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The cooling system is made up of the passages inside the engine block and heads, a  water pump to circulate the coolant, a thermostat to control the temperature of the coolant, a radiator to cool the coolant, a radiator cap to control the pressure in the system, and some plumbing consisting of interconnecting hoses to transfer the coolant from the engine to radiator and also to the car’s heater system where hot coolant is used to warm up the vehicle’s interior on a cold day.

Radiators, Water pumps, Thermostats, Heater core, & Much More 

A cooling system works by sending a liquid coolant through passages in the engine block and heads.  As the coolant flows through these passages, it picks up heat from the engine.  The heated fluid then makes its way through a rubber hose to the radiator in the front of the car.  As it flows through the thin tubes in the radiator, the hot liquid is cooled by the air stream entering the engine compartment from the grill in front of the car.  Once the fluid is cooled, it returns to the engine to absorb more heat.

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The coolant follows a path that takes it from the water pump, through passages inside the engine block where it collects the heat produced by the cylinders.  It then flows up to the cylinder head (or heads in a V type engine) where it collects more heat from the combustion chambers.  It then flows out past the thermostat (if the thermostat is opened to allow the fluid to pass), through the upper radiator hose and into the radiator.  The coolant flows through the thin flattened tubes that make up the core of the radiator and is cooled by the air flow through the radiator.  From there, it flows out of the radiator, through the lower radiator hose and back to the water pump.  By this time, the coolant is cooled off and ready to collect more heat from the engine.

The coolant that courses through the engine and associated plumbing must be able to withstand temperatures well below zero without freezing.  It must also be able to handle engine temperatures in excess of 250 degrees without boiling.  A tall order for any fluid, but that is not all.  The fluid must also contain rust inhibiters and a lubricant. The coolant in today’s vehicles is a mixture of ethylene glycol (antifreeze) and water.  The recommended ratio is fifty-fifty.  In other words, one part antifreeze and one part water.  This is the minimum recommended for use in automobile engines.  Less antifreeze and the boiling point would be too low.  In certain climates where the temperatures can go well below zero, it is permissible to have as much as 75% antifreeze and 25% water, but no more than that.  Pure antifreeze will not work properly and can cause a boil over.

Cooling System Components

More info on the system.


Radiator Service

The  radiator is an integral part of the cooling system. It is located behind the front bumper and grille as it uses the incoming air flow to cool the coolant as it flows though the radiator core. There  are many issues that can happen to a radiator. In some cases the fins on the radiator that protect the coolant flow tubes and also direct the airflow become damaged or plugged up with dirt, bugs or road grime. This prevents the full airflow from reaching the coolant tubes and prevents proper cooling. Another issue is the rad tank, or core leaking coolant. In this case the radiator will have to be replaced. 

Heater Core Service

A heater core is pretty much just a smaller version of a radiator, but instead of being used to cool the coolant in the engine, it uses the heat from that coolant to warm the car’s interior. It works, in a way, by diverting coolant from the rest of the car’s cooling system. Over time if the coolant is not kept clean, scale can build up on the inside of the heater core causing a restriction which limits the flow and cause insufficient or no heat for the passenger compartment. In most cases, the heater core can be flushed to return the flow to normal. If it does not clean out sufficiently, it will need to be replaced. There is also the possibility of the heater core starting to leak which will cause it to need to be replaced.

Water Pump Service

Water pumps are simple devices. They force coolant through the engine block, hoses and radiator to remove the heat the engine produces. It is most commonly driven off the crankshaft pulley or in some cases the pump is gear-driven off the crankshaft. The coolant trapped between the impeller blades is thrown outward from centrifugal force. A suction (vacuum) is created in the center area of the pump housing. The most common causes of water pump failures are due to contaminated fluid, excessive vibration or unbalanced loads. Contaminated fluid can contain abrasive materials that cause premature failure of the water pump shaft seal. Vibration or unbalanced loads, usually resulting in shaft failures. 

Thermostat Service

A thermostat is the component in the cooling system that performs two main functions. It must get the engine to heat up to its optimum temperature as quickly as possible, and then keep the engine at its optimum temperature.

The most popular type of thermostat regulates the flow of coolant to the air cooled radiator. These thermostats use a chamber that contains a wax pellet, which melts and expands at a set temperature. 

This process operates a rod that then opens a valve when the operating temperature is exceeded, allowing through more coolant to the radiator. The operating temperature is determined by the composition of the wax. 

Listening out for the cooling fan can be a quick and easy way to tell if your car’s cooling system is working at peak efficiency or not. 

If you hear the fan being activated on a cool day, or if the fan is in operation after even a short run, there’s a good chance that either the level of coolant in your car is low, or there is a fault with the thermostat. A stuck open thermostat will cause the vehicle engine temperature to run cold, resulting in slightly warm, or no heat to the passenger compartment. If any trouble occurs call your local mechanic shop to have it checked and repaired before serious damage is done.

Radiator Hose

The radiator hose is part of your car’s cooling system, carrying the coolant to the radiator, where the fluid is cooled, then back to the engine to keep the vehicle from overheating. The upper hose attaches from the top of the radiator to the top of the engine at the thermostat housing. The lower hose, attaches from the bottom of the radiator to the water pump of the engine. If you look under the hood and notice that the radiator hose has collapsed, it’s time to call your local mechanic shop Albion Auto Sales & Service nearby in Bolton, ON. Hoses collapse when they become soft or weak or, occasionally, due to a cooling system fault. No matter the cause, an inspection must be performed. A collapsed hose can not flow coolant properly which can result in the vehicle overheating and, eventually, engine damage.

Heater Hose Service

Heater hoses are rubber hoses that circulate engine coolant to and from the heater core, which is the small radiator that provides heat for the cabin. They typically extend from the engine to the firewall, because the core is located inside the vehicle’s dashboard.

Relatively inexpensive, heater hoses should be kept in good condition to prevent leaks or ruptures that would cause coolant loss, and overheating, as well as no heat to the passenger compartment. Cooling system service near me? The answer is simple, Albion Auto Sales & Service will get the job done, efficiently, as well as affordable. Full service mechanic shop for all car repairs.

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We do it all. From headlight bulbs to major engine repairs. Visit a reliable and affordable complete car care centre. Albion Auto, conveniently located nearby in Bolton.

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