Cooling System Service & Repair
Gasoline engines have come a long way since they were first introduced into automobiles in 1885. But even advanced, modern-day gasoline engines have a difficult time transforming chemical energy into mechanical power—especially when it comes to managing heat that’s generated from internal combustion engines.
Between 68 and 72 percent of the energy created by gasoline is actually lost in the engine, as internal combustion converts the majority of gasoline’s power into useless heat. So, what happens with all that extra energy floating underneath your hood? That’s where your vehicle’s cooling system steps in.
In order to prevent this wasted energy from overheating your engine, your cooling system pulls heat from your motor and pushes it into the air outside of your vehicle. While this process may sound simple, the mechanics of your cooling system are highly intricate and complex.
With so many parts dependent upon one another, there are plenty of opportunities for an element of your cooling system to wear out. Fortunately, our expert technicians at Kennedy Transmission can help you pinpoint problems with your cooling system quickly. Whether you need a new water pump, hoses, or just a coolant flush, our team can keep your engine protected and operating efficiently.
Your Cooling System: A Basic Breakdown
There’s a lot that goes into keeping your engine from overheating, which is why it’s important to understand how your cooling system works. Here’s a breakdown of all the parts within your cooling system and how each one functions:
- Coolant: Also known as antifreeze, this liquid absorbs heat your engine puts off while preventing buildup. Coolant comes in a variety of colors and formulas, so make sure you use a mixture that’s recommended by your vehicle’s manufacturer.
- Radiator: This inlet is filled with tubes and fins that remove heat from the coolant after it passes through the engine.
- Radiator cap: Maintains the proper amount of pressure within the cooling system. It also has a spring-loaded valve that releases extra pressure if it gets above a certain pressure point.
- Fan: This draws air through the radiator to help with heat transfer.
- Hoses: These carry coolant to and from the radiator.
- Water pump: This drives hot coolant out of the engine towards the radiator where it vaporizes into the air.
- Thermostat: Ensures the engine maintains a good temperature to function properly. The thermostat is closed when the engine is cold, but opens up and allows coolant from the radiator to circulate once the engine heats up.
While your cooling system works hard to push heat away from your engine, it also ensures your engine stays at an optimal temperature when your vehicle is running. Because your engine needs to be at a relatively high temperature to function properly, your cooling system allows the engine to heat up as quickly as possible while keeping it at a constant temperature.
Pro Tip: If you’re keeping track of your own coolant, never open the radiator cap or add fluid to your cooling system while it’s still warm. Let it cool overnight since the contents of your system are extremely hot and under incredible pressure.
Maintaining Your Cooling System
Maintaining your cooling system—especially by flushing your coolant—will ensure it’s working efficiently to keep your engine from overheating. For optimum performance, make sure you are getting your coolant flushed and refilled as often as your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends, which is typically every 2 to 3 years. There are several other factors that determine how often you should have your coolant flushed, including:
- Engine size
- Type of coolant
Each time you bring your car or truck into Kennedy Transmission, we will check the level and condition of your coolant to make sure everything is running smoothly.
Monitoring for Issues
When it comes to detecting issues within your cooling system, there are a number of indicators you should be on the lookout for, including:
- Poor gas mileage
- Non-working heater
- “Sweet” antifreeze smell
- Frequent need to add fluid
- Whistling or hissing sound underneath the hood
- Cracked or frayed belts
- Light indicator on the dashboard
Note: These symptoms may indicate issues other than your battery.
If you notice even the smallest issue with your cooling system, have it checked out immediately. Ignoring one simple fix could lead to complete engine failure, costing you time and money.
Call Kennedy Transmission Today to Keep Your Engine Cool
The cooling system in your car or truck plays a big role in your engine’s longevity and your vehicle’s overall dependability. When you stop by Kennedy Transmission for cooling system service or repairs, our certified mechanics are trained to quickly diagnose your vehicle’s cooling system and fix it at an affordable cost. Before we get to work, we will give you a cost repair estimate so there are no surprises when you pick up your vehicle. Schedule an appointment at a Kennedy Transmission near you today!