How to Make Sure Your Car Doesn’t Overheat Towards the End of the Phoenix Summer
In Phoenix it’s not unusual to see an overheated car pulled over alongside the road with clouds of steam pouring from the radiator. Any mechanic in Phoenix will advise you that driving a car when the engine is overheated can cost hundreds or even thousands of dollars in PHX car repair.
The greatest preventative measure you can take is to check your coolant levels. Coolant can be lost through leaks, whether the leaks are in hoses, clamps, or the radiator itself. Low coolant levels are the most common source of engine overheating. In Phoenix, some people mistakenly fill their radiators with water rather than the recommended mixture of water and antifreeze. They understand the need for antifreeze to keep water from freezing, but don’t realize that it also raises the boiling point of water to better cool your engine. Additionally, antifreeze also helps lubricate seals and prevents corrosion, not only in your radiator but also in your water pump, which can help prevent another expensive PHX car repair.
Another common source of engine overheating is a failed thermostat. The function of the thermostat is to allow the engine to reach appropriate operating temperatures quickly and then to keep the engine at a steady operating temperature. When the engine coolant reaches the necessary operating temperature the thermostat opens a valve to regulate the amount of water going through the radiator. If the thermostat is broken then the valve does not open, the coolant does not flow back to the radiator, and the engine will quickly overheat.
A fan is also required to prevent engine overheating. If you look under your hood you can see the fan in front of your engine. There are two different types of fans determined by whether your vehicle is front wheel drive or rear wheel drive. Rear wheel drive vehicles use the engine’s power to turn a mechanical fan. Most cars today are front wheel drive and use an electric cooling fan that is turned on and off by temperature sensors. When driving down the highway the natural airflow helps keep your engine cool. When stopped in traffic the electric fan is needed to cool the engine. If you have reason to suspect the electric cooling fan isn’t working see your Phoenix mechanic immediately in order to prevent more serious damage from overheating.
The takeaway from all this is that to avoid costly car repair, check your engine fluids and keep an eye on your temperature gauge. If your car begins to overheat pull over and shut it off as soon as you safely can, no matter how inconvenient. Your car has an internal combustion engine which means that the gasoline is literally being burned inside the cylinders creating large amounts of heat. Enough heat in fact to melt parts of the engine if it is not being properly cooled. The high temperatures in Phoenix don’t help the situation, so it’s crucial to avoid engine overheating.
Published By Fred McCurdy
Scottsdale Muffler & Automotive
1710 E Curry Rd
Tempe, AZ 85281
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