Sum­mer cooling sys­tem check

Motor Equipment News - - NEWS -

The mod­ern cooling sys­tem con­sists of mul­ti­ple parts to deal with the tremen­dous heat gen­er­ated by to­day’s en­gines. The pri­mary job of the cooling sys­tem is to pre­vent the en­gine from over­heat­ing and thus avoid cat­a­strophic en­gine dam­age.

Any­thing that de­creases the sys­tem’s abil­ity to ab­sorb, trans­port and dis­si­pate heat can cause the en­gine to op­er­ate at re­duced ef­fi­ciency or even over­heat. This can in­clude things like kinked hoses, a cor­roded water pump or even a worn pres­sure cap. There­fore it’s vi­tal that each com­po­nent of the sys­tem is main­tained at the high­est level of per­for­mance and ef­fi­ciency. These com­po­nents in­clude: The heater core – uses the hot coolant to gen­er­ate hot air to heat the car in­te­rior. The ra­di­a­tor – cools off the hot coolant through the process of heat dis­si­pa­tion. The ex­pan­sion tank – stores the coolant re­serve and ac­com­mo­dates the changes in coolant vol­ume as the coolant goes through its cy­cle of heat­ing up (ex­pand­ing in vol­ume) and cooling down (re­duc­ing in vol­ume) by hold­ing ex­panded coolant from the cooling cir­cuit. The fan – draws ex­ter­nal fresh air onto the ra­di­a­tor as nec­es­sary to as­sist in heat dis­si­pa­tion. The ther­mal switch – op­er­ates with the coolant tem­per­a­ture vari­a­tion and switches on the fan as nec­es­sary to sup­port the cooling by air­flow. The cooling sys­tem hoses – carry the coolant through the en­tire cir­cuit. The coolant acts as ei­ther an en­gine-cooling or in­te­rior-heat­ing source, de­pend­ing on the part of the cir­cuit it is in. Pos­si­ble sources of dam­age to hoses can in­clude elec­tro­chem­i­cal degra­da­tion (in­ter­nal dam­age), leak­age, heat, ozone, abra­sion and oil con­tam­i­na­tion, and any dam­age can in­hibit the flow of coolant, caus­ing the cooling sys­tem to fail. The ther­mo­stat – reg­u­lates the coolant flow to ob­tain and main­tain the op­ti­mum en­gine op­er­at­ing tem­per­a­ture. Pos­si­ble sources of dam­age to the ther­mo­stat in­clude leak­age from the mount­ing sur­face, rust and cor­ro­sion, build-up of sludge and de­posits that clog the ther­mo­stat and, in the case of map-con­trolled ther­mostats, elec­tri­cal mal­func­tion. Ther­mostats can fail in one of two ways:

If the ther­mo­stat be­comes stuck in the open po­si­tion, there is a con­tin­u­ous flow of coolant into the ra­di­a­tor, caus­ing the en­gine to run cold. Over­cooled en­gines run in­ef­fi­ciently lead­ing to in­creased fuel con­sump­tion and emis­sions, and faster en­gine wear. Ad­di­tion­ally, the car in­te­rior won’t heat up prop­erly.

If the ther­mo­stat be­comes stuck in the closed po­si­tion, the cir­cu­la­tion of the coolant back to the ra­di­a­tor for cooling is blocked and the en­gine be­comes over­heated. The water pump – con­stantly cir­cu­lates the coolant through­out the en­tire cooling cir­cuit, reg­u­lat­ing the coolant flow rate. Dam­age to the water pump can con­tam­i­nate coolant and im­pede its flow, caus­ing the en­gine to over­heat. Sources of dam­age to water pumps in­clude leak­age from the weep hole, leak­age from the mount­ing sur­face, rust and cor­ro­sion, build-up of de­posits, cav­i­ta­tion (bub­bles of vapour in the coolant that col­lapse, pock­mark­ing the pump’s com­po­nents which then cor­rode), and a dam­aged shaft or bear­ings. The ra­di­a­tor cap and the ex­pan­sion tank cap – seal off the fill­ing hole of the ra­di­a­tor/ex­pan­sion tank gastight; en­sure that the pre­scribed pres­sure on the sys­tem is main­tained at all times dur­ing op­er­a­tion by al­low­ing air to es­cape in case of over­pres­sure. The caps should be con­sid­ered the “safety valve” of the cooling sys­tem, and as such kept in good con­di­tion. Com­mon prob­lems can in­clude a cracked, age hard­ened or dam­aged seal, a failed pres­sure re­lief valve, or a failed vac­uum re­lief valve – all of which can cause the sys­tem to lose pres­sure, lead­ing to coolant boil­ing and an over­heated en­gine.

Gates of­fers OE-qual­ity so­lu­tions to all of these po­ten­tial is­sues, en­sur­ing that when fit­ted with Gates prod­ucts, your ve­hi­cle al­ways runs to man­u­fac­turer’s spec­i­fi­ca­tions.

Gates is one of Aus­tralia and New Zealand’s lead­ing sup­pli­ers of cooling sys­tem com­po­nents and a true cooling sys­tem ex­pert. From a wide range of curved, flex­i­ble and straight hoses for all pur­poses and con­nec­tions to highly ac­cu­rate ther­mostats, water pumps, pre­cise pres­sure con­trol ra­di­a­tor and ex­pan­sion tank caps and even down to the gas­kets, bolts and flush­ing tools you re­quire, we’ve got your to­tal cooling sys­tem needs cov­ered.

Gates rec­om­mends that pre­ven­tive main­te­nance is car­ried out at each ser­vice. All com­po­nents of the cooling sys­tem should be checked for wear and dam­age, as out­lined above, and any dam­aged parts re­placed im­me­di­ately to avoid worst case sce­nar­ios. As well as sav­ing your cus­tomer time and money, this is also good news for you as it im­proves cus­tomer sat­is­fac­tion lev­els with your work­shop and keeps your cus­tomers com­ing back.

For more in­for­ma­tion on any of these is­sues and for a com­plete trou­ble shoot­ing guide, in­clud­ing re­place­ment guide­lines, go to www.GatesAus­tralia.com.au/Cool­ingMan­ual.

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