Cooling systems

A vehicle's cooling system works by removing excess heat from the engine preventing it from over heating and causing major engine issues. In a hot environment such as Australia it can be argued that your car's cooling system is one of the more important components of your car and thus it is vital to have it serviced regularly. This will maintain reliable performance and help avoid costly engine repairs.

Cooling system repairs

The expert team at Burwood Automotive and Exhaust will carefully examine and test each part of your cooling system and point out any areas that require work or replacement components.

How does the cooling system work?

Not all of the energy generated by your car from burning fuel is converted into mechanical energy. In fact less than a third of that energy is used as mechanical energy the rest is of it is converted into heat. Some of this heat energy is blown out of the exhaust but the rest ends up heating the engine itself. The cooling system in your car works by moving coolant through the engine, where it picks up the heat and then passes that heated coolant through the radiator, where the heat is then transferred to the surrounding air. It is important that the cooling system has enough cooling capacity to cool a car under extreme conditions whether its towing a caravan or trailer or because of extreme heat due to the weather. The cooling system must also maintain the correct temperature during both extreme heat as well as extreme cold.

Cooling system components

A car's basic cooling system is made up a few components, the radiator, radiator hoses, housings and connections, water pump, heater core, thermostat and a cooling fan. All of which serve a different purpose:

  • Radiator: Coolant that’s passed through the engine is then pumped through the radiator tubes, cooled off and continually recirculated through the system.
  • Radiator hoses and housings: Rubber hoses transfer the coolant fluid from one location to another and need to be checked regularly and replaced before they become brittle and cracked.
  • Water pump: This water pump circulates the coolant through the system. The pump is usually driven by either a drive belt or sometimes by the engine’s camshaft-timing belt. The water pump requires regular inspection for signs of corrosion, bearing operation and seal leaks.
  • Thermostat: The thermostat controls the coolant circulation rate to ensure your engine maintains a constant operating temperature. If the thermostat fails to operate correctly, it could cause increased engine wear, poor fuel economy or even an overheated engine – resulting in costly repairs.
  • Electric cooling fan: Electric fans are used for either primary or added cooling. The fan draws air through the radiator when you aren't moving fast enough to maintain the optimum engine operating temperature. You’ll often hear the fan when parked in traffic or when the air-conditioning is switched on, as the cooling system requires constant air movement to operate efficiently.

The warning signs

Some of the signs that there are problems with your cooling system include:

  • Car overheats (see engine temperature gauge).
  • Puddle of (greenish or brownish) cooling fluid under the car.

Does your cooling system need to be checked?

Contact the friendly team at Burwood Automotive & Exhaust on (03) 9888 7000 or send us an email and talk to us about how we can help you.

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