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Want Fewer Auto Repairs? Maintain Your Coolant System

Maintenance

There are a lot of ways your car can break down and require auto repairs. You can avoid many of them by driving carefully, and making sure you keep your car maintained. Regular oil changes from a certified auto repair shop are a great way to keep your engine running smoothly, and will extend its useful life. Proper inflation of your car tires is another way you can get the best gas mileage while extending the time between tire replacements. These are just a few of the ways you can do something positive to keep your car running longer. Perhaps the most important way to avoid auto repairs is one that many motorists overlook: keeping your coolant system in tip-top shape.

Your Car's Engine Makes a Lot of Heat

An automobile engine produces a lot of power to move your car and your family down the road. In order to produce all that power, it also produces a lot of heat. Car manufacturers design your cooling system to constantly dissipate this heat into the air around your car, whether you're driving on the highway, or idling in your driveway. That's a demanding job. If you don't keep the cooling system maintained, it loses the ability to keep your engine at the optimum temperature. That's not one problem. It's the beginning of many problems.

Why Cooling Matters

When your car's engine runs hotter than it should, it affects it in many different ways. Proper cooling is essential for keeping your engine's lubrication working properly. When your car's engine heats up, your motor oil breaks down.

Your car's lubrication and cooling systems work together to dissipate heat. Your oil heats up rapidly from the friction inside your engine, transfers the heat to the engine block, which in turn transfers it the cooling system. Engine oil only lubricates properly if your engine is operating in a narrow range of temperatures. If the temp gets too high, the oil begins to break down, and isn't able to do its job properly. That leads to increased engine wear -- and increased auto repairs.

Many Parts Work Together To Cool Your Engine

Most motorists can identify the radiator on a car. That's only one of the important parts of your car's cooling system, however. Your car has dozens of cooling system components that work together to keep it working effectively. It's important to keep them all maintained to avoid trouble. Some of the more important parts are:

  • Radiator
  • Reserve Tank
  • Fan
  • Auxiliary Fan
  • Thermostat
  • Water Pump
  • Coolant Cap

Coolant fans are especially important. Some cars have more than one. Belt-driven fans blow air over the radiator to dissipate heat. Some cars also have an electric auxiliary fan. This is designed to augment the amount of cooling when your car isn't moving. Auto engineers make their cooling calculations based on the passage of air through the engine compartment that occurs naturally when you're moving along. When you're idling in traffic, that airflow stops. That's one of the reasons overheating is so common in bumper-to-bumper traffic. If your car runs hot when it's idling check to see if your fan belt is slipping, or if you have an auxiliary fan that needs attention.

Car Repairs Or Car Maintenance: Pick One

Not all car repairs are avoidable. Regular maintenance can help you avoid the vast majority. Every motorist can help themselves by paying attention to small details like tire inflation, coolant levels, and oil levels. Regular oil changes, tuneups, and other maintenance can extend the life of your car's engine almost indefinitely. In the Los Angeles area, visit West Coast Tire & Service for regular maintenance and expert auto repairs.