JDM P/L performs repairs and replacements for all parts relating to engine cooling at our Charmhaven workshop.
The role of cooling systems in a car is to maintain the normal operating temperature of the engine. Engines produce a huge amount of friction and heat, which needs to be monitored and cooled appropriately.
The main components of engine cooling are:
- The radiator (uses airflow and a core pipe system to reduce the liquid temperature by approx 10-12 degrees)
- The water pump (controlled by the timing belt or fan belt)
- The exhaust system (extracts heat from the engine)
- Engine oil (lubricates the engine to reduce friction)
We replace or repair the following parts for cooling systems:
- Water pump
- Heater tap
- Heater host
- Coolant reservoir
- Intercooler (on turbo cars)
- Thermo fans
- Radiator top hose
- Radiator bottom hose
How engine temperature is regulated
The thermostat responds to engine temperature, it is located on the cylinder block or thermostat housing.
There are multiple types of thermostats. The most common type of thermostat houses a cylinder with wax inside it.
As the engine warms up, the temperature of the coolant rises. This process melts the wax, pushing the rod outwards. This motion opens the valve of the cylinder, the coolant then flows from the radiator through the cylinder.
In other words, a gate opens and closes, allowing more coolant to pass through the engine appropriately.
Symptoms of a car with failing cooling systems
There are a few key things to look out for
- The temperature gauge will rise (particularly under load, like uphill)
- Newer cars can display a warning sign
- Engine performance can decrease, excessive friction will prevent the engine from moving as freely
- Loss in engine responsiveness or power
- Water/Coolant loss
What happens if car cooling systems are neglected
When the cooling system is neglected or failing, the temperature of the engine will rise significantly.
When cooling systems are neglected to the extreme, the following parts usually break (often simultaneously)
- Water pump
- Cylinder head
- Entire engine overheated (expanded and damaged to the point of no return)
This comes back to proper maintenance and keeping the temperature as close to its normal operating temperature as possible.
In most cases, it’s far cheaper to have your car cooling system regularly checked, which JDM does at each service, then to ignore the problems, and end up far worse off.
Regular coolant flushing is vital!
How to stay on top of cooling problems
The best course of action is to have your car regularly serviced.
You may have read on our car servicing page, that we check the glycol levels. Glycol (Ethylene or Propylene) is a base product added to water to make antifreeze. This liquid raises the boiling point of the water, as well as lowering the freezing point.
We test the glycol levels by using a specialised coolant tester.
If levels are too low or too high, or there is excess charge going through the water (referred to as electrolysis – caused from a bad earth), then we’ll flush the fluid and perform a radiator service.
If bad earths are found, then your local Technician should also find and fix those!
As you can see, cooling problems can be quite complex, which is why it’s best to have your car looked over by a professional.