How important is the cooling system of your car?

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Maintaining your vehicle’s cooling system is very important to keeping your car running smoothly.  Neglecting it can not only lead to avoidable repairs to the system but also can contribute to costly engine repairs.

When many people think of the cooling system of their vehicle, they initially think of the air conditioning when really that is part of the heating and ventilation system (HVAC) just like in your home.  The main function of the cooling system is to remove the heat from the engine and cool it off while it is running through its combustion cycle.  It can be especially important to maintain in the summer months when external temperatures can also increase the overall temperature of the engine.

The cooling system consists of:

  • A water pump, which circulates the coolant through the engine block and heads picking up heat from the engine
  • A radiator and cooling fan, which cools the coolant after it has gone through the engine. Once cooled, the coolant starts the cycle again to remove more heat from the engine
  • A thermostat, that help controls the temperature and flow of the coolant
  • Liquid coolant (antifreeze) and hoses used to circulate the coolant through the system
  • Radiator Cap, which maintains the system under pressure. By being under pressure the boiling point of the coolant is raised.  The radiator cap is also designed to relieve pressure if needed.

One way to help maintain your cooling system is to have a Coolant System Service.  Flushing the system will remove rust and scale deposits that build up in the system. These deposits can increase the risk of overheating due to insufficient flow.  We recommend doing this every 30,000 miles or 2 years for most vehicles.