The Car Geek: Keep Your Car Cool

The Car Geek

Friday, October 14, 2005

Keep Your Car Cool

Your car's cooling system plays an important role in keeping your ride comfortable and enjoyable. Unfortunately, not a lot of people pay attention to the cooling system, except of course, when it's too hot, or too cold, or when it starts "fooling around". The result of snubbing your car's cooling system is often "crisis repairs" - and expensive ones at that. The Automotive Cooling System Institute offers the following advice to keep the car's cool, including yours:

  • Flush dirt, bugs and leaves from front of radiator with a brush and garden hose
  • Inspect the radiator cap. Replace it if the rubber gasket is broken, dried out, or missing.
  • Check the condition and level of coolant. If it is rusty, clean the system and replace with a 50/50 mixture of water and ethylene glycol anti-freeze Inspect radiator and radiator hoses for leaks, cracks or soft, mushy condition. Tighten all clamps. Replace hoses as needed
  • Look for the heater hose running from the engine, through the fire wall, to the heater core under the dash. Replace swollen or cracked hoses. To check the hoses, start the engine and turn on the heater. If after ten minutes the hoses are cool, they could be clogged
  • Inspect all engine belts for wear and cracks. Replace if worn, cracked or glazed. Adjust loose belts. Note: Some engines have a V-ribbed belt that drives some or all of the accessories. If the belt grooves show excessive cracks or "chunking", replace the belt
  • Check the thermostat operation by running the engine for 10-15 minutes. Generally, it's OK if you can feel warm coolant surging through the upper hose. Beware of an engine that runs too hot or too cool. Tighten loose bolts on the thermostat housing at the engine
  • Clean the engine exterior. Excessive oil and dirt will hide leaks, or insulate the engine, causing it to run hot.

Don't take your car's cooling system for granted. If you need replacement for a Honda radiator, a Chevy A/C condenser, or Dodge truck parts, visit trusted online auto parts stores like Auto Parts Inner where you can find premium quality auto parts at prices that won't leave you out in the cold.