SERVING ENGLEWOOD AND DENVER, COLORADO
It’s a simple problem, but overheating is the most common cause of breakdowns on the road. If you want to avoid ending up stuck on the side of the road waiting for a ride or a tow, you need to make sure your radiator and cooling system is functioning properly. And overheating is more than a temporary problem. If your car overheats, it can lead to permanent damage to the engine. Engine components can warp, soften, or melt, resulting in the need for major repairs.
If your car has been overheating recently, or you know it’s time for a radiator repair, please call us or schedule an appointment online at Auto Lab in Englewood, CO today.
Signs of Radiator Problems
Checking your radiator and cooling systems is part of scheduled maintenance, but you should watch for the following signs of radiator problems:
- Vehicle overheating
- Coolant or temperature light comes on
- Temperature gauge reads high or low
- Heater doesn’t work
- A green fluid on the ground or the engine
- A sweet smell coming from the engine
- Smoke or steam coming from the engine
If you see these signs, you should see a mechanic about possible radiator problems.
The Importance of Your Cooling System
Your car’s engine runs by making tiny explosions that may occur at a temperature up to 2000° F. Without active cooling, the car engine would simply melt. Although it’s unlikely that your engine will ever reach that point, your car can overheat to the point that it will cause damage. Your head gasket is one of the more common components to fail. This gasket keeps the gasoline part of your engine sealed against the water of the cooling system. The head gasket is an expensive repair.
With a failed head gasket, antifreeze can leak into the engine, which can cause warped cylinders. When your cylinders are warped, the piston won’t be able to move in them, and the engine will cease to function properly. Sometimes this is such an expensive fix, it may cost more than your car is worth.
How Your Cooling System Works
The coolant in your engine is a liquid mixture of water and antifreeze, a green liquid that is able to absorb a lot of heat and resist both boiling and freezing. This liquid sits in a reservoir when not needed, but when the engine is running a pump (powered by your serpentine belt) draws the liquid out and pushes it through your engine.
The liquid absorbs heat from your engine, then it is sent through your radiator, which is basically a bunch of thin channels that allow a lot of air to pass over the liquid. When your car is moving, some air passes over the radiator naturally, but there is also a fan that speeds the movement of air over your radiator. This cools the liquid off, and it is then sent back into the engine to absorb more heat. A thermostat controls the rate of cooling for your car.
Cooling System Repairs
The type of repair your cooling system needs depends on the problems that are leading to overheating. Some common cooling system repairs include:
- Flushing the cooling system
- Replacing serpentine belt
- Replacing radiator
- Replacing radiator hoses
- Replacing thermostat
- Replacing pumps
- Replacing sensors
- Replacing serpentine belts
After a comprehensive look at your engine’s status, we will determine which repairs are needed in your engine.
To have us look over your radiator or cooling system, please schedule an appointment at Auto Lab in Englewood, CO.