Category Archives: Cooling System

Cooling System Components

Today we want to talk about a vital system in our cars – the cooling system. It’s one of those things that Poway car owners don’t give much thought to until it fails and then they're stranded by the side of a road in Poway.

Cooling systems fail more often than any other mechanical system – usually because of neglect. Don’t you hate it when something breaks, and you could have done something to prevent it?

The good news is that if Poway auto owners take care of their cooling systems they can keep working for the life of their car.

Here at AutoNetTV and Poway Auto Repair in Poway, we emphasize important preventive maintenance services like replacing your coolant according to the factory schedule. But the various parts that make up the cooling system need attention too. The major components of the cooling system are the water pump, freeze plugs, the thermostat, the radiator, cooling fans, the heater core, the pressure cap, the overflow tank and the hoses.

It sounds complicated, but we Poway auto owners don’t have to be experts – we can leave that to our Friendly technician at Poway Auto Repair . But, having an overview will help us remember how to take care of your car's cooling system.

Most Poway folks would be surprised to know that burning fuel in your engine produces up to 4,500 degrees of heat. And all that heat has to be dealt with. If the heat can’t be drawn off the engine, the pistons will literally weld themselves to the inside of the cylinders – then you just have to throw the engine away and get a new one. That would cost thousands of dollars.

Now the water pump is what forces the coolant through passages in the Vehicle engine to absorb heat. The pump is driven by a belt that needs replacement from time to time. And the water pump will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Spending some cash on replacing the belts and water pump is much less than the cost of repairing the extremely costly damage that can be done when an engine seizes.

There’s another little but vital part of the coolant system that protects the engine. It’s called a freeze plug. If you remember from high school chemistry, water expands when it freezes. In very cold areas, the coolant can actually freeze when the Vehicle is left sitting.

It is hard to believe, but the expanding frozen coolant is vigorous enough to actually crack the engine block. The freeze plugs fit into the engine block. They fit tight enough to withstand the pressure of a running engine, but can expand or pop out if the coolant freezes. These little things save a lot of engine blocks.

That brings up a good point. An engine has to work in all kinds of California temperatures – extremely hot as well as very cold. How does the Vehicle cooling system adapt to external temperatures as well as varying operating conditions?

Well, it’s much like the way you keep your Poway house at a comfortable temperature all year round – with a thermostat. The thermostat in your Vehicle controls how much coolant flows through your engine. When the engine is cold, it restricts coolant flow until the engine comes up to an efficient operating temperature. Then it starts opening up to move more coolant to keep the temperature within a specified range.

The thermostat needs to be replaced from time to time as well. It’s easy for your Poway Auto Repair service advisor to diagnose a failed thermostat and is fairly inexpensive to replace. We can do this for you at Poway Auto Repair in Poway, just give us a call: (858) 748-0561 . Now we’ve been talking about all this heat we’ve got to get rid of, but haven’t really talked about where it goes. That’s where the radiator comes in. The hot coolant passes through the radiator. Air flows past the cooling fins and cools the coolant.

The radiator has two tanks that hold coolant: sometimes one at the top and bottom or one on either side. If you have an automatic transmission in your Vehicle , one of the tanks will also contain a second tank that cools the transmission fluid. Large SUV’s and trucks often have a separate transmission cooler. So when Poway motorists drive around Poway, the air is forced past the radiator. But driving doesn’t produce enough air flow. So the radiator has cooling fans that force fresh air over the radiator. These fans may be powered by a belt or by electric motors.

Poway drivers also have something called a heater core. The heater core is like a mini radiator. A small fan blows air over the heater core and into the passenger compartment of your Vehicle . That’s how Poway car owners warm their cars when it’s cold out in California.

Next is the radiator cap. With most newer cars around Poway, you never remove the radiator cap, except to replace it. You add coolant through the overflow tank. The radiator cap is also called a pressure cap, because its critical job is to maintain pressure in the cooling system.

High pressure raises the boiling point of the coolant, so it cools more effectively even in very demanding Poway conditions. That is why Poway motorists need to replace the cap from time to time. The team at Poway Auto Repair recommends changing it out every time you replace your coolant.

Coming back to the overflow tank, it is essential because when the coolant gets hot it expands and the overflow holds the extra volume. The tank helps maintain the proper level of coolant and keeps air out of the system. Poway auto owners should never open the radiator cap or over flow tank when the engine is hot. This could lead to serious burns.

What else do we Poway auto owners need to do to keep our cooling systems working well? Well, there are the hoses that hook all of these pieces together. They’re obviously very tough to deal with the pressure and high temperatures. But they do get worn. Sometimes they get spongy from the heat. Sometimes they lose their connection to the radiator, water pump, etc. It’s a great idea to have your Poway service center or Friendly Poway Auto Repair service professional inspect your hoses at least once a year and replace them, if needed, before they break.

The team at Poway Auto Repair can check your cooling system and make any necessary adjustments or repairs. Give us a call at (858) 748-0561 .

