Oil Changers

Servicing Tips - Cooling System


Keep Your Cool

2016-10-27 07:00:03

All drivers rely on their car's coolant system to keep their engine cool. Coolant (also called antifreeze) mixed with water flows through your vehicle engine and absorbs heat. The mixture then flows out to the radiator where it's cooled by air flowing over the radiator. From there the coolant/water mix circulates back through the engine to absorb more heat.

There's a reason we mix coolant and water. Water alone actually does a good job transferring heat from the engine. The problem is that water boils at a temperature that's easily reached inside your vehicle's engine, so it can turn to steam which does not conduct heat as well and is harder to contain.

Also, if it's freezing outside in, the water in your engine could freeze while your vehicle is sitting out in the cold.

So, if you remember your high school chemistry, you'll know that a mixture has both a higher boiling point and a lower freezing point than either component alone.

Coolant, or antifreeze, is specially formulated to keep your engine safe in a wide range of environmental and operating temperatures.

Whenever your vehicle is running, the coolant in the cooling system is working to keep your engine from overheating. When it's cold outside, the coolant acts as antifreeze to keep the fluid from freezing in your engine.

All that exploding fuel in your engine creates a lot of heat. Without coolant, the metal vehicle engine parts would expand so much that the engine would seize up and stop running. The parts could be broken or warp so badly they would have to be replaced. It could even be so bad that the whole vehicle's engine is ruined and has to be junked.

This is why it is critical that drivers check coolant levels frequently and have their vehicle cooling system inspected for leaks. Also your vehicle has a maintenance requirement for draining and replacing your coolant. These recommendations can vary widely, so check your owner's manual or ask us at Oil Changers.

The reason coolant needs to be changed is that it has additives in it to protect the cooling system. As you can imagine, with all the heat, the cooling system's a pretty harsh environment. The additives keep the fluid from becoming corrosive and damaging the radiator and other vehicle cooling system components. Over time, the additives are depleted and the coolant should be replaced.

Oil Changers
PO Box 16686 Hornby
New Zealand 8441
03 3442374


Coolant/Antifreeze Service

2015-01-28 12:00:00

Anyone that drives a car knows that engines get hot when they run. But did you know that engines need to be cooled to keep running? Heat inside an engine can cause the metal parts to expand, which can seize up an engine and make it stop running. It can even ruin the entire engine! Good car care requires keeping your vehicle cooling system in good condition.

A vehicle's cooling system circulates water and antifreeze (coolant) through the engine where it absorbs heat. It then flows to the radiator where the water and antifreeze are cooled by the air that flows over the radiator. Then it circulates back into the vehicle's engine to absorb more heat.

Why shouldn't car owners just use water? Because water boils at temperatures that are often reached inside of an engine. Steam won't cool your vehicle engine and is hard to contain within the cooling system. The antifreeze keeps the water from boiling.

So why do we call it antifreeze? Shouldn't it be antiboil? Truth is, the antifreeze performs another critical task. Water freezes in cold weather. That would spell disaster for your vehicle's engine, so antifreeze also keeps the water in your cooling system from freezing in all but the most extreme cold. Pretty neat stuff!

Taking care of your cooling system is part of good preventive maintenance for your vehicle. Drivers should check the coolant level often and regularly inspect your cooling system for leaks.

That is just good auto advice. Your vehicle's manufacturer has maintenance requirements for draining and replacing engine coolant. Consult your owner's manual or ask your friendly and knowledgeable Oil Changers service advisor for these recommendations, as they vary widely between manufacturers.


Oil Changers
PO Box 16686 Hornby
New Zealand 8441
03 3442374

www.oilchangers.co.nz


Water Pumps and what they do.

2011-12-20 12:00:00

Your cooling system is very important. It circulates coolant through the radiator and your engine to protect your car from overheating. There are five main components to the cooling system:

  • the radiator
  • the radiator cap
  • the hoses
  • the thermostat and
  • the water pump

The water pump's like the heart of your cooling system, circulating the fluid throughout your vehicle. It's a small pump that's driven by the engine; usually by a belt.


The water pump only operates when the engine's running and failure is pretty common. We see it often at Oil Changers. Some can even start failing at around 60,000 kilometers, but most will normally fail by 150,000 kilometers. Consult your owners' manual or friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Oil Changers to see what's recommended.

Since a water pump either works or it doesn't, you need to change it when it fails. Water pumps fail in one of two ways: the bearings fail or they begin to leak. It's possible to have a leak from a cracked water pump, but it usually leaks at the gasket where it attaches to the engine.

So how can drivers tell when the water pump is failing? If you can hear a low-pitched grinding sound coming from the water pump – it's got a problem. If you can see coolant in that area or under the vehicle when parked up, you've got a leak.

Some water pumps are driven off the timing belt. They might be under a plastic cover so you won't be able to see the water pump so look for coolant on the driveway. If you see some, have Oil Changers check it out.

Most timing belts need to be changed at 100,000 kilometers – some longer and some even shorter. Most manufacturers also specify a time interval for changing the belt and associated parts so if you are unsure or your car has reached 5 years old (or 5 years since its last timing belt change) then your should consider getting it changed. You can also talk to your Oil Changers service adviser and they will let you know whether your timing belt could need attention. It's a good idea to change your water pump at the same time especially if it's one of those that's driven off the timing belt. To start with, 90% of the work's already done with the timing belt change and if you don't, and the water pump develops a leak later, you'll have to change the belt again along with the water pump because the belt will have been contaminated by the leaking coolant.

Your local Oil Changers can recommend a reputable Automotive Mechanic that will be able to replace your failed water pump with a brand new one. Don't feel too bad if your water pump gives out. They will all wear out eventually. We can help get you back on the road and on with your life.

Oil Changers
PO Box 16686 Hornby
New Zealand 8441
03 3442374

www.oilchangers.co.nz