What Is Involved with Cooling System Maintenance?
Vehicles are intricate pieces of machinery with hundreds of parts working together to create the performance and reliability you have come to love. Like any machine, cars need regular tune-ups like oil changes and more to stay running as they should, making maintaining your vehicle crucial in extending its lifespan by ensuring all essential parts are working.
The last thing you want is to experience a sudden breakdown in the middle of a long trip, especially if you don’t have an emergency kit on hand. While preventative maintenance can reduce the chances of this happening, some components need to be cared for more often than others. One example of this is your vehicle’s cooling system.
Before diving into why this maintenance is important and what it involves, it’s necessary to look at what exactly this system encompasses.
What Is the Cooling System?
As an owner of a gas-powered vehicle, your engine uses internal combustion to give your car power through small, controlled explosions that convert gasoline into energy. Naturally, this results in your engine temperature getting hot quickly, which is precisely where your car’s cooling system comes into play.
In short, the cooling system transfers heat from the controlled explosions away from the engine. This allows your vehicle to run at the proper operating temperature, preventing issues like overheating.
An engine cooling system accomplishes this goal by circulating a liquid called coolant via coolant hoses. As the coolant passes through the system and passes over your engine, it absorbs some of the heat and moves to the radiator, where cool air being sucked in through the grill of your car cools the liquid down.
From here, it circles back to the engine and continues this loop constantly. There is also a thermostat unit which, if detecting the coolant is not hot enough, will divert the coolant back to the engine to absorb more heat.
This entire system is pressurized and helps to maintain perfect engine temperatures within your vehicle that optimize performance and prevent problems. Basic car maintenance involves keeping this system functioning as intended.
Why Is Maintenance Necessary?
Your car’s cooling system relies on several parts working together cohesively, and the entire system could be compromised if one of those parts fails. This is why essential car maintenance should be at the top of a to-do list throughout the year.
Here are a few common cooling system problems you may face if you do not keep it properly maintained:
As mentioned, your car’s cooling system spreads throughout the hood and covers areas from the engine to the radiator, meaning many parts can have problems within a cooling system. This includes the water pump, thermometer, fan, head gasket, coolant itself, and much more.
Continuing to drive without properly maintaining your cooling system can negatively impact your vehicle’s overall performance and health. To avoid experiencing a breakdown later down the road, visit your trusted mechanic to perform maintenance.
The Ins & Outs of Cooling System Maintenance
Changing your coolant is recommended every two years or 30,000 miles, whichever comes first. If you’re unsure, our experts suggest checking your owner’s manual to ensure you’re on schedule with all your car’s maintenance needs.
Here are some things to consider when checking the current state of your cooling system:
- Check and top off low coolant levels.
- If needed, drain and flush the cooling system, followed by adding new coolant to the system.
- Inspect components such as the serpentine belt for wear and tear.
- Check the radiator belts and hoses for signs of aging and make replacements as necessary.
Inspecting all of these items yearly prevents sudden part failure. It can help you avoid any unexpected and costly trips to the auto repair shop—especially if you don’t have the proper extended car warranty. Your trusted mechanic will alert you to any issues they notice under the hood and recommend a solution.
When experiencing harsher weather conditions, it’s doubly important to have your cooling system inspected. Your coolant is composed of a finely tuned ratio of antifreeze to distilled water that lowers freezing temperatures. An improper antifreeze-to-water ratio when temperatures drop can cause problems with the coolant. Mechanics may run some diagnostics to test this ratio and make adjustments if needed.
Save on Costly Repair Bills with Endurance
If there’s one thing you can expect as a vehicle owner, unexpected repairs and breakdowns can be expensive. And while preventative maintenance, like properly maintaining your cooling system, reduces these chances, it can’t prevent them all. And the older a vehicle gets, the more likely a costly repair will pop up. With an extended warranty, like award-winning Endurance coverage, you’re protected from costly auto repair bills for your car’s vital components.
You can even combine comprehensive breakdown protection with up to $3,500 in yearly maintenance services with the Advantage protection plan. It even comes with several one-time-only services, including cooling system maintenance and other extra services and savings. Plus, beyond extensive component coverage and maintenance, this new plan has unrivaled eligibility meaning there’s something for everyone. From salvaged or rebuilt title vehicles, to high-tech and tire height modifications, to Canadian grey market vehicles and even cars used for rideshare or delivery services, Advantage covers them all.
Best of all, whether you have Advantage, near-complete coverage with Supreme or basic powertrain coverage starting at just $79 a month with Secure, you can enjoy several complimentary benefits. That includes 24/7 roadside assistance and towing, trip interruption coverage, and rental car reimbursements. You’ll also enjoy a full 30-day money-back guarantee and the chance to take your car to any certified mechanic or repair shop, including your car’s dealership.
To find out more about how Endurance can help you, call our award-winning customer service team at (800) 253-8203 to request a FREE quote or shop online today. By visiting the Endurance blog, you can find other articles with DIY maintenance tips, vehicle buying guides, extended warranty coverage comparisons, and more.