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Category Archives: Cooling System

Too Hot to Handle (Vehicle Overheating)

In the hot weather, seeing steam coming from the engine compartment is something we all dread.  No one wants that to happen to them. But if you know the signs of overheating and how to deal with it, you may be able to reduce the risk of damage to your vehicle, maybe even prevent getting stranded on the road. Besides the steam coming out of the engine compartment, here are a few signs of overheating.  Your vehicle has a heat gauge that may have a needle that can go into a red zone or up to the "H" (for High) position.  You may smell odors, perhaps a burning (could be hot oil) or a sweet smell (engine coolant leaking).  When you encounter any of those signs, you know you have to do something to keep the engine as cool as possible to avoid potentially catastrophic damage.  Turn off the air conditioning and turn up the heat.  While that last part may sound odd, it helps draw heat out of the engine.  If you can do it safely, pull off the road to a spot awa ... read more

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Cooling System

Keeping Your Engine Cool in San Diego, CA

The cooling system keeps CA vehicle's engines from overheating while they are driving around San Diego. Its job is to move heat away from the engine. Let's talk about the various components of the system and how they make this happen.The radiator is the part most San Diego drivers associate with the cooling system. Coolant flows through the radiator which has fine cooling fins that draw the heat out of the coolant and dissipate it into the air. To make sure there's enough airflow over the radiator, a fan pulls air over the cooling fins even when the vehicle is idling.In some vehicles, the fan is powered by the serpentine belt. On others, an electric motor runs the fan. Electric fans turn on and off as needed. You may have heard the fan kick on shortly after you turn your vehicle off. The sensor has determined that the engine needs a little help cooling down to a safe temperature.A hose connects the radiator to the water pump. The water ... read more

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Cooling System

Water Pump

Your cooling system is very important. It circulates coolant through the radiator and your engine to protect your vehicle from overheating. There are five main components to the cooling system: the radiator the radiator cap the hoses the thermostat the water pump The water pump's like the heart of your cooling system, circulating the fluid throughout your vehicle. It's a small pump that's driven by the engine; usually by belt, but sometimes by a chain or gear.The water pump only operates when the engine's running. Water pump failure is pretty routine. We see it often at Pacific Highway Auto Repair. Some start failing at around 40,000 miles/64,000 km, but most fail by 100,000 miles/160,000 km. Consult your owner's manual or friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Pacific Highway Auto Repair to see what's recommended.Since a water pump either works or it doesn't, you need to change it when it fails. Water pumps fail in one of two ways: the be ... read more

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Cooling System

Keep Your Cool in San Diego

San Diego drivers rely on their vehicle's coolant system to keep their engine cool. Coolant (also called antifreeze) mixed with water flows through your vehicle engine and absorbs heat. The mixture then flows out to the radiator where it's cooled by air flowing over the radiator. From there the coolant/water mix circulates back through the engine to absorb more heat.There's a reason we mix coolant and water. Water alone actually does a good job transferring heat from the engine. The problem is that water boils at a temperature that's easily reached inside your vehicle's engine, so it can turn to steam which does not conduct heat as well and is harder to contain.Also, if it's freezing outside in San Diego, the water in your engine could freeze while your vehicle is sitting out in the CA cold.So, if you remember your high school chemistry, you'll know that a mixture has both a higher boiling point and a lower freezing point than ei ... read more

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Cooling System

Coolant Service at Pacific Highway Auto Repair

San Diego residents' vehicles have to operate in a wide range of CA temperatures which requires the engine coolant to be able to perform 'no matter what.' Think for a moment about the environment where the coolant does its thing. Very hot, high pressure, corrosive...And all the while, it has to protect the components of the cooling system from corrosion. These components are made from steel and aluminum, plastics and rubber. The coolant has to be formulated to protect against corrosion for all of these different materials. That's why vehicle manufacturer’s recommend different types of anti-freeze for our San Diego, CA, vehicles.There are several different 'families' of anti-freeze available to us here in San Diego. Your owner's manual will tell you what kind you should use. Of course, the automotive professionals at Pacific Highway Auto Repair will know the right kind for your vehicle.It's important to stay on top of this because coolant system failure is the most ... read more

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Cooling System

Cooling System Components

Today we want to talk about a system in our vehicles – the cooling system. It's one of those things that San Diego auto owners don't give much thought to until it fails and then they're stranded by the side of a road in CA.Cooling systems fail more often than any other mechanical system – usually because of neglect. Don't you hate it when something breaks and you could have done something to prevent it?The good news is that if San Diego drivers take care of their cooling systems, they can keep working for the life of their car.Here at Pacific Highway Auto Repair in San Diego, we emphasize preventive maintenance services like replacing your coolant according to the factory schedule. But the various parts that make up the cooling system need attention too. The major components of the cooling system are the water pump, freeze plugs, the thermostat, radiator, cooling fans, the heater core, the pressure cap, the overflow tank and ... read more

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Cooling System

Cool Running in San Diego

Unless you live in Death Valley, you really don't hear much any more about cars overheating. That's because cooling systems in vehicles have been much improved. That doesn't mean you can't overheat your vehicle engine, though. Without proper preventive maintenance, you could still find yourself on the side of the road in San Diego waiting for your vehicle engine to cool down.When you service your cooling system at Pacific Highway Auto Repair, your technician will check the condition of the coolant. It can become corrosive over time, which can damage a radiator — leading to an overheated engine. Changing the coolant periodically is good vehicle care. Your vehicle owner's manual can give you guidelines on how often to replace it.If your engine overheated, your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor will also check your coolant system for leaks. Check the vehicle radiator ... read more

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Cooling System
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