Summer is unquestionably the most awaited season of the year. Many can’t wait for the warm weather, ice cream, and beach parties. For car owners, however, it’s a different case.
The summer heat and cars’ engines aren’t exactly great friends, as the heat can cause damage to the poor engine. However, you can reduce the heat’s impact by maintaining your car’s cooling system. A well-maintained cooling system is your car’s ultimate weapon this summer.
Multiple components make up your car’s cooling system, such as the water pump, thermostat, fan, heater core, cooling jacket, radiator and radiator fluid.
Here are some tips for maintaining your car’s cooling system:
1. Check for Leaks
Over time, hoses and belts might crack and cause leakage due to wear and tear. Usually, leaks are easy to spot, but sometimes you might want to inspect them if you suspect something is wrong.
Belts and hoses are the core essentials of any coolant system; They’re basically the connectors the system relies on. Without them, the whole system would collapse, increasing the risk of overheating.
These components are made of rubber, which makes them very susceptible to damage. The constant switch from hot to cold, not to mention the damage caused by debris and dirt, are the main factors that impair the belts and hoses.
When the engine is cool, you can inspect the hoses’ condition by squeezing them. Check for cracks and collapsed sections. A hose in good condition is firm yet a bit flexible, meaning there should be no soft spots.
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2. Top Off the Coolant Levels
A coolant with low fluid levels is never a good sign.
Low coolant levels are a major contributor to engine overheating. When the engine has cooled down, check your radiator fluid levels to see if it’s at the desired fill level. If it’s low, refill it with clear coolant fluid.
Sometimes the problem lies deeper than just the fluid levels, as the clearness of the fluid serves an essential role in overheating your engine. Make sure the fluid is pristine and clear from dirt particles.
If the coolant is full, but the fluid is dark or corroded, it’s best to get your coolant system checked out. Doing this saves you a lot of hassle and potential repair expenses.
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3. Maintain the Water Pump
The water pump is the key component for the success of the coolant system, as it’s the one that cools the overheated engine by distributing the chilled coolant to the hoses. Therefore, the hoses cool down the engine with the chilled coolant.
However, a weak flow can strike as a major issue. That means that not enough coolant is reaching the engine, causing the engine’s parts to overheat.
To avoid such problems, maintain your water pump by regularly checking for puddles of water coolant underneath your vehicle. The liquid is usually green and can be a result of a leak when cars stay parked for too long.
Replacing the water pump is not as easy as you think, so it’s best to let a licensed professional do the work.
4. Keep an Eye on the Temperature Gauge
One tip you should always keep in mind is to monitor your temperature gauge.
Watch the gauge carefully if you notice anything strange, especially if the engine is hotter than usual when driving. If that happens, pull over and wait for the engine to cool down before hitting the road. If the issue persists, head to the nearest mechanic to determine what’s wrong with your vehicle.
Be careful not to neglect these early signs, as catching them early can solve you from unwanted problems in the long run.