A car's engine generates enough heat to destroy itself. The cooling system protects against damage, keeping the engine operating within the correct temperature range. Regular checks and maintenance help assure long life of vulnerable engine parts. Here’s what’s involved in proper cooling system maintenance:
• Check condition of water pump.
• Inspect radiator for leaks and corrosion. Computer controlled vehicles require high engine temperatures. Today’s smaller radiators require more frequent care.
• Be sure you have plenty of coolant.
CAUTION: Never open or remove pressure cap when engine is hot. Never add pure anti-freeze to the radiator. Always dilute it to half-strength with water.
• Look for leaking hoses and connections*. Tighten loose clamps.
• Check condition of the radiator pressure cap*. Replace if rubber gasket is damaged.
• If the engine runs too cool, the thermostat is probably at fault and should be replaced.
• Inspect condition of hoses. Cracked, mushy or otherwise deteriorated hoses should be replaced. To be sure, it is recommended that all belts and hoses be changed at least once every 3 years, if not sooner.
• Heater hoses demand attention too. Look for leaks, cracks and rotted rubber. Replace faulty clamps.
• Check belts for wear and tension. Replace when cracked or frayed. Usual life is about 3 years.
* Note: Pressure testing of radiator and pressure cap assures the most accurate test. All Minit-Tune & Brake Auto Centres are equipped with these testers.