by Pat Goss
Hot weather and a poorly maintained cooling system is absolutely a recipe for disaster. Now one thing to keep in mind, if your car's running hot don't try to force it that extra mile or so because it could kill your engine. Now no matter what type of coolant you have, it should never look like what we have here in this jar. This is destroyed coolant. It is caused by rust, and what is rust? It is dissolved engine, just like we see in these two water pumps.
New water pump, one that's eaten up. This part right here is what spins and circulates the coolant. Once it's eaten up like this, it's not going to circulate the right amount of coolant, and your car is going to overheat. Now you should be checking coolant on a regular basis. Of course you look at the color of it, but you should also use a PH test strip such as we have here.
You dunk it in the coolant, and it will change color. You compare the color to what you see on the chart on the container. And if it fails the cleanliness test or the PH test, you need a flush. And yes, you need a professional flush. These chemicals are very, very different than what you get to use with your garden hose. Also, remember that thermostats, thermostats only control minimum temperature, not maximum temperature. And if the thermostat fails, usually the car is going to overheat and you're not going to be able to drive it. It's not going to be an intermittent thing. So you might want to get that out of the equation.
Radiator caps produce pressure in the cooling system. Pressure raises the boiling point. When the gaskets and seals in these things go bad, the pressure drops, the coolant boils at a normal operating temperature. It boils out, it gets low, the car overheats. Don't forget to check the cooling fans. There may be a special procedure to make sure they're turning the proper speed. Just running isn't always the answer.
And something we see on a daily basis, debris: from the front of the radiator, right behind the air conditioning condenser; this stuff blocks airflow; your car will overheat. It's guaranteed. You should be cleaning the front of the radiator at least once every year to get rid of debris.