Poway Auto Repair
13907 Poway Rd Suite A
Poway, California 92064
(858) 748-0561

Smart Poway Drivers Protect Against Overheating

Engines get hot when they run. This heat can build up and damage vital engine parts, so engines need a cooling system to keep them running. Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure in vehicles. This is unfortunate, because these failures are usually easy for Poway car owners to prevent.

The radiator is the best-known and most recognizable part of the cooling system. Hoses filled with coolant (also known as antifreeze) connect the radiator to the engine. The coolant draws heat from the engine, and then flows to the radiator. Air passing through cooling fins on the radiator cools the coolant. The coolant then cycles back into the engine to start the process over again.

The most critical component of the cooling system, however, is the coolant itself. A mixture of water and coolant/antifreeze helps keep it both from freezing and from boiling away. Either can result in serious engine damage.

Different engines require different types of coolant/antifreeze. The owner’s manual will list what kind a vehicle requires. Using the wrong type or mixing different types of may void the warranty on the cooling system and may damage it as well.

Insufficient coolant can lead to engine failure. Coolant levels need to be checked regularly and topped off as necessary. If coolant levels drop quickly or consistently, the cooling system should be inspected for leaks. Coolant/antifreeze contains additives that protect the radiator and other coolant components from rust, scale and corrosion. Over time, these additives are depleted, so it is necessary for Poway auto owners to replace coolant at specified intervals. Changing coolant should be part of routine preventive maintenance for any vehicle.

This service is often ignored, though, since old coolant still cools the engine. Vehicle owners don’t realize there is a problem until the system fails. They are left with major repairs and possibly a damaged engine, which could have been prevented with a cooling system service at Poway Auto Repair in Poway.

If your Vehicle sends a warning message to check its coolant or if the temperature gauge is reading in the red or hot zone, then the cooling system needs an inspection. This service is vital and should not be put off since the potential for damage is high.

In an emergency situation, water or antifreeze can be added to your Vehicle so that it can be driven to a service center for proper car care. For this reason, owner’s manual contains instructions for how to top off insufficient coolant – allow 45 minutes for the engine to cool before attempting to add coolant or water. However, the fluid should be added to the coolant overflow bottle, not to the radiator itself. Removing the radiator pressure cap can result in severe burns.

Topping off in an emergency, however, does not fix the problem. The vehicle should immediately be taken to your Poway service center or Poway Auto Repair where they can inspect the cooling system, repair any leaks, and clean it if necessary. They can identify what caused the emergency situation in the first place and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Regular maintenance of a vehicle’s cooling system is just good auto advice for Poway drivers. Cooling system service is relatively inexpensive and doesn’t take long at Poway Auto Repair . Lack of it, however, can put a vehicle in the scrap heap.

Talk to your Poway Auto Repair service professional for more information.

Keep Your Cool In Poway

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Poway drivers rely on their car's coolant system to keep their engine cool. Coolant (also called antifreeze) mixed with water flows through your Vehicle engine and absorbs heat. The mixture then flows out to the radiator where it’s cooled by air flowing over the radiator. From there the coolant/water mix circulates back through the engine to absorb more heat.

There’s a reason we mix coolant and water. Water alone actually does a good job transferring heat from the engine. The problem is that water boils at a temperature that’s easily reached inside your Vehicle 's engine, so it can turn to steam which does not conduct heat as well and is harder to contain.

Also, if it’s freezing outside in Poway, the water in your engine could freeze while your vehicle is sitting out in the California cold.

So, if you remember your Poway high school chemistry, you’ll know that a mixture has both a higher boiling point and a lower freezing point than either component alone.

Coolant, or antifreeze, is specially formulated to keep your engine safe in a wide range of environmental and operating temperatures in and around Poway.

Keep Your Cool In Poway Whenever your Vehicle is running, the coolant in the cooling system is working to keep your engine from overheating. When it’s cold outside, the coolant acts as antifreeze to keep the fluid from freezing in your engine.

All that exploding fuel in your engine creates a lot of heat. Without coolant, the metal Vehicle engine parts would expand so much that the engine would seize up and stop running. The expensive parts could be broken or warp so badly they would have to be replaced. It could even be so bad that the whole Vehicle 's engine is ruined and has to be junked.

This is why it is critical that Poway drivers check coolant levels frequently and have their Vehicle cooling system inspected for leaks. Also your Vehicle vehicle manufacturer has a maintenance requirement for draining and replacing your coolant. These recommendations can vary widely, so check your owner’s manual or ask us at Poway Auto Repair in Poway.

The reason Poway car owners need to change the coolant is that it has additives in it to protect the cooling system. As you can imagine, with all the heat, the cooling system’s a pretty harsh environment. The additives keep the fluid from becoming corrosive and damaging the radiator and other Vehicle cooling system components. Over time, the additives are depleted and the coolant just has to be replaced.

Many Poway auto owners ask Poway Auto Repair why there are different colors of antifreeze. It is very important that you use the correct type of antifreeze. The different types of antifreeze – or coolant – are different colors so you don’t mix them up.

