Cooling System Repair

The importance of a functioning cooling system cannot be overstated. A cooling system disruption or fault can result in total engine failure, something that can be remarkably expensive to remedy. Understanding how your cooling system works and why it needs service can save you significant amounts of money and vehicle downtime.

Here at Thompson Import Repair, we specialize in providing cooling system repairs and maintenance services for all makes and models. We’re conveniently located in Denver, and we’re proud to serve our neighbors throughout the metro area. If you’re looking to ensure that your cooling system is operating as it should, don’t hesitate to make an appointment, or swing by our Littleton auto shop. Or, if you’re further curious about your cooling system and what we can do to keep your engine optimally cool, continue reading to learn why cooling is critical for your engine, learn about common cooling system issues, and find answers to our most frequently asked questions.

Why Cooling Is Critical

During normal operation of the engine in your vehicle, there is a massive amount of heat that is generated due to the constant ignition of gasoline and the friction generated by multiple moving parts (rods, pistons, shafts, and gears). To prevent this heat from accumulating high enough to melt seals and warp engine components, a cooling system is necessary. A typical cooling system is composed of a radiator, water pump, antifreeze (or an antifreeze solution) and various hoses that route the antifreeze throughout the engine. As the engine generates heat, the cooling system helps to dissipate the heat and keep the engine at an optimal running temperature. If there is a leak somewhere in the cooling system, cooling efficiency drops and the engine can begin to overheat. Also, contaminants in the antifreeze itself can cause problematic metal corrosion. It’s for these reasons, among others, why vehicle manufacturers recommend having your cooling system inspected at set mileage intervals. Keeping your engine cool means keeping it running longer, healthier, and within temperature tolerances.

Common Cooling System Issues

Probably the most common symptom of a cooling malfunction is a climbing thermostat reading. If your engine is ‘running hot’, it is highly recommended that the cooling system be inspected for leaks or other issues.

You may also notice antifreeze leaking below your vehicle, or you may be hearing a hissing sound coming from your radiator. These are indications of leaks, and leaking cooling systems are near guaranteed to fail unless the leaks can be corrected fairly quickly. Another factor that may impact how well your cooling system works is the pH balance and level of coolant. A coolant pH that is too basic or too acidic means a flush and refill is in order, and a low coolant level will result in a steadily climbing engine temperature, even when the engine is idling.

To diagnose your cooling system issue, a Thompson Automotive ASE-certified technician will inspect your radiator, thermostat, water pump, antifreeze, and all hoses and connections. Once the problem is located, an expert service recommendation will be made. In addition to having professional mechanics on staff, we also perform a high-quality BG Cooling System Flush with every exchange. After all, work is performed, the cooling system will be topped off with antifreeze before being pressure tested for optimal functionality. We are Littleton CO‘s #1 choice for auto repair & service!

Radiator & Cooling System FAQ

Your thermometer gage on your dashboard is there for this very reason. Keep an eye on the temperature of your engine, and pull over if your car is anywhere near redlining (approaching the red line of the thermometer gage). If your vehicle redlines, then your engine is overheated to the point that it may be damaging itself.

Also, be wary that your vehicle’s engine temperature shouldn’t fluctuate much once it is warmed up. Take note of the average temperature for your engine, and any major fluctuations that occur while you’re driving. Fluctuations will cause your engine to expand and contract quickly, which can cause damage to various components throughout the engine.

If your engine is overheating, then you can warp the cylinders and bend the camshaft of your vehicle. You may even damage the timing belt (because of your camshaft), alongside other damage. Since all of these damages are rather preventable (and costly if you do happen to cause damage), it’s crucial to keep your engine from redlining if your cooling system isn’t working as it should. Again, if you notice that your gage shows that your engine is overheating while you’re on the road, pull over safely, and turn your engine off as soon as possible. Running on a redline can cause thousands in damage, and it can shorten the longevity of your vehicle’s engine in a matter of minutes. You may have to tow your vehicle to a mechanic shop if the engine overheats while you’re driving.

In most instances, a drain and fill should be sufficient to get your radiator and cooling system back in order. That said, you may want to flush your system (which actually cleans the pipe system that carries your antifreeze (or coolant, as it’s also called) through the engine and radiator). A flush will be necessary if your antifreeze is contaminated or gunked up. You may have transmission fluid or oil that makes its way into your cooling system, which will cause your system to get gunked up.

Yes. Consult your owner’s manual to find the best antifreeze solution for your specific make and model. Although coolant mixes are largely water and ethylene glycol based, antifreeze solutions can vary in their chemical makeup. Be sure to use the coolant suggested in your owner’s manual, and do not mix antifreeze solutions.

Your radiator or coolant reservoir should have min/max lines, indicating the appropriate coolant levels for your system. While the car is cool (do not perform a level check or top-off while the engine is hot), check the reservoir or radiator level to see if you are between the min/max lines. If you need to add more coolant, be sure to add it to the reservoir (do not add it to the radiator).

Stay Cool and Get Peace of Mind

Don’t run the risk of your engine overheating due to faulty cooling. Contact the pros at Thompson Automotive to schedule your appointment to have one of our technicians evaluate your vehicle’s cooling system. We serve all of Littleton and the Denver Metro area, and we’re looking forward hearing from you!