Understanding The Engine Cooling System

We make recommendations to our clients to schedule a radiator maintenance program atleast once per year although the frequecy may increase depending on the number of running hours of the engine. The engine cooling system inspection identifies areas that need attention, and consists of the following:

  • Visual inspection of all automotive cooling system components, including belts and hoses
  • Radiator cap pressure test to check the recommended system pressure level
  • Thermostat check for proper opening and closing
  • Pressure test to identify external leaks to the cooling system parts, including the radiator, water pump, engine coolant passages, radiator, heater hoses and heater core
  • Internal leak test to check for combustion gas leakage into the cooling system

The cooling system carries heat away from the engine and maintains the operating temperature by circulating anti-freeze/coolant through the engine, and carrying it to the radiator for cooling.Cooling system problems can lead to several problems that can affect your automotive engine, including overheating, leaks, and in some cases complete engine failure.

Modern automobiles operate in a wide temperature range, from well below freezing to over 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The fluid used to cool the engine must have a low freezing point, high boiling point, and the ability to transfer heat. An adequate amount of antifreeze/coolant and water reduces the possibility of engine over-heating and freezing. It should contain additives to prevent rust and corrosion in the cooling system.

Water holds heat well; however, water alone freezes at a temperature too high to be used in engines. The fluid in most vehicles mixes water and antifreeze or coolant. With this mixture, the boiling and freezing points improve significantly.

Coolant temperatures sometimes reach 250 to 275 degrees Fahrenheit. Even with antifreeze added, these temperatures boil the coolant. To prevent boiling, the cooling system raises the coolant boiling point by pressurizing it. Most systems pressurize coolant at 14 to 15 pounds per square inch (psi) which raises the boiling point approximately 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Our skilled technicians know the importance of a properly working cooling system, as well as the potential damage cooling system problems can cause to your engine. Come in to our shop or call or email us today for a thorough cooling system inspection and repair.