Your Car Is Smokin’! No, Really, It’s Smoking…

Engine overheating is a critical problem that many drivers face during the hot summer months. Vehicles are designed to convert fuel into heat energy, causing the internal temperatures in your engine compartment to increase dramatically during operation. Luckily, your car has a cooling system in place to prevent engine overheating.

The cooling system helps your car maintain a constant internal temperature. Cooling systems use antifreeze, a mixture of ethylene glycol and water, to regulate your engine’s temperature by increasing the boiling point and decreasing the freezing point of a liquid. Essentially, antifreeze prevents water in the engine and radiator from freezing in cold weather or boiling in hot weather. In addition to maintaining constant engine temperatures as it passes through the cooling system, antifreeze also prevents corrosion and lubricates engine components to ensure that everything moves and performs properly.

However, it is imperative to maintain the cooling system to ensure it continues to function properly. Failure of the cooling system can lead to engine overheating, which, if not immediately addressed, can result in major damage such as a cracked head gasket or warped cylinders which will cost you a significant amount of time and money to fix. 

Engine overheating is indicated by the temperature gauge on the dashboard and can also manifest itself as steam coming from the engine compartment or coolant leaking onto the ground. In the event of engine overheating, it is of the utmost importance that you pull your vehicle over and have it towed to an auto repair shop to prevent any further damage.

Fortunately, engine overheating and a subsequent tow truck trip and expensive repairs can be easily avoided by having your cooling system flushed and filled. During a cooling system flush and fill, the technician will drain the old antifreeze from your car’s radiator, flush out the cooling system, and add new antifreeze to the radiator.  

Preventative maintenance is always the best course of action to lessen the chances of a breakdown. Since your cooling system has multiple radiator hoses, a water pump, and several other connections where antifreeze (or coolant) could just be beginning to leak, it can often require a trained mechanic to spot these issues before they become a problem. It is recommended to always have a complete, free courtesy inspection performed by your auto mechanic or automotive technician. 

At Wilton Auto And Tire Center, our free courtesy checks are performed digitally, typically during an oil change, which is the heartbeat of your preventative maintenance program.

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Written by Wilton Auto and Tire Center