have your coolant flushed every 3-5 years depending on the manufacturer’s recommendations or every 60,000 miles, gets all the corrosion which builds up out of the system. A good technician will test your coolant with an anti-freeze tester strip.
• Have your technician check the radiator cap for deterioration of the seal. Replace if it is worn.
What to discuss with your technician?
• Let your technician know when your overheating problems occur. Overheating at idling points to a different problem than overheating at higher speeds.
• Ask your technician if it's time to change the belt or chain while he is replacing your water pump. In some vehicles, the timing belt operates the water pump, so it has to be removed anyways to access the water pump, this will save you money in the future.
If you think the vehicle has been running hotter than normal or maybe the coolant has been in the vehicle system past the time mentioned, make an appointment with us and allow our technicians to check your coolant system and test the fluid.