Understanding Your Cooling System

your engine's cooling system is engineered to dissipate some of the heat generated from the engine during operation while maintaining an ideal operating temperature for best efficiency if it isn't kept in top working condition over heating inefficiency and winter freeze up can result all can cause serious damage so let's have a look at how the cooling system works and offer some general maintenance tips right here right now welcome to the auto zone D. I. Y. garage the cooling system regulates engine temperature by circulating a mixture of chemical coolant and water to the engine's water jackets and radiator when the heater valve is open the coolant circulates through the heater core as well apart moves the coolant at a predetermined rate through the engine where the heat is transferred to the coolant the cooler then passes through holes into the radiator which transfers heat to the atmosphere the pope might be driven directly off the engine or by means of an excess rebuilt on the two point three liter four cylinder in this two thousand eight Ford fusion the water pump is mounted on the engine block and driven by the excess rebuilt the cooling system prevents over heating which can result in engine damage but it also helps ensure that the engine is hot enough to be efficient a simple mechanical device the thermostat is charged with keeping the coolant at optimum temperature to enable quick engine warm up and efficient running the thermostat remains closed and prevent school it from circulating through the radiator until the engine has reached a specific temperature a radiator cap which might also be located on an expansion tank separate from the radiator is engineer to maintain a certain amount of pressure which helps prevent boil over a relief valve in the cap vets pressure for becomes excessive did you know all engine cooling products are not the same using the wrong types can cause serious problems the liquid that circulates through your engine is a mixture of water and cool it that prevents freezing and boil over coolant is commonly called anti freeze and it is usually based on ethylene glycol but the additives to help prevent corrosion and lubricate cooling system parts can differ conventional coolant is usually green or red in color variation employs different additives and is meant to last longer is dyed orange because the type of coolant specified for vehicles can very it's important that you add only the right product when topping off the cooling or revealing the system it's also critical that you not mix different types mixing Colette's will cause your original cool mint in the vehicle to default to the lesser of the two types combined for example if green call it is mixed with the long life coolant the benefits of the long life will be lost and then usually mix cool it takes on the properties of the green only your owner's manual can tell you what kind of cool it should be used in your car or just ask the experts at auto zone it's also important that you use the right proportion of water in coolant cure cooling doesn't provide as much protection against boil over asked as a mixture but if the proportion of Colin is too low the mixture can freeze when liquids freeze they expand and frozen coolant can crack the engine block or cylinder head and destroy the radiator a fifty fifty mix generally provides protection down to negative thirty four degrees Fahrenheit you can check the level the freeze protection your call it provides by measuring it's specific gravity with this tool which looks something like a small Turkey baster available at auto zone the tool can give you an approximate reading of your freeze protection the number of balls floating in the cooling indicates the degree of protection after making sure the engine is fully cool down we don't do the coolant reservoir crap or radiator cap and insert the probe to be into the tank squeezing the bald we draw fluid into the to to the indicated level testing the coolant in our fusions cooling system shows that it will provide freeze protection to at least a negative thirty four degrees Fahrenheit finally Kulick protection doesn't last forever an annual question refill is a good idea for cars with conventional green or red coolant of question feel should be performed whenever the system has been compromised either due to defective parts or maintenance that require the coolant system to be opened otherwise manufacture intervals should be followed as stated in the vehicle's owner's manual orange Coolidge which is sold at a couple of different trade names is meant to have an extended life and the flesh and refill period can be extended to two years some car manufacturers specify five year or one hundred and fifty thousand mile service interval for orange coolant but there is some controversy regarding those recommendations and some car owners claim that the long intervals have led to problems we recommend the flesh and refill every five years when using orange coolant and every two years when using green or red coolant flush and feel should also be performed whenever the system has been compromised either to defective parts or maintenance is that require the cooling system to be opened otherwise manufacture interval should be followed as stated in the vehicle's owner's manual the flush and refill is not difficult and AutoZone offers a kit that comes complete with instructions you'll also find a video in the AutoZone library that describes a process remember too that radiator and heated hoses don't last forever they become soft is subject to failure as the miles in years at up check them for signs of deterioration on a regular basis you'll find a video on the autos %HESITATION library that we show you how that completes our discussion of cooling system basics we hope this information helps if you decide to do the job yourself for more information about the cooling system or any other automotive service topic be sure to talk to the experts at auto zone get in the zone auto zone