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Simple Answers from Kacal's Auto & Truck Service for Houston: Cooling System

Question

My engine never overheats.  Why should I get a cooling system service?

Answer

That’s a good question to ask, because if you don’t have the full answer you may end up in trouble.  It seems that, if your engine is running at the proper temperature then everything must be OK.  But the fact is that engine overheating is the most common cause of mechanical failure.  So how do you get from everything is just fine to suddenly overheating and potential engine damage?

Truth is, it is not a sudden process, but it is an invisible one.  Your engine coolant circulates through your engine where it absorbs heat and then flows through the radiator where it is cooled – and then back to the engine again.  If the coolant can flow freely – and there are no leaks – then the coolant can do its job.  This is the point where you must look deeper.

The cooling system is a harsh environment: very hot, with several reactive materials like various types of metal, plastics and rubber.  Over time the coolant becomes corrosive.  Small pieces of metal and other materials flake off and circulate in the coolant.  These bits can start to clog up the small passages in the radiator, impeding the coolant flow, leading to overheating.  Corrosive coolant can eat away at the system and cause leaks as well.

Now new coolant is full of anti-corrosion additives.  These additives neutralize the reactions that lead to corrosion.  The additives are eventually used up, leaving the cooling system unprotected.

Therefore, your vehicle manufacturer gives a recommendation for when your cooling system should be serviced.  Your service technician can also test your coolant for freeze point and PH to see if it needs to be replaced (if you’ve added straight water to the system these numbers may be off).  You need to get fresh coolant in there to continue to protect against damaging corrosion. 

So, if you’ve gone beyond the recommended service interval, take care of this important maintenance service to prevent unnecessary repairs down the road.

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Kacal's Auto & Truck Service
5030 Old Spanish Trail
Houston, Texas 77021

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