The cooling system is one of the most important systems in any vehicle on the road. It circulates fresh coolant from the radiator through the engine in order to keep it from overheating. If something is wrong with the cooling system, it will potentially lead to much bigger problems. Not only will the engine start to overheat, but internal components can fail and cause major damage.
It is best to deal with any cooling system issues before it wreaks havoc on your engine. Engines are not cheap to replace or repair, so you do not want to hold off on cooling system repairs for very long.
Simard Automotive has identified the follow 6 things as the most common cooling system problems that drivers encounter. Let's take a look at each issue and how you want to deal with them.
1. Radiator Leaks
Perhaps the most common cooling system concern is a crack or some other sort of leak coming from the radiator itself. This will cause you to lose fluid (radiator coolant—aka "antifreeze" mixed with a proper ratio of water). As you lose fluid, air bubbles can develop throughout the cooling system. The fluid becomes ineffective and can lead to serious engine damage.
2. Old or Dirty Radiator Coolant
Speaking of the coolant, it can become a problem as it gets old and dirty. It should be drained and replaced periodically to make sure there is always an ample amount of fresh, clean fluid running through the cooling system. If you ever notice any metal shavings in your coolant, that is a very significant cause for concern that you will want to take care of immediately.
3. Bad Lines or Connections
Sometimes, the lines and hoses that connect all the cooling system components can grow weak, become loose or develop cracks/holes over time. This will lead to fluid leaks and poor coolant circulation. It's a good idea to get all your lines and connections points checked periodically to ensure everything is working as it should.
4. Failing Water Pump
Another very common cooling system issue is when the water pump fails. It controls the flow of the coolant throughout the system, so when it is not working properly it will just lead to more and more problems. When the engine overheats, the water pump is one of the first components we will check.
5. Failing Thermostat
Last but not least is the thermostat that monitors the engine's temperature and controls the cooling system. If it fails or malfunctions, nothing will work quite right. Sometimes, a failing thermostat can give false readings. It may show the engine as overheating when it really isn't. No matter what, you do not want to depend on a damaged or faulty cooling system thermostat, so you will want to get it repaired or replaced as soon as possible.
6. Damaged Head Gasket
The head gasket provides a vital seal between the engine block and the cylinder head. If it is damaged, cracked or weakened, it will lead to fluid leaks and air bubbles that can lead to overheating and other major engine problems.
If you notice any potential cooling system problems like the engine overheating, steam coming from under the hood, burnt radiator coolant smells or the temperature gauge giving you warnings, you will want to get your vehicle looked at by a professional mechanic. If you are in the Fairbanks area and are in need of a cooling system inspection or cooling system repairs, call Simard Automotive today at (855) 690-0889 (Aeronca Ave.) or (855) 639-5001 (Gaffney Rd.). You can also schedule your next service appointment online.