Car Care – The Cooling

The Cooling blog

I am starting a mini-series on, how to insure your vehicle’s engine last longer. I always say: ‘’prevention is better than cure’’ and this is so true when it comes to your vehicle’s engine life span. Here is some easy everyday signs and tips to prevent the blow-up!!

The Cooling System

The cooling-system comprises of three major parts, the radiator, water pump and thermostat. The radiator, water-pump and thermostat work in tandem, insuring distribution and the maintaining of pressure of the coolant fluid. It plays an essential part of cooling the vehicle’s engine, so that there is not a build-up of excess heat that might damage other essential engine parts.

The normal operating temperature of the average car engine is around 90-105 degrees Celsius. With high temperatures like these a defective radiator, water pump or thermostat increase the heat of your engine and the excess heat will cause wear and tear on other engine components – gaskets, hoses, pistons, just to name a few – and the resulting stress can shorten engine life dramatically.

How do you know you have a cooling-system problem?

As non-mechanical expert there is a couple of signs that will give you an indication something might be wrong with your cooling-system. If you notice any of the below take your vehicle immediately to a vehicle work-shop:

  1. Leaking

This will give you a clear and early indication that you are losing cooling fluid. If there is a small crack in the radiator or its clamps and pipes, cooling fluid will leak and it will be easily noticed as a liquid stain on the ground underneath your car.

  1. Vehicle temperature gauge

This is another clear indicator that there is too much heat inside the car’s engine. The engine heat gauge should be between the bottom (cold) and middle range of the gauge. If the needle creeps towards the top (warm) section something might be wrong with the engine’s cooling system and you need to take you car to an expert.

How to prevent cooling-system problems?

This is the main theme of this blog and here are a couple easy things you can do on a regular basis to make sure your radiator last longer:

  1. Check you your cooling fluid level.

This is such an easy yet essential part in making sure your cooling-system stays operational without wearing it down quickly. Every time you fill-up your car let the petrol attendant check cooling fluid level, this take less than 2 minutes and by doing this on a regular basis will prevent the cooling-system running dry.

  1. Be vigilant.

When you leave a parking-bay or your garage look for any signs of leaking fluids. This is a great early warning indication that you might be losing cooling fluids.

  1. Fluid change.

Cooling fluids needs to be change about every 30 000km to prevent rust and mineral deposit (gunk) build-up. When you take your car in for a service insist that the workshop flushes and replaces the coolant fluid.


Be vigilant in preventive maintenance – safe driving

Hanru Reyneke

Founder @Car Inspection

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