The auto manufacturers use different materials to make the cooling system, and they require different types of antifreeze to protect them.

So check with us at Poway Auto Repair in Poway or your owner’s manual for the right kind because using the wrong coolant can void the warranty for your Vehicle cooling system.

Coolant/Antifreeze Service At Poway Auto Repair

Your browser does not support video Anyone that drives a car in Poway knows that engines get hot when they run. But did you know that engines need to be cooled to keep running? Heat inside an engine can cause the metal parts to expand, which can seize up an engine and make it stop running. It can even ruin the entire engine! Good car care requires keeping your Vehicle cooling system in good condition. A vehicle’s cooling system circulates water and antifreeze (coolant) through the engine where it absorbs heat. It then flows to the radiator where the water and antifreeze are cooled by the air that flows over the radiator. Then it circulates back into the Vehicle ’s engine to absorb more heat. Why shouldn't Poway motorists just use water? Because water boils at temperatures that are often reached inside of an engine. Steam won't cool your Vehicle engine and is hard to contain within the cooling system. The antifreeze keeps the water from boiling. So why do we call it antifreeze? Shouldn't it be antiboil? Truth is, the antifreeze performs another critical task. Water freezes in cold California weather. That would spell disaster for your Vehicle 's engine. So antifreeze also keeps the water in your cooling system from freezing in all but the most extreme cold. Pretty neat stuff! Taking care of your cooling system is part of good preventive maintenance for your Vehicle . Poway motorists should check coolant level often and regularly inspect your cooling system for leaks. That is just good auto advice. Your Vehicle ’s manufacturer has maintenance requirements for draining and replacing engine coolant. Consult your owner's manual or ask your Friendly Poway Auto Repair service professional for these recommendations, as they vary widely from among car makers. Changing your coolant is also part of good preventive maintenance. Water is great at collecting all kinds of dissolved substances, especially when it's hot. Water circulating through an engine picks up dirt, debris, pollutants, and other stuff. It actually becomes corrosive over time. This can damage engine parts and your radiator. Replacing your coolant regularly keeps the Vehicle cooling system functioning well and doesn't allow it to sneakily become the cancer that wipes out your engine. But don't just slop any antifreeze into your vehicle. Check your owner's manual or ask your Poway Auto Repair technician if you don't know what is the right type of antifreeze for your vehicle. Using the wrong kind can void the warranty on your Vehicle cooling system. You may have noticed that different types of antifreeze are different colors. Manufacturers tint them different colors to make them harder to mix up. It's easy to notice that you have purple fluid when you normally use green! That way, you have less chance of damaging your Vehicle engine by using the wrong antifreeze. One last word of warning — a little outside the area of car care. Never, ever let anyone or pets drink coolant/antifreeze – it is deathly poisonous. Take care of your car, and take care of yourself! Just some good car care tips from Poway Auto Repair to keep you on the road and help your life in Poway run more pleasantly.

Poway Auto Repair Radiator Service

The coolant system is a vital part of your vehicle. It is also the second most common cause for vehicle failures. Even though coolant system failure is fairly common in Poway, it is easy to prevent. Poway Auto Repair 13907 Poway Rd Suite A Poway, California 92064 (858) 748-0561 (858) 748-0561 The most recognizable part of the coolant system to Poway auto owners is the radiator. It is connected to the engine with hoses and is filled with coolant. The coolant draws heat off the engine and then passes into the radiator. Air passes through cooling fins to reduce the temperature of the coolant and then it's back to the engine again. There are several ways for the cooling system failure. Most common is with the coolant itself. Coolant is comprised of water and antifreeze. The proper ratio keeps the coolant from either boiling away or freezing. Understandably, either can lead to massive engine damage. Another important coolant issue that is often overlooked by Poway drivers is the age of the coolant itself. Antifreeze has additives that protect the coolant system from corrosion. As these additives are depleted over time, they can't protect the radiator and other parts from rust, scaling and corrosion. That old container of coolant gathering dust in your garage may still keep your engine cool, but it won't protect it from corrosion. If get a warning message to check the coolant or if the Vehicle temperature gauge is in the hot zone, your cooling system needs to be checked. It's OK to add water or antifreeze yourself. But you need to be cautious. Remember four things:
  • First, you never want to open the radiator pressure cap. You could be severely burned.
  • Second, get to Poway Auto Repair in Poway immediately if your coolant is low. If that is not possible, follow the directions in your Vehicle owners manual - it will direct you to only make additions to the coolant overflow bottle.
  • Third, remember that you need a proper mixture of water and antifreeze. If you make an emergency addition to your cooling system, follow-up with your Poway Auto Repair service center where we can make necessary adjustments.
  • Fourth, not all cars use the same type of antifreeze. You need to check your Vehicle owners manual to make sure you use the right kind. Mixing antifreeze types or using the wrong kind of antifreeze may void the manufacturers warranty on your cooling system. Again, another reason to depend on your Poway Auto Repair service center in Poway to do things right.
Remember, your Poway service center has the equipment to change your coolant quickly and inexpensively.

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