Imagine taking your car up to the hills in the summer to take a break from the sun and scorch, but before you hit those winding mountain roads, the engine overheats and breaks down. The engine is possibly facing nearly 250 degrees during the summer because of combusting fuel in its cylinders and the friction created by moving machinery.
It is for such exigencies that you may have purchased car insurance online, but caring for your vehicle will prevent you from getting caught in an unpleasant situation. Whilst getting car insurance using the car insurance calculator is easy, taking care of your car is equally important. You must ensure the maintenance of your engine cooling system to avoid being stranded without help in an unfamiliar place.
What Keeps Your Engine Cool
Most cooling systems used in cars nowadays are liquid-based and consist of a thermostat, hoses, coolant, radiator and water pump. Here’s how they work:
- The coolant is often a mixture of water and ethylene glycol, which works as antifreeze. It helps prevent freezing of the engine while also lubricating the water pump. Modern vehicles, however, use organic additive technology (OAT). The coolant resists the formation of rust and scale on the cooling system.
- The job of the water pump is to keep the coolant flowing from the radiator to the engine and back. It is driven by either a timing or fan belt. It comprises a shaft with a pulley and pump rotor on either end.
- The radiator lowers the temperature of the hot coolant. It has thin channels through which air flows to cool the coolant. Radiators are often installed in the front of the engine where airflow is high. The air is also kept moving using a fan if the car stops.
- The coolant’s flow is controlled by the thermostat. It opens to keep the coolant flowing, thereby cooling down the engine, and closes to shut off the flow in low temperatures to raise it to an optimum level. The thermostat can get stuck in one of these positions, cooling or heating the engine to a degree that it affects the car’s performance.
- Coolant is carried from radiator to water pump, and engine to the radiator, in rubber hoses. These should remain flexible and not become dry or cracked.
How to Keep Engine Cool
Even after painstakingly choosing the right plan using a car insurance calculator, and paying an insurance premium, you should ensure that your vehicle is kept maintained all year round. Here’s how you can ensure the upkeep of your engine:
- To see if the coolant is leaking, check under the car and monitor its levels as this could spell trouble in the future
- Ensure that all hoses and belts are in optimum condition
- Flush out the coolant every five years because it gets rid of corrosion build-up
- Change the coolant every two or three years and check its freeze point with an anti-freeze tester
- Replace worn out radiator cap rubber seals
- If your engine is strained, turning off the AC can help cool it down in sweltering heat. Alternatively, you can try turning the heat on, which will direct it away from the engine
- Revving up the engine in neutral can aid in increasing the water and air movement through the radiator
- If you feel that the temperature is rising continuously despite all efforts while you are driving, pull over, open the hood and let the engine cool.