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Questions tagged [cooling-system]

System which removes excess heat from liquid cooled internal combustion engine. It also helps maintain the engine temperature at a consistent level. The cooling system encompasses the radiator, water pump, thermostat, hoses, heater core, overflow reservoir, and anti-freeze (or coolant).

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30
votes
8answers
343k views

Running with straight water as coolant in the summer. Is it fine?

I grew up flushing the coolant twice yearly. In the Spring, you drain the antifreeze and fill with straight water for the summer. In the Fall, you drain the water and put in a 50/50 antifreeze/water ...
6
votes
2answers
24k views

How can I test my thermostat?

How can I tell whether a mechanical thermostat works as it should? Is there a test that can definitively tell me if a thermostat is good or bad?
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Excessive Coolant Expansion with No Overheating

I've noticed that my coolant expands quite a bit when I drive around, so much that I'm loosing coolant through the expansion bottle. When I park after a lengthy drive, I'll usually hear the coolant ...
9
votes
5answers
104k views

How to test if head gaskets are blown?

Is there a definitive way to test whether head gaskets in most engines are blown, without actually reaching for the gaskets themselves (at which point you might as well go ahead and replace them) ...
19
votes
6answers
122k views

Is it Safe to Drive With Low Engine Coolant?

I have a 2001 Chevy Malibu and have replaced the engine coolant in it twice in the last six months after the low coolant warning light came on, and the light has recently come on again. The climate ...
10
votes
1answer
795 views

Coolant Reservoir

Two questions, One, is there any reason why some coolant bottles are shaped in this way? Two, if this coolant bottle was placed on its side such as in the image below for example would coolant ...
7
votes
1answer
2k views

How to test the function of a water pump?

Is it possible to test a water pump for proper function (ability to move a certain volume of coolant) without disconnecting it from the engine? If so, how would one do that?
4
votes
7answers
201k views

The mysterious overheating honda civic

This is a tale that goes back about a year when I found my very first car. I needed it to commute back and forth to school. When I bought the car it worked great, everything I could have wanted. ...
11
votes
5answers
140k views

Why would there be transmission fluid in the water overflow reservoir?

The car is a '98 Buick Lesabre with the 3800 engine and about 170k miles. It appears as though some oil was in the radiator, but I haven't seen any signs of coolant in the oil. The water pump recently ...
10
votes
6answers
326k views

What happens if I drive without antifreeze in my car?

What happens if I drive without antifreeze in my car (no water / no antifreeze)? This is my main question. I've added some follow up questions that are specific to my situation but for the main ...
9
votes
2answers
36k views

Engine never warms up (actually: it cools down) at highway speeds

I have a 1997 Caravan (base model) and normally on my drive to work and my highway drives in rush-hour, the engine warms up just fine. I took a road trip for work, about an hour and fifteen minutes ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

2002 Dodge Ram 1500 overheating

I have a 2002 Dodge Ram 1500 two wheel drive with a 4.7 liter engine. It's been overheating so I replaced the whole cooling system: I replaced the condenser cooling fan because its not coming on ...
5
votes
1answer
3k views

Testing / checking a water pump

Is there a way to reasonably diagnose a water pump failure directly? In How to test the function of a water pump? the question is posed but the accepted answer only provides a way to infer that the ...
14
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I troubleshoot the source of oil in my coolant?

I would like to know the step by step troubleshooting procedure for discovering the source of oil appearing in coolant. There are several different points of failure that can be the root cause for ...
11
votes
5answers
90k views

Car won't reach operating temperature

Here's a seemingly simple problem - I noticed that the temperature gauge of my mother's 2004 Opel Meriva 1.7CDTI won't ever climb above minimum. I checked the OBD readings to see if it was a defective ...
34
votes
3answers
8k views

Why are the blades of car radiator fans unevenly spaced?

Fans that look like this: Is it to somehow help the balance of the engine?
15
votes
8answers
437k views

Can I drive a car with only water and no coolant if it has a leak?

Recently, I was informed that a car I share ('02 Nissan Sentra) was close to overheating. I was told it gets close to the upper limit very quickly upon running the car. When I inspected the vehicle, I ...
8
votes
1answer
1k views

Electric water pump control

Electric fans are now common on cars, both aftermarket and stock. The advantages in horsepower, faster warmup, and hence emissions are well documented elsewhere. The same reasoning can be applied to ...
6
votes
3answers
32k views

Overheating at idle - mechanic says head gasket

My car has been overheating at idle after a long period of time - perhaps 20-30 minutes in traffic. If I drive, it immediately starts to cool down again. I don't drive often so it hasn't been an issue ...
3
votes
3answers
21k views

Do cowl hoods actually help with engine cooling?

I've read that cowl hoods used to be the method for air induction for older vehicles with carburetors and that the only purpose they serve for vehicles with fuel injection is for looks. However, I ...
3
votes
2answers
5k views

1.6 Petrol engine overheats intermittently

I have a Vauxhall Vectra 1.6 (2007). The cooling system operated perfectly (a few kms after starting the engine the needle was pointing to optimum temperature without the slightest waver). 2 weeks ago ...
10
votes
4answers
177k views

Blocked water flow in engine?

My dad has a 1993 Subaru Legacy L 2.2L (no turbo) with a perplexing cooling problem. It overheats, and there doesn't appear to be flow through the cooling system. The upper radiator hose is extremely ...
8
votes
9answers
117k views

What can cause a vehicle to run hot, but not overheat?

Anyway, I have a Grand Am 2003 V6. It only has 80k miles. My car ran great when I got it(used), but at some point it began to have minor temperature problems. It would always run a little bit hotter ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

What exactly is meant by “engine coolant”?

I know that engine coolant