We are promised a hot summer, so for those who have not yet figured out the operation of the cooling system, it’s time to do this!
- Why do I need an engine cooling system?
But everything is not so simple. The engine works completely correctly only in a certain temperature range – usually it is 80-110 degrees Celsius. The cooling system does not just cool, but maintains the temperature of the engine within these limits. In addition, it also serves as a source of heat for the car stove. So, in addition to overheating, it also saves the motor from the cold.
2. What happens with her faults?
Cooling system problems come in two flavors.
The first is overheating when the car signals you with a red light. You can’t continue moving in this case: you must either look for the cause yourself, or go on a tow truck to the place where specially trained people will do it.
The second option is to work “on the cold,” that is, when you got in the car in winter, started the engine, and immediately went off without really warming up the unit or the interior. In principle, this mode does not threaten the engine with instant death, but there is nothing good in it either – no one canceled the thermal deformations of the engine parts. Simply put, in a pre-warmed engine, the gaps between the rubbing parts are slightly different than in a warmed-up one, and may not be lubricated effectively enough. Yes, and the engine oil itself works optimally at the nominal engine temperature, and not at low.
3. How much coolant should be in the cooling system?
Typically, 8-10 liters of coolant (antifreeze) are poured into the system. But this is a figure that you are unlikely to encounter if you will not change it completely. But what is advisable to check from time to time is its level in the expansion tank. There are two marks on it – MIN and MAX. The coolant level must not be lower than the MIN mark on a cold engine.
4. What to do if the coolant periodically “leaves”?
It all depends on the frequency. If once a year for maintenance you see that the liquid level has gone just below the minimum (that is, you need to add half a liter-liter) – this is the norm. Top up and do not worry. But if you have to fill in these half-liter-liters once a month or more often – it’s time to look for a leak.
5. And what to add? Antifreeze (and what color) or antifreeze?
To begin with, we will solve the problem with confusion in terms. Antifreeze is not a kind of technical fluid. This is the brand under which antifreeze is produced. That is, once again, antifreeze is just one of the varieties of antifreeze.
Another question is about the colors of antifreeze. Here the answer is simple: the color of antifreeze is determined by the dye. And working qualities do not depend on color, but on the so-called tolerance. The antifreeze tolerance is some mysterious numbers with letters. The car manufacturer in the documentation for the car must write what tolerance must have antifreeze, poured into the cooling system. So if you have red antifreeze filled with G12 ++ approval, you can safely add green antifreeze to the system with the same tolerance – everything will work normally. Only the resulting brown color is a little upset – but this only affects the aesthetics.
6. Is it possible to fill water in the cooling system?
Yes. But very undesirable. Besides the fact that this is permissible only in the hot season, water will be very reluctant to live at a temperature of 110 degrees. Modern engines are designed specifically to work with antifreezes. So you can add water only in extreme cases – when, for example, a liter or two of liquid takes you a day, and it takes another month to travel (it happens after all). Then yes – in order not to go broke, you have to pour water. But only distilled! It is sold in parts stores and is inexpensive. In ordinary tap water contains all kinds of salts and other impurities that cause active corrosion of the cooling system channels. Once you have filled with tap water, after a while you run the risk of encountering a bunch of unpleasant surprises.
7. Do I need to change antifreeze?
Yes. This procedure is recommended by the manufacturer once every two or three years. Despite the fact that antifreeze contains additives that slow down corrosion, it still occurs. In addition, the antifreeze itself begins to lose its properties over the years. When replacing, not only the antifreeze itself is updated, but also those corrosion products that would otherwise accumulate are washed out of the system.
8. What other maintenance does the cooling system require??
In addition to flushing the system “inside” (with the replacement of antifreeze), it is necessary to monitor the condition of the radiator. He is clogged with dirt flying from the road, which eventually turns into a sort of “coat” that does not allow air to blow through the radiator and effectively cool the engine. To avoid this, it is advisable to flush the radiator from the outside once in the same couple of years: usually it is necessary to remove it and wash it with a sink under low pressure, so as not to damage.
9. In what cases should the cooling fan turn on?
The fan turns on even on an unheated machine if the air conditioner is working: in this case, it rotates at the first, reduced speed. This is the normal mode..
In addition, it will turn on at a second, high speed, if the engine temperature is close to maximum: it will cool the liquid, the temperature of the motor will drop by 10-20 degrees, and the fan will turn off the second speed. Then, when the motor warms up again to the upper working mark, the fan will turn on again. And so on – this is the normal operating mode.
The fan will turn on at a second speed on an unheated car or will constantly thresh on an unheated car if there are malfunctions in the cooling system that are fixed by the engine control unit (simply “the brains”) of the engine. For example, if a temperature sensor fails, the fan will preventively turn on for maximum airflow so that it is guaranteed not to overheat the engine.
10. Is it possible to drive if the cooling fan is faulty?
Oddly enough, in some cases it is possible. The fan draws air through the radiator grill onto the radiator itself, that is, when you drive, the incoming air stream cools the motor in the same way as the fan does. You just need to turn off the air conditioner – it generates excess heat, and without a fan, the incoming air flow may not be able to cope. In addition, in this case it is highly recommended not to make stops – as soon as you stop, the cooling disappears, and in a dead traffic jam the motor will “boil”.
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