Troubleshooting A Problem With Your Car's Cooling System

Automotive Blog

If your car has developed a problem with overheating, then a component of the cooling system is the cause. All internal combustion engines require cooling to function correctly, and when part of the cooling system fails to work correctly, then the engine overheats. Overheating can cause fatal damage to your car's engine.

Follow these steps to identify the problem with your car's cooling system:

Health and Safety Warning: Never open a hot radiator or remove a hot radiator hose. Doing so can result in serious burns. Only inspect and work on a vehicle with a cold cooling system.

Step 1: Identify the Parts of Your Car's Cooling System

You can easily see the four main parts of your car's cooling system under the hood. They are the:

  • radiator
  • coolant overflow bottle
  • radiator intake hose
  • radiator outflow hose

The radiator is a large square-shaped part at the very front of your car with a removable cap. It is connected on the passenger side to the motor by the intake hose and on the driver's side to the outflow hose. The overflow bottle is a plastic container where excess steam is released from the radiator when your car's motor gets hot.

Step 2: Check the Overflow Bottle

The overflow bottle has a "full" line marked on its side. If there is no antifreeze in the bottle, or if it is below the line, then you need to add antifreeze. Do not overfill the bottle or it may explode or leak when your car heats up.

Step 3: Check the Radiator Cap

The radiator cap is what keeps your car's cooling system a closed system with the right amount of heat and steam. If the radiator cap is loose or defective, then your car will overheat. Radiator caps are inexpensive and should be the first suspect for overheating problems.

Step 4: Feel the Radiator Hoses for Pressure

Once you have checked the fluid level and radiator cap, turn on the car and squeeze each hose with your hand. Both radiator hoses should become pressurized and you should feel hot fluid moving through them. If you do not feel any fluid or pressure, then the radiator is probably clogged and needs to be professionally serviced by a company like Wolfe's Foreign Auto.

Step 5: Take Your Car in For Professional Service

If you are not able to identify a problem with a hose, low fluid, or the radiator cap, then your cooling system may have a bad thermostat or the radiator's internal tubes may have become clogged with dirt. The thermostat is located down within the motor and requires a professional mechanic to replace it and if your radiator is clogged then it will need to be replaced.


5 August 2015

Are Used Car Parts Right For Your Vehicle?

When it comes to auto repairs, I am lucky. A good friend of mine is very car savvy and is able to make the majority of the repairs that my car needs. However, recently he sprung a question on me that surprised me. He asked if I wanted him to install a new part or a quality used car part. I asked for his opinion and did some research online. I was surprised to find that there wasn't a lot of information out there about when you should and should not use used parts in your car. So that's how this website came to be. I decided to compile the information I learned, so that in the future, someone doesn't have to search all over to decide whether to have a new or used car placed in their car. Hope my website helps you to make your decision!