Check the Cooling System

The coolant cap is on top of the radiator and/or coolant reservoir. When the engine is cool, twist to open.

The coolant cap is on top of the radiator and/or coolant reservoir. When the engine is cool, twist to open. Check the cooling system to keep your car running longer.

About once a month you check the coolant level in your car. Once a year, while you’re doing that job you can perform a closer inspection to check the cooling system and make some adjustments. Your car’s cooling system uses a water pump (or, more correctly, a coolant pump) to circulate a mixture of antifreeze and water through the engine to reduce heat build-up. Aluminum engines don’t need as much coolant to keep them in a safe temperature range as older iron engines. However, they must have coolant or they will be damaged quickly. A fan pulls air through the radiator to lower the temperature of the coolant inside. But how does the coolant get from the radiator to inside the engine? A rubber hose at the bottom of the radiator carries coolant to the engine. Another rubber hose at the top of the radiator draws the coolant from the engine. You can see why it is important to check the cooling system.

Car Words

radiator is an important automotive component that transfers excess engine heat to the surrounding air via a liquid (coolant) and a fan.

How to check the cooling system becomes obvious. Here are the steps:

1. Visually inspect the radiator on both sides to see if there are any damages or any leaves that may be blocking the cooling surface. (Actually, you can perform this quick check anytime.)

2. Inspect the top hose for obvious damage (bulges) or leaks (coolant has a light-green tint) and tighten the two clamps with a screwdriver. If the hose requires replacement, you’ll first need to drain the radiator of all coolant.

3. Inspect the bottom hose for damage or leaks and tighten the two clamps with a screwdriver. (You can more easily do this while your car is already up on stands for your car’s quarterly tire rotation and underside inspection.)

Once the cap is open, you can inspect the radiator or reservoir coolant level.

Once the cap is open, you can inspect the radiator or reservoir coolant level.

4. Make sure the engine is cool, then remove the radiator cap (push down and turn counter-clockwise) to inspect the coolant for level and color. Some cautious folks replace the cap once a year as it is designed to maintain the coolant under a specific pressure—and they cost much less than a damaged engine.

That how easy it is to check the cooling system in your car.

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