Cooling systems in today’s vehicles are changing in many ways, from electronic water pumps to new additives in your antifreeze to better protect your engine. We are sold the idea of “lifetime” coolant but the reality is, servicing your cooling system has become just as important as changing your oil on a regular basis. At BJ’s Automotive, we believe in educating our customers about their vehicle’s needs and forming a common sense preventative maintenance plan.
The basics of how your cooling system operates are still the same. The radiator is at the front of the vehicle and directs outside air through its passageways to cool the antifreeze. The water pumps push the coolant through the entire cooling system. The thermostat allows coolant to stay circulating within the engine block until the engine reaches operating temperature, before allowing it to flow through the radiator. The heater core is like a mini radiator in which it takes heat from the coolant and directs it into the passenger compartment with the help of a blower motor. Then there are the hoses which carry the antifreeze from one area of the cooling system to another.
Antifreeze technology has come a long way in the last ten years. Coolants are no found in a variety of different colors and have many new additives in them that better coat the inside of your engine for better protection. As of 2008, there are as many as 12 different types of coolants that are used in vehicles today, each having their own unique chemistry inside. ALWAYS consult your owners manual before topping off your fluids! Contamination is the number one root cause of cooling system failures.