Why It Never Pays to Be Too Passé about Your Cooling System

A number of different systems are in action to make your vehicle work efficiently whenever you drive it down the road. These systems may be physically unconnected, but each one of them is critical if the car is to perform as it is supposed to. Some of these systems may be "more obvious" than others, especially when something starts to go wrong, but you must nevertheless make sure that you maintain each one of them correctly if you are going to enjoy unhindered motoring. One of the "silent" systems that you may well have overlooked helps to regulate temperature and avoid any overheating. Why should you take a much closer look at your cooling system right now, if you're going to avoid disaster?

How It Normally Works

The cooling system has in itself many different components, but everything is linked to the heat exchanger, colloquially known as the radiator. A water pump is directly connected to the crankshaft of the engine and is designed to increase the flow of coolant through a variety of pipes to jackets that are strategically placed all around the engine. Hot water is exchanged for cool, to regulate the temperature and ensure that the engine does not fail.

What Can Go Wrong

This is usually a very efficient system and could theoretically work forever, so long as you kept those fluid levels topped up. However, chemical reactions can and will occur as the coolant comes into contact with the metal and alloys that make up the engine. As this happens, a certain amount of corrosion is inevitable, even though it builds up very slowly over time.

In addition, microscopic pieces of rubber may be sloughed off the inside of the piping, to contribute to a buildup of "sludge." Engineers like to refer to this as "fouling," but it will drastically affect the efficiency of the system as layer upon layer of this stuff starts to restrict the flow.

Warning Signs

In time, you will begin to notice that the temperature gauge on the dashboard starts to climb inexorably, even though the fluid level is correct. However, in an ideal world you should never let this happen and should take action to get car radiator repair. If that sludge buildup becomes too extensive, you may have to fork out for a new radiator and if you don't catch it in time, engine damage could ensue.

Solution Available

There's good news and there's bad news. Firstly, it is certainly possible to clean out the system if the build-up of deposits has not become too advanced, but unfortunately this will require a multistep process. In short, you will need to flush the system out several different times by using a variety of aids before everything returns to normal. Some of these stages need to be engaged when the vehicle is cool and others when it is operating at normal temperatures.

How to Do This

While it is technically possible for you to do this at home, you are recommended to allow a qualified mechanic to handle this for you, especially as they have some specialised tools to make it somewhat easier.