Understanding Your Car’s Cooling System

The engine in your vehicle generates a lot of heat which would easily damage the engine in just a few minutes if it weren’t for the water pump, radiator, and hoses that make up the cooling system. All automobile cooling systems today are liquid cooled. Water and anti-freeze is pumped through radiator hoses into the engine to cool it down. Then, the heated liquid flows into the radiator to cool off before it returns to the engine to cycle through again.

Symptoms of a Cooling System That Needs Repairs

If you experience any of the following symptoms, it may be time to take your car in for servicing:

  • Thermostat light coming on or temperature gauge going up
  • AC not producing cool air
  • Liquid leaks onto the ground when your car has been sitting
  • Loose water pump pulley
  • A grinding noise when your engine is running
  • Steam or leaks near the water pump or gasket
  • A sweet smell emerging from the hood area

When to Replace Hoses

Both radiator and heater hoses are made out of a soft, pliable rubber designed to withstand the effects of the chemicals in the hot liquid in the cooling system. However, this hot fluid does cause corrosion, generally beginning on the inside of the hose. A visual inspection is not enough in order to determine whether hoses need to be replaced or not. We recommend replacing hoses about every four years or from 50,000 to 75,000 miles. It’s also advisable to replace the clamps that keep the hoses in place because the constant tension can weaken the bond over time.

The Importance of Antifreeze

Although you don’t usually have to worry about freezing temperatures in Phoenix, the Arizona heat increases the stress on your cooling system. Antifreeze does more than just prevent the car engine from freezing. When combined with water, antifreeze raises the boiling point of the liquid to withstand even higher temperatures. Glycol-based coolants inhibit corrosion within the system, which is a good reason to use antifreeze. If your vehicle uses a green-colored antifreeze, replace it every two years or 30,000 miles. Extended-life antifreeze, varies in color based on each vehicle manufacturer, is becoming more popular because it lasts up to five years. Just don’t mix the two together, as they have different chemicals that don’t work together. Have your mechanic completely flush the system before changing the type of antifreeze you’re using.

Let Us Inspect Your Vehicle

By taking care of your vehicle’s cooling system, you prevent your car from overheating on a day when you’re trying to keep up with a busy schedule. At Sun Devil Auto, we have experienced technicians to check your cooling system, and, if necessary, replace hoses and make repairs. Stop by one of our easily accessible locations or give us a call for complete repair services.