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HEART Certified Auto Care - Best Practices

How to Prevent Your Car Engine from Overheating

Plus, cooling system basics

Your car’s cooling system is essential to safe driving. It prevents overheating by distributing your engine’s heat evenly throughout the system. A failing cooling system can lead to costly auto repairs.

To keep your car running smoothly and safely and to prevent unnecessary downtime, just follow these four simple steps to maintaining your car’s cooling system. Regularly changing your coolant, also called antifreeze, is the first step in keeping the cooling system healthy, but here are four more tips to make sure you can identify warning signs, too.

  1. Tighten the radiator cap

    The radiator cap does more than keep coolant in the system. It helps maintain proper pressure throughout your entire cooling system. Check your radiator cap regularly to make sure it hasn’t slipped. But be careful—the cap heats up when the engine’s on, so wait for it to cool. Also be aware that unscrewing may release pressure, so stand back as you adjust the cap.

  2. Keep your car coolant topped off

    If your car appears to be overheating, check your coolant levels. If they’re low, refill either a premixed coolant or with the manufacturer’s recommended brand. This simple step will help your engine run cooler, preventing potentially costly auto repairs.

    If you need an assist, please stop by one of HEART Certified Auto Care’s three Chicago area locations: HEART Northbrook, HEART Evanston, and HEART Wilmette. We’ll have you running cool in no time.

  3. Keep your radiator clean

    Dirt and debris can seep into your car’s cooling system. Keep yours clean by having it checked when you have your car serviced, every six months or so.

  4. Flush your cooling system

    Similarly, you should have your radiator flushed and refilled every 30,000 miles or every five years, whichever comes first. This type of thorough cleaning will clear any dirt, debris, or sediment that may have built up.

For help with your car’s cooling system, and any other auto repair, contact HEART Certified Auto Care today. We don’t just fix cars; we restore your faith in auto care.

Cooling System Components

To help you make sense of your cooling system, here’s a simple breakdown of its parts and components.

  1. Coolant

    Also referred to as antifreeze, this is the liquid mixture of chemicals and water that travels through your engine and keeps the temperature down. Change it at least every 30,000 miles to avoid costly auto repairs.

  2. Water Pump

    This essential component does what its name implies: it pumps the coolant to prevent the engine overheating and is used in conjunction with the radiator.

  3. Radiator

    The heart of your cooling system, the radiator relies on the water pump to disperse heat throughout the system, reducing overheating.

  4. Thermostat

    Found between the engine and the radiator, the thermostat monitors your engine’s temperature and opens and closes to dispense coolant as needed.

  5. Fan

    Your cooling fan turns on whenever your car coolant goes above a certain temperature to prevent overheating.

If you have any further questions, call HEART Certified Auto Care today or stop by one of our three convenient Chicago area locations: HEART Northbrook, HEART Wilmette, or HEART Evanston.

  • Evanston, IL
  • 2620 Green Bay Road, Evanston, IL, 60201
  • (847) 440-3898
  • Mon – Fri: 7:00 AM – 5:30 PM
    Sat: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Wilmette, IL
  • 1201 Green Bay Road, Wilmette, IL, 60091
  • (847) 512-8394
  • Mon – Fri: 7:00 AM – 5:30 PM
    Sat: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
  • Northbrook, IL
  • 280 Skokie Blvd, Northbrook, IL, 60062
  • (847) 686-3074
  • Mon – Fri: 7:00 AM – 5:30 PM
    Sat: 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM