Cooling System Flush

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Colling System Diagram

Cooling System 6 Items for Proper Cooling System Operation

 

Radiator Cap

Warning!! (Never open a radiator cap while the engine is hot) The radiator may contain boiling liquids that are under pressure, always use caution when opening.

Radiator CapThe importance of the radiator cap can not be over stressed. It's proper operation is critical to the safe operation of your vehicle's engine.

As the pressure increases, the boiling point of water also increases. The benefit of being able to raise the pressure in the cooling system is that, for every pound of pressure created in the cooling system, the boiling point of the water is raised by 3 degrees. This allows the engine to be operated at a higher temperature at which it operates more efficiently. (Better fuel economy)

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Testing the Radiator Cap

Rad Cap Pressure TesterThis is a critical component that should be inspected every six months to make sure that it is operating properly.

It has been our experience that 6 out of 10 cars tested fail one of the following:

Testing the rad cap is an simple operation, however, it requires a special tool.

Note: This is not a tool that you should purchase as you may take your vehicle to almost any facility and they will inspect the rad cap and pressure test it for free.

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Thermostat

ThermostatThe thermostat is a fairly simple device, never the less an important one. Just like the thermostat in your home keeps you at a comfortable temperature, this one keeps your engine operating efficiently and safely.

The thermostat performs 3 key functions:

Failure of the thermostat:

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Fan Operation

Whether you have an older vehicle with a belt driven constant drive fan, a newer vehicle with a clutch fan, or possibly an electrically controlled fan, they all do the same job. They aid in the transferring of heat from the radiator while the vehicle is not in motion. The radiator must dissipate the heat that is created in the engine. This requires air flow. While the vehicle is being propelled down the road at highway speed, it has a natural flow of air and does not require fan operation during those periods.

Airflow

Damage radiator finsIt is important to remember that all the heat created during the combustion process, is now transferred into the antifreeze. It is then circulated by the water pump to the radiator where the accumulated heat, has to be dissipated somehow. In order to transfer the heat from the radiator core to the air, the air has have free air flow to be able to surround the fins.
Any bent fins or bugs, leaves and general debris, restricts the air flow.

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Corrosion (What Kills Radiators)

Warning!! (Never open a radiator cap while the engine is hot) The radiator may contain boiling liquids that are under pressure, always use caution when opening.

Picture of a plugged up radiator coreWhen you remove the cap, you may notice varying of sludge build-up. Corrosion is the major cause of build-up of sludge in the radiator.
Radiators are usually made of metal, however, most of the newer vehicles are using plastic tanks. Over time, antifreeze degrades and starts loosing its protective qualities. As PH levels go down, corrosion begins. Once this begins, rust, sludge and scale builds up throughout the entire cooling system. This includes the radiator, engine block, water pump, heater core, heads and gaskets. The sludge can interrupt the proper flow of the coolant, also scale build up reduces the ability of the engine to dissipate heat. The result of this is it may cause the engine to become overheated.

Overheating the engine may lead to very expensive engine repairs.

Your car's radiator and cooling system needs to be clean to be cool. Make sure that you exchange your antifreeze before corrosion takes over.

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Changing Antifreeze

Coolant Ratio Mix
Mix Ratio Freezing Point

Boiling Point

Without Rad cap

Boiling Point

With 15 Lb. Rad cap

50% antifreeze / 50% water -34 Deg F. +220 Deg F. +265 Deg F.
60% antifreeze / 40% water -61 Deg F. +225 Deg F. +270 Deg F.
70% antifreeze / 30% water -84 Deg F. +231 Deg F. +276 Deg F.
 

The ratio that you mix antifreeze and water should never be less than 50% nor greater than 70%.
At this point adding additional antifreeze, has a detrimental effect on the heat transfer capabilities of the antifreeze.

We believe the ideal coolant strength is when you mix 60% water with 40% ethylene glycol.

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Electrolysis

Damaged Head GasketThe importance of good clean antifreeze with corrosion inhibitors is important. It is these additives that protect your vehicle from damage within. Any time that you expose two dissimilar metals in a solution, a voltage is produced.
This is the same manner in which a battery creates voltage but the key is to keep the solution from becoming acidic. That is the purpose of the corrosion inhibitors.

Over time the inhibitors start to deteriorate actually developing an electric charge. This voltage is small at first but continues to grow over time. With the proper equipment this voltage can be measured.

The damaged caused by electrolysis is ruthless. It slowly but continuously eats away any metal parts exposed to the solution.
It damages the:

A simple test can be made to discover the potential damage.
This requires a DMM or (Digital Multi-Meter.)
This meter is very inexpensive to purchase or you can have your local auto technician do it for you. (If you talk nice they might do it for you free of charge)

Anything less than .10 volts is OK.
Anything above .20 volts is excessive and should be addressed as soon as possible to prevent any unnecessary damage.

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