The engine cooling system functions to eradicate excessive waste heat from the automobile’s engine in order to maintain its optimum level of functioning at a temperature that promotes its maximum efficiency. While the engine cooling system not only reduces accumulation of damaging heat, it also maintains the minimum temperature after the engine starts reducing the possibility of high engine temperatures that cause damage to engine parts and lubricants. Sometimes an engine tuning might reveal this issue.
Engine Cooling System and Its Functions
- Radiator – the main component of the engine cooling system where the cooling fluid flows through and relocates its heat to the metal cooling fins surrounding the core. It has a radiator fan which disperses the heat from the coolant.
- Cooling fluid/ Coolant – it flows through and around the engine to prevent overheating. It is usually available as a deep green colour fluid but recent cooling fluid has the colour of rusty water. It is important to remember NOT to mix different kinds of cooling fluids together and to use only the type of cooling fluid recommended for the automobile’s particular model.
- Radiator hose – connects the upper and lower parts of the radiator.
- Water pump – circulates the cooling fluid throughout the engine through centrifugal force.
- Heater core – a small radiator-type part that cools down the interior of the automobile.
- Thermostat – permits the engine to heat up quickly and maintain a constant temperature inside the engine by regulating the amount of cooling fluid that passes through the radiator.
- Temperature gauge – monitors the engine temperature by relaying the sensor’s registered levels of electrical resistance as the engine increases its temperature.
- Reservoir – usually in the presence of an overflow bottle which stores the overflowing liquid as the coolant expands.
- Radiator cap – secures the radiator hole through which the cooling fluid is poured.
Signs of a Faulty Engine Cooling System
1. Above normal engine temperature shown on Temperature gauge
2. Green, orange or yellow fluid pooling under the automobile which suggest a leak in cooling system
3. No or little heat in passenger space
Engine Cooling System: Overheating Problems
- Insufficient cooling fluid-Insufficiency may result from leakage problems. Fixing the leak and adding adequate cooling fluid is necessary.
- Circulation problems-Poor circulation may be due to a closed thermostat, a plugged radiator, or a bad water pump.
- Engine consumption of cooling fluid-This results from a faulty head gasket or a broken engine block.
How to Manually Flush an Engine Cooling System
Park the automobile in a place away from children and animals.
1. As you park, make sure the following is completed:
- The engine is cold.
- The ignition is off.
- The parking brake is on.
2. Place a pail below the drain valve located at the bottom of the radiator.
3. Open the drain valve and let the liquid drain directly into the pail.
4. Place the drained liquid inside tight-fitting lids containers, label it as “coolant”, dispose it safely, and close the drain valve.
5. Open the radiator cap and pour water to fill the radiator. Turn the engine on with the heater control set on High for 10 minutes.
6. Turn off the engine and allow it to cool off. By the time the radiator is cool enough, get the water out of the engine by draining it into the pail. Transfer the residue from the pail to a sealed container, label it as “toxic”, and dispose it properly.
7. Close the drain plug and fill the engine with water and cooling fluid. Continue pouring until you reach the “MAX” line located on the coolant reservoir.
8. Evenly disperse the water and the coolant throughout the engine. Change the radiator cap and run the engine with the heater on High until the temperature gauge reads in the normal range.
9. Turn the engine off and clean it.
10. Recheck the coolant level in the reservoir after a few days and add equal distribution of water and coolant if the level gets low.
11. If all else fails be sure to call your favorite Engine Cooling System Specialist.