As you already know the internal combustion engine equipped in your car needs a very efficient cooling system to make it work immaculately. A radiator system sits in front with a network of tubes to specifically perform this necessary task. The liquid that withstands high heat levels of the engine in called a coolant, that green stuff sitting in a reservoir under the bonnet remember, and also protects aluminium parts in the engine.
How does it work?
Coolant runs across a circulation path that runs along the vitals of the engine. It begins from the water pump with the impeller in it using centrifugal forces to pull coolant from the radiator and push it towards the engine block.
When all this coolant liquid flows through the engine, it gathers all the heat and arrives at the thermostat. Here the temperature levels are measured and the valve is opened to allow the hot coolant go back to the radiator. As the thermostat pushes hot coolant back to the radiator, it travels a network of thin tube in the radiator. The cool air from the front of the car passes over these tubes and cools the coolant back to its working temperature.
Check the coolant in your car
There is a coolant reservoir placed right when you open the bonnet of your car, look for a green (or could be different colour according to your car’s model and make) fluid as that is the usual colour of coolant in cars on Indian roads.
The translucent reservoir has a full mark on it. Make sure the coolant in your car reaches that mark. The refill bottles generally found in shops are premixed with a 50/50 mixture of coolant fluid and water. If the coolant level is low, top it up with the refill bottle till the full mark.
When should you replace coolant?
Coolant is a smooth flowing green liquid. When you notice its colour fading away, or has rusty texture on it, it is time to replace it completely. In case you notice impurities flowing on its surface, have the entire cooling system flushed as these may cause a blockage in the coolant lines across the engine.
If you notice some oily surface on it, it could be a scary sign as you need to rush to your mechanic. If the coolant is pulling out oil from the engine, chances are there is a leak around the engine and lubricant oil is seeping.
The cooling system of your car is extremely vital and most of us take no notice at its condition. Other than these checks mentioned above, do also take notice of radiator hoses as well. Feel the hoses with your hand, on a cold engine of course, and check for leaks or cracks. Over time these hoses might bulge or squeeze, all of which are signs for replacement.