Modern engines are a marvel of engineering; however they have one huge enemy – heat. Excessive heat can destroy seals, damage delicate components and turn that finely tuned performance machine into a gigantic paperweight. Your cooling system is one area of the vehicle you cannot afford to ignore.
To protect your engine and other critical components your vehicle is equipped with a cooling system. The main components that comprise the cooling system are the radiator, water pump, thermostat and coolant hoses. If any one of these pieces fail, coolant leaks are likely to occur and insufficient coolant in the system will cause the car to overheat.
The Radiator has the important job of cooling the hot coolant. The combination of air passing over the outside of the radiator and the radiator fan blowing air on the radiator cool down the liquid as it moves along its path.
The Thermostat is located where the fluid leaves the engine. It measures the temperature of the coolant and either directs it back to the water pump or down to the radiator.
The Water Pump keeps coolant circulating through the system. Coolant flows from the radiator to the water pump which drives it through channels in the engine block. The thermostat then redirects the coolant depending on how hot the coolant is to continue the cycle.
The radiator hoses are the means by which coolant passes through the vehicle. Cooled coolant flows out one side passes through the engine compartment pulling heat from various components before returning to the radiator to be cooled.
Coolant hoses are made of rubber and the constant heating and cooling along with the normal passage of time can cause the rubber to break down. This can result in leaks or in some cases major bursts causing coolant to shoot out in an unsafe manner. Most manufacturers recommend radiator hose replacement every 5-7 years as a preventive maintenance measure to keep the car from ending up on the side of the road or damage to engine components from coolant getting into sensitive electrical or mechanical parts.
Over time the heating and cooling cycle causes the fluid to break down and it no longer protects your engine the way it should. This can lead to corrosion and leaks both of which can result in expensive repairs.
Replacing your coolant periodically is an excellent way to prevent future cooling system problems. When you do a coolant flush, it clears the system of the old coolant, precipitants and other debris that may have made its way into the system.