Don’t Overheat this Summer
With the summer heat sending temperatures in St. Louis through the roof, knowing how to assess the overall health of your vehicle is a vital part of making sure everyone remembers this year’s summer trip for all the right reasons.
At Axleboy, we’ve noticed that summer is one of the busiest times of year at our auto shop. “Why is that,” you might ask? We believe that most major engine problems start with minor issues in the cooling system, and that many of those minor problems go undiagnosed during the fall, winter and spring months.
Rich White, executive director of the Car Care Council advises:
“Neglecting your cooling system can result in serious damage and even complete engine failure, which would put a sudden end to your summer road trip. If the cooling system doesn’t receive regular maintenance, it’s not a question of whether it will fail, but rather when it will fail. Performing regular checkups of belts, hoses, the water pump and fluids will ensure your car remains properly cooled and healthy for many miles down the road.”
Under normal driving conditions, most engine temperatures fluctuate between 190 and 215°F. If the engine cooling system isn’t working just right, those temperatures can soar, causing a multitude of malfunctions.
Symptoms of a Sick Cooling System
To help prevent coolant-related breakdowns this summer, pay close attention to these common symptoms before you hit the road: frequent overheating, constantly low coolant levels and the sweet smell of syrup. All of these are symptoms of a sick cooling system that should receive immediate mechanical attention.
According to the Car Care Council, “A major factor that affects the replacement of cooling system parts is the frequency of regular maintenance, such as coolant changes.” We advise motorists to follow the service schedule in their owner’s manual for specific recommendations about how often to change antifreeze and flush the coolant system (typically every couple of years). These schedules are formulated by the manufacturer to optimize engine performance and reliability.
In addition, motorists should regularly (like once a month) check the coolant levels at the reservoir and top off as needed. The reservoir can be topped off with a 1:1 mixture of antifreeze and distilled water. Using tap water is discouraged because, over time, the mineral deposits left behind when tap water evaporates can clog lines, leading to additional problems.
At Axleboy, we realize that NOBODY likes to pay for car repairs and that costs seem to add up quickly. The fact is, small repairs will almost always be less expensive than a complete engine overhaul. So, if you notice chronically low fluid or any of the other trouble symptoms, get to your trusted mechanic right away.
To make an appointment with Axleboy call: (636) 939-5337