Discover Mechanical

Maintain your car’s cooling system.

Person unscrewing radiator cap in car engine.

With summer fast approaching, it is essential that your cooling system is reliable.

The cooling system in your vehicle is important year-round. It works to remove excess heat from your engine to prevent overheating. Maintaining regular servicing is essential to ensure that it is operating safely and efficiently.

Vehicle’s cooling system, explained.

Your car’s cooling system moves coolant through the engine, where it picks up heat and then passes through the radiator and the heat is transferred to the surrounding air.
There are a number of important components in a modern cooling system. Together, they create a system that maintains ideal operating temperatures. 
The main components of a modern car cooling system include:
  • Radiator, with pressurised cap
  • Thermostat
  • Cooling fan
  • Overflow bottle
A fully functioning cooling system circulates coolant to draw heat away from your engine. Your vehicle’s cooling system is essential in the prevention of overheating the engine.

The dangers of an overheated engine.

An overheated engine can result in significant damage. It is likely to result in major, expensive repairs. The common issues that result from an overheated engine include:
  • Significant harm to internal engine components, such as the pistons and the engine block
  • Damage to vital seals, hoses, the radiator and head gasket
  • Distortion of the cylinder head
Person standing over an overheated engine.

How you can maintain your car’s cooling system.

You can check in your owner’s manual for the manufacturer’s recommendations regarding engine coolant inspections. Typically, you should inspect your engine’s coolant twice a year. Ensure that the engine is cool before checking the coolant. Removing the radiator cap when the engine is hot can raise safety concerns.
Engine coolant not only prevents the engine from overheating, it also prevents corrosion damage and stops the engine from freezing in sub-zero temperatures.
Check to see if the coolant level is between the minimum and maximum marks, which are indicated on the side of the coolant reservoir tank. If the level appears below the guide marks, it will require a top up.
If you notice that the coolant level frequently drops below the guide marks, this could be an indication that the cooling system is suffering from a blown head gasket, a loose radiator cap or a leak on a hose, clamp or seal.
It is also a good idea to monitor your temperature gauge (or alert light), located on the dashboard. When the engine is outside of normal operating temperatures, a warning light (or similar) is triggered. This can be an indication that your vehicle is experiencing a cooling system issue.
Finally, be on the lookout for any visible leaks and puddles appearing underneath your vehicle. Again, this can be an indicator that there is a problem with the cooling system. Puddles can also be a result of air conditioning condensation, which is no cause for concern. When in doubt, you can contact your local BestDrive store to speak with a trusted professional.
Engine coolant being poured into a car radiator.

When to have an engine cooling system service.

Your owner’s manual will stipulate when your next cooling system service is due. Typically, it is recommended that you have your cooling system serviced every 2 years, or every 40,000km - whichever comes first.
Engine coolant degrades over time, reducing its performance and anti-corrosive properties. The age of your vehicle, the size and type of engine, the quality of your existing coolant and the total distance driven are also factors that need to be taken into consideration. These can all have an impact on how often you will need to replace the coolant in your radiator.
Adhering to the manufacturer’s recommended cooling system services and monitoring your car’s cooling system will assist in the overall safety, efficiency and reliability of your vehicle. If you have any concerns regarding the cooling system in your vehicle, contact your local BestDrive store today.
Our qualified technicians can perform the necessary services and advise you on any repairs that may be required.
BestDrive. You drive, we care.

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