Engine Cooling Systems
Customers regularly ask questions about Engine Cooling Systems. Its purpose is just like the name – it cools your engine and keeps temperatures regulated so your car runs as well as possible. Here at American & Import Auto Repair we often hear complaints about overheating engines. Your car’s engine cooling system has several different areas that must be kept in good working order otherwise it won’t run efficiently. Over time, the coolant in your vehicle degrades, which if left unchecked, can cause rust & sludge inside your cooling system. Several factors may point toward the need for a coolant system inspection:
- If your car has been overheating recently
- Your coolant light pops on while driving
- Issues with heating and cooling the passenger compartment
Also, remember that the car’s temperature will drastically increase if there is an issue with the engine coolant. The radiator, water pump, heater, oil, hoses and thermostat make up your car’s cooling system. A number of issues can arise from each system, so it is important to pay attention to the alarms mentioned above. Every car has a different recommendation for different types of coolant, so if you need your coolant replaced, bring your car into American & Import Auto Repair and let one of our ASE Certified mechanics run a diagnostic check. Please keep in mind that if your repair is scheduled but you need to be somewhere else, we are the home of the FREE loaner car! Give us a call at 423-220-4221 or send us a text at 423-390-8549 to reserve a vehicle for you, or if one is not available, we’ll take you to your next appointment. If you decide to stick around while our mechanics check your car, we offer clean, comfy waiting and restrooms, Keurig coffee & flavors, Wi-Fi & warm popcorn to help you pass the time!
If your vehicle is overheating pull over and turn the car off. You can do serious damage to your engine!
How does the Cooling System work?
Your vehicles engine produces a lot of heat and it needs to go somewhere. The engine needs a certain amount of heat to properly operate (but not too much). Liquid (coolant) is used to remove the heat through passages (like mini tubes) in the engine and cylinder head. The radiator (in the front of the car) takes the heat and cools the liquid with the air going through the tubes in the radiator. A fan is used to pull air past the radiator to cool the liquid coolant. A water pump is used to push the coolant throughout the system. The thermostat is used to regulate how much coolant gets through (think valve) and regulates the coolant system, and the heater uses hot coolant to keep the passenger’s compartment warm.
A coolant system is comprised of several components that need routine maintenance. First, coolant hoses need to be in good condition. Cracks, splits and swells in hoses are definite signs of problems and they should be dealt with immediately, otherwise severe damage could be done to your engine. Also check the temperature and gauges; if a hose if too hot or swollen, then there may be some issues with the rest of the system. If looking at the hoses and heat damage or leaks are present, or if you just haven’t had an inspection in a while, bring your car to us at American & Import Auto Repair. Our ASE Certified mechanics will take the time and care to look at your car and replace any worn-out or damaged coolant hoses.
During your car’s lifetime it is important to keep up with coolant flushes because they help keep your engine in top working condition. To keep your engine running at its best, a coolant flush should be performed on your vehicle every 3 years or 60,000 miles (depending on the vehicle). Lack of lubricant and corrosion can wreak havoc on the inside of your engine and possibly leave you stranded! If you don’t do coolant flushes coolant the old coolant can eventually become corrosive and can corrode holes in cooling system components. By-products of corrosion damage, as well as rust and scale, clog the passageways that conduct the water through the radiator and choke off the flow. This may result in an overheated engine that could be damaged beyond repair.The entire cooling system is first cleaned and then all debris and worn out coolant is completely removed from the system. Then, fresh new premium coolant is added. Conditioners are also included to prevent rust and corrosion and BG Cooling System cleaner prevent coolant system failure. If you’re unsure about the condition of your vehicle’s cooling system, bring your car into American & Import Auto Repair and our ASE master mechanics will perform the diagnostic tests necessary to gauge your cooling system’s condition.
The cooling system components will eventually wear out and need replacement. Leaky water pumps and worn-out radiator pressure caps are just some of the examples we see on a regular basis. A thermostat located in your cooling system gauges the flow of coolant by opening or closing the thermostat, however, thermostat can become stuck or even stay open, leaking coolant and causing your car’s engine to overheat. Make American & Import Auto Repair your choice – our ASE Certified mechanics will take the time to look at your engine and make sure your vehicle is in running properly.
Your car’s water pump is one of the most important parts of the engine cooling system. The pump pushes fluid through the engine, keeping everything lubricated while your car is running. The fluid heads through the engine block then makes rounds through the radiator and finally, returns back to where it started in the pump. Some newer vehicles have more than one water pump (usually one conventional and the others are electric). This circular process keeps your engine running smoothly the entire time you are on the road. Some symptoms of a bad or failing water pump include:
- The temperature gauge being higher than normal
- A warning light will illuminate on your dashboard
- Sometimes hearing a low rumbling or groaning or perhaps a loud squeak sound while driving can signal water pump issues
- The heat in your car will blow cool air instead of hot
Heater core is like a little radiator, up under the dash, that coolant runs through and a fan blows over it to push heat in the passenger’s area. It can get clogged up and result in a no heat issue. Low coolant can also cause heating problems. A heater core leak is a big problem because it can cause the car to run hot and damage the engine. Coolant can leak directly into the passenger’s compartment. Heater cores are hard to change and usually require a lot of time because they are so difficult to access. Paying attention to your vehicle is just one of the steps to extend the life of your vehicle’s good working condition. Leaks are very important to note. Remember, if you have any questions at all about your vehicle, stop by American & Import Auto Repair and have our team of ASE Certified mechanics take a look at your engine’s cooling system.
American & Import Auto Repair offers complete maintenance for your car, van, SUV, or truck. Our master mechanics can tackle anything from oil changes, routine factory maintenance, brakes, a/c repairs to auto electrical, flash/reprogramming service. Family owned and operated for nearly 20 years. Our experts have the knowledge and experience to keep your car safe and on the road. And remember, we are the home of the FREE loaner car! Give us a call to reserve a vehicle for you. If one is not available, we’ll take you to your next appointment. If you decide to stick around while our mechanics check your car, we offer clean, comfy waiting and restrooms, Keurig coffee & flavors, Wi-Fi & warm popcorn to help you pass the time! Call us with any questions at 423-220-4221 you can text 423-390-8549 or come by at 3832 West Market Street, Johnson City, TN 37604, centrally located between Jonesborough & Johnson City.
Service area: Johnson City | Jonesborough | Gray | Telford | Chuckey | Elizabethton | Erwin | Fall Branch | Greenville | Kingsport | Limestone | Mosheim | Mountain Home | Piney Flats
Zip codes 24210, 37618, 37620, 37641, 37643, 37644, 37650, 37656, 37657, 37615, 37743, 37658, 37660, 37681, 37818, 37684, 37686, 37687, 37690, 37692 37601, 37604, 37659