Keeping Cool in Seattle: Cooling System Maintenance
Believe it or not, cooling system problems are one of the most common reasons for mechanical failure in your vehicle. What’s worse? They’re largely avoidable! To understand why, let’s take a closer look at your cooling system.
How Does the Cooling System Work?
The engine creates a massive amount of heat and energy while the car is moving. The cooling system is responsible for keeping the engine cool and preventing overheating. It does this by circulating coolant (also known as antifreeze) which absorbs the heat from the engine. In the wintertime, the coolant prevents the engine from freezing. Without coolant, the heat produced during internal combustion would damage the engine very quickly.
The cooling system is filled with a mixture made of 50% coolant and 50% water. So if you top off your fluids at home, make sure to add the right amount of each. Also, distilled water is better for your engine than tap water. If you don’t want to mess with fluid ratios, you can also buy pre-mixed coolant at the auto parts store.
IMPORTANT: Never add coolant when the engine is hot because the heat from the engine can cause serious burns.
You should also be aware that there are many antifreeze formulas and using the wrong type could void your vehicle’s warranty. Check your manufacturer’s recommendations in your owner’s manual, or contact your service advisor. They’d be happy to help you choose the correct type of coolant for your vehicle.
Why Coolant Flushes Are Important
Your manufacturer will also list a schedule for when the coolant should be changed. Although it can vary based on your make and model, it’s typically best to have your coolant flushed yearly. Coolant flushes provide several benefits. First, coolant flushes help to remove rust deposits and other contaminants that can build up in the cooling system over time. If left in the system for too long, these can eventually lead to overheating or damage to the cooling system.
Second, old antifreeze becomes acidic and corrosive over time, which can damage the bearing in the water pump, the rubber hoses, and the aluminum components of the engine. New antifreeze contains anti-corrosive properties that will not only protect the nearby components from corrosion but also extend the life of your water pump by keeping it lubricated. And finally, coolant flushes give us a chance to inspect the rest of your cooling system, such as the radiator, thermostat, hoses, and belts for leaks or other signs of potential problems.
Prevent Damage, Improve Reliability, and Save Money!
The bottom line is, neglecting your cooling system can lead to leaks and other types of damage that require repair. It’s best to be proactive and perform maintenance on the system at regular intervals. Regular maintenance will make your vehicle more reliable—and help you save money in the long run!
If it’s been a while since you had your cooling system checked out, schedule an appointment with EuroCar Service today! We specialize in all European vehicles, including BMW, Audi, Land Rover, Mercedes, Mini-Cooper, Saab, Jaguar, Volkswagen, Volvo, Smart Car, and Fiat! Call us today at (206) 527-8828 or request an appointment online.