There are several reasons your car may break down while you are driving. One of the most common reasons comes from your coolant system failing and your car overheating. Without proper maintenance of the cooling system, the vehicle’s engine can also freeze, dependent on the temperature outside. Problems with overheating and freezing can cause severe engine and transmission damage.
What Does the Cooling System Do?
The coolant system contains several parts internally, including your radiator, which tends to get the most damage. Other parts to this system that may fail without proper maintenance include the radiator cap, thermostat, cooling fan, water pump, heater core, belts and hoses. During a coolant system check, all of these components need to be inspected and several of them can be seen easily underneath the hood of the vehicle.
The cooling system helps protect your car engine from overheating or freezing. While your car is functioning, it carries heat away from the engine and keeps the car running at the proper temperature. The coolant or antifreeze fluid that is added circulates through the engine and is carried to the radiator to be cooled.
Reasons Your Engine Freezes or Overheats
There are reasons your car may over heat while you are driving it or the engine may freeze when it is cold outside. In many cases, the parts to the system may have external leaks. It is important to inspect the radiator and heater hoses for any cracks and bulges. Other problems that can lead to failure are low coolant levels, old coolant, and blockages. Pay close attention to your car and if you notice the heater not working, the temperature light is on, or the temperature gauge is higher or lower than it should be while driving, take your vehicle in right away to an auto mechanic.
Every car maintenance schedule recommends getting the coolant system checked and serviced at least once a year and no longer than two years. Several coolant manufacturers recommend a full coolant system flush every year as well. Your service manual may even suggest a radiator flush every 24 months no matter how many driving miles the vehicle has.
Why You Need Good Antifreeze/Coolant
When you get a coolant system service, a fluid called coolant or antifreeze will be added into the radiator. This fluid is a red or green color and typically is mixed halfway with water. The coolant contains additives that will keep the water from freezing in cold winter weather, as well as overheating in any temperature.
That coolant is pushed through the radiator and engine to lubricate all the components and keep them from rusting. The fluid used needs to have a low freezing point and a high boiling point to prevent overheating or freezing. There is a significant amount used when a cooling system flush is performed. Over a long period of time, that coolant loses its protective properties and debris may build up, causing blockage in the hoses, so it is vital to maintain the system and have the fluid flushed out each year.
If your car shows signs of overheating or engine freezing, take it in immediately for Cooling System Maintenance Services before it breaks down. A local AAMCO Denver or AAMCO Colorado Springs near you can inspect the system and perform a radiator repair if needed, so Schedule an Appointment now to have it checked out.