Cooling System Auto Maintenance

It is recommended that a seven (7)-point preventative cooling system maintenance check be performed at least once every two years. Consult your vehicle owner’s manual for specific auto guidelines. Vehicle cooling system inspection is designed to identify areas that need attention, and consists of:

  • A visual inspection of all cooling system components, including belts and hoses
  • A radiator cap pressure test to check for the recommended system pressure level
  • A thermostat check for proper opening and closing
  • A pressure test to identify any external leaks to the cooling system parts; including the radiator, water pump, engine coolant passages, radiator and heater hoses and heater core
  • An internal leak test to check for combustion gas leakage into the cooling system
  • An engine cooling fan test for proper operation

The Cooling System carries heat away from the engine and maintains the operating temperature by circulating anti-freeze/coolant through the engine, and carrying it to the radiator for cooling.

Modern automobiles operate in a wide temperature range, from well below freezing to over 100 F. The fluid used to cool the engine must have a low freezing point, high boiling point, and the ability to transfer heat. An adequate amount of antifreeze/coolant and water reduces the possibility of engine over-heating and freezing, as well as contains additives to prevent rust and corrosion in the cooling system.

Components Of A Vehicle’s Cooling System

Radiator – this is the main part of a vehicle’s cooling system. The function of the radiator within a cooling system is to lower the temperature of the hot coolant that passes from the engine and then send it back to the engine through hoses, the thermostat and water pump. 

Radiator fan – the radiator fan is used to cool the engine system, as well as to draw air into the radiator to prevent the engine from overheating.

Water pump – the water pump is another one of the most important parts of a vehicle’s cooling system. It draws cooled water or coolant from the radiator through to the thermostat. It also makes sure that the water or coolant is passed through the engine at a constant velocity.