Automotive Tips

Keeping Track of Cooling System Maintenance

Technician_Car_1Many vehicle service centers, including Jiffy Lube locations in Southern California, notice that vehicle owners forget to have their cooling system checked on schedule. In fact, a recent AAA survey found 77% of vehicle repair shops interviewed said motorists “frequently” skipped this important service. So in this article, we discuss the most common causes of overheated engines and explain why a cooling service can help avoid them.

General Cooling System Service Guidelines

For many vehicles, the usual cooling system maintenance interval is every two years or 24,000 miles. For newer vehicles, the usual interval increases to five years or 50,000 miles. The vehicle’s owner’s manual will detail the manufacturer’s recommended schedule.

The Top 7 Reasons for an Overheated Engine

  1. Low Coolant Fluid Level:
    Coolant fluid reduces over time. If the coolant gets too low, there will not be enough fluid to stop overheating from occurring.
  2. Coolant Leaks:
    Leaks in a coolant system can leave an engine dangerously overheated. One of the most common causes for a leak is a worn or burst hose.
  3. Poor Radiator Performance:
    Radiator grills get clogged with bugs and debris. Radiator fans break. Internal passages get blocked. Any of these radiator issues will cause the engine to run hot.
  4. Water Pump Malfunctions:
    The water pump provides pressure to the cooling system. If it breaks, coolant will not flow to the engine.
  5. Exhaust System Damage:
    If a vehicle’s exhaust flow gets restricted, heat will build up inside the engine. The two most common exhaust issues are catalytic converter breakdowns and crimped exhaust pipes.
  6. Thermostat Failure:
    An engine thermostat should open when the engine runs. If it remains closed due to a malfunction, coolant will not flow into the engine.
  7. Heightened Engine Friction Caused by Low Oil Levels:
    One of the main duties of engine oil is to reduce heat by reducing friction throughout the engine. If a vehicle has dangerously low oil levels, friction will increase and temperatures will rise.

The Best Way to Prevent an Engine from Overheating

Keep your vehicle properly maintained such as the following:

  • Regular oil changes
  • Top off radiator fluid on a regular basis
  • Check hoses and belts for leaks and replace as needed
  • Flush and change your radiator fluid at regular intervals

To stay on top of engine overheating issues, bring your vehicle to us for a Cooling System Service on your manufacturer’s recommended schedule. And if that owner’s manual is long gone, we can look up the interval recommended for your make and model of vehicle.  During this quick, efficient service, we remove the old coolant and replace it with the appropriate new coolant for your vehicle. This will not only keep your engine cool, but will also refresh the additives in the fluid that fight rust and corrosion that may pollute the system.

For More Information

Interested in learning more? Our previous blog articles explain how a vehicle’s cooling system works and the safest ways to deal with an overheated engine.


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