Question & Answers - Car Engine Cooling System – Mr Parts ©
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Question & Answers - Car Engine Cooling System

Posted by Auto Surgeons on

What are the Main Components of a Car Engine Cooling System? 

The main components of your car engine cooling system consist of the thermostat; the water pump; the radiator; the hoses and clamps; the engine's serpentine belt that turns the water pump (at one time it would have turned the fan too, but fans are now electronic), any intercoolers; the heater system for the passenger cab as it has its own radiator core and set of doors that provide heating and defrosting; and the coolant overflow tank. Although the cooling system seems relatively straightforward and easy to diagnose, it is one of the most complicated and important systems under the hood of your car.

What is the Main Reason for a Car Radiator Overheating?

The major reason for car radiator overheating is that there is some sort of blockage or problem with the cooling system that prevents the coolant from reaching the radiator to release its heat. It may be a problem with a non-working thermostat, or it may be that your car's radiator system is full of dirt and other things that may be causing bottlenecks. On a simpler note, it may be that your car's fan isn't working, or in conjunction with the water pump, so the antifreeze/coolant is sitting. Not moving and not dissipating heat. 

Can I Use Just Water Instead of Wanting to Buy Engine Coolant?

You need to buy engine coolant and cannot use just engine coolant on its own for several reasons. You must buy antifreeze/coolant for maximum protection. First and foremost, water freezes in the winter and you can easily end up with a frozen cooling system that might damage your vehicle. Further, antifreeze/coolant is meant to not only work under the pressure of a cooling system (six or eight PSI), but also at a 50:50 mix for maximum protection. Water alone cannot do that. Plus antifreeze/coolant often have sealers and things floating around, in case pinhole leaks develop in your car's cooling system and this gives you instant protection. You can trust any of the major brands.

How Much can the Average Engine Coolant Tank Hold?

On average, the engine coolant tank can hold between 4 or 6 liters of liquid or 1.06 gallons of antifreeze/coolant to 1.92 gallons in some of the bigger cooling systems. Which vehicles have this type of cooling system? There are three-quarter-ton trucks with this capacity. Vehicles such as the Chevy Tahoe/GMC Yukon and even Toyota's Tundra pickup fit this category. The importance of this cannot be understated, as you must use a 50-50 mix of water and antifreeze/coolant for maximum protection in the cold (down to 25 below F) and the same in the heat (up to 290 F) under the hood.


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(Credit to: - CarsDirect)

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  • I have to say this is the best post I’ve ever read, WORD for WORD!! Wow, you’ve hit the nail on the head with this one! You hit every bit of anxiety I’m feeling. Thanks, i would be checking back on your site for regular updates.

    Gideon Agware on

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