Your vehicle’s engine generates enough heat to destroy itself every day. Wait. What? Yeah, it’s true! So, how do you prevent your car from experiencing heat-related engine trouble? Take it from us – some of the 'coolest' experts in the industry – your car’s cooling system is one worth keeping in top-working condition.
Before any repairs, we always start with a cooling system diagnostic to help determine if you’re experiencing radiator problems, a failed thermostat, simply running low on engine coolant, or some other problem. If you're more of a step-by-step person, our team will:
Inspect the radiator, water pump, thermostat, heater core, control valve, head gasket, fans, belts and hoses
Check for leaks, cracks, and worn elements
Check pressure conditions and coolant volume
Flush and dispose of used coolant fluid
Install any necessary replacement parts
Refill the system with antifreeze coolant fluid
For starters, if you notice any of the symptoms below, it's very possible you have a leak and need to get that inspected immediately. Since heat is produced every time you drive, a coolant leak or poor cooling system could spell disaster for your vehicle.
Antifreeze doesn’t expire – but like anything else, it can certainly deteriorate over time. Your owner’s manual will often provide recommended mileage intervals to change your coolant, but this can range from 30,000 miles to 120,000 miles. With such a variance from vehicle to vehicle, it’s important to stick to your maintenance schedule or have your coolant tested at your nearest Brakes Plus.
Overheating engine – Stuck with a steaming hood on the side of the road? A vehicle that overheats easily is likely in need of new engine coolant.
High temperature gauge – If your engine temperature gauge often runs hot, your vehicle will suffer for it. A coolant flush is a simple way to prevent bigger engine repairs later!
Maple syrup scent (yeah, seriously!) – Unless you regularly host pancake breakfasts from your car, the smell of maple syrup could spell bad news. You'll notice this sweet smell of antifreeze if it's being burnt by your engine.
Leaking fluid – Antifreeze is commonly green or orange, but it can come in different colors. Puddles of antifreeze below your vehicle always spells trouble.
Antifreeze and engine coolant (or radiator coolant) have a relationship, but they are not the same. It’s simple really – coolant is a combination of water and (you guessed it) antifreeze! Generally, this combination is 50-50, so in essence, antifreeze is just a component of coolant.
As it circulates your vehicle’s engine, this coolant mixture keeps any liquid from freezing during extremely cold temperatures while enabling the engine to operate freely. During warmer months, this chemical combination prevents your engine from overheating. Without it, not only can you experience a hot ride, but your engine can also experience severe damage.
The good news is, any possible damage is preventable when you visit the experts at Brakes Plus, where we will make sure you have proper coolant levels for a well-functioning cooling system. And don't forget to check our current service specials so you can save on your next visit – we’re cool like that!