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Why it is important to have your car’s cooling system regularly serviced

Airport Auto Sales - Overheating is one of the leading causes of car breakdowns on the road, leaving you stranded and putting a lot

Overheating is one of the leading causes of car breakdowns on the road, leaving you stranded and putting a lot of strain on your transmission and engine. Engine overheating occurs when the cooling system fails. Taking good care of your used car can prevent costly breakdowns and system failures in the future.

The manufacturer of your car may recommend flushing it every year, and some used car owners manuals may suggest flushing and refilling your radiator every 24 months. Airport Auto Sales car care experts recommend changing the fluid in your engine cooling system every 24 months. By maintaining your cooling system, you can help prevent additional damage to other parts of your car and avoid costly unnecessary repairs. 


How Does Your Engine Cooling System Work?


Engine cooling systems comprise several components, including the engine block, thermostat, water pump, radiator, and radiator cap. A cooling system prevents an engine from overheating and, in cold climates, protects it from freezing. 

In the cooling system, a water pump circulates coolant through passageways in the engine block to absorb heat. Through a rubber hose, the hot coolant exits the car through the radiator at the front.  During the heat transfer through the coolant hose, the air stream entering the engine through the car grill cools the coolant. Once the coolant has cooled again, it is cycled back into the engine to absorb more heat. 

Radiator caps ensure the coolant doesn’t boil by maintaining pressure in the cooling system. If the coolant is under pressure, its boiling point will be higher. Coolant pressure is released by the radiator cap at higher temperatures to prevent the engine from overheating. 

Furthermore, coolant needs to be able to operate in freezing conditions without freezing. Today’s coolant consists of water and antifreeze, usually in equal parts. In cold temperatures, antifreeze prevents the coolant from freezing but also maintains the proper boiling point. If your engine has too much or too little antifreeze, severe problems can occur.


How to know if your car needs a cooling system service


Your car is overheating. The dashboard of your car has a temperature gauge that shows the engine’s temperature. When your temperature gauge identifies that your engine is running hot, pull over immediately so you can turn it off. The air vents can sometimes help release heat from an engine by sending heat through them. Wait until the engine has cooled before driving the vehicle again. Get the car checked out as quickly as possible by one of Airport Auto Sales car care experts.

Overheating can be an indication of a variety of cooling system problems, including a coolant leak or cracked hose. Your car’s engine and transmission can be seriously damaged by a faulty cooling system.

Leaking coolant. A coolant leak can occur when too much antifreeze is used in the engine to cool the water, or when a hose or tube breaks. Your car may be leaking coolant if you notice fluid puddling under it that is green, pink, or orange in color with a slightly sweet smell of antifreeze. 

It’s possible that a failure inside the engine is causing the coolant to burn off if you suspect you are losing coolant but there is no external leak. Coolant leaks can affect your vehicle’s emissions, so you should visit your Airport Auto Sales car care expert right away. 

Steam is escaping from the hood of your car. If steam starts escaping from your head as you drive, pull over right away.  A small amount of steam can indicate a slow coolant leak in your car. Getting a lot of steam from a hot engine is a sign of an overheated vehicle, and it could prove dangerous if it is not turned off. Your coolant system usually generates steam as the coolant boils. To avoid costly repairs in the future and to preserve the health of your engine, it’s best to have the issue resolved right away.


How often should a cooling system be serviced


If you experienced any one of those signs it’s best to visit your Airport Auto Sales certified car care experts right away. Otherwise it is recommended to have your car’s cooling system and radiator inspection at least every 12 months. And if you travel a lot with your used car, it’s important to inspect your system every 12,000 miles.


Why visit Airport Auto Sales to service your cooling system


Here at Airport Auto Sales we have 20 years of experience with selling used cars, buy here pay here and auto service & repairs the following locations: Fredericksburg, VA, Richmond, VA, Stafford, VA, Alexandria, VA, Woodbridge, VA, Alexandria, VA, Arlington, Fairfax, VA, Manassas, VA. Our certified technicians will properly evaluate your car and give you honest advice on what your used car’s needs are and a friendly competent service that will make you and your beloved car always running in its peak performance.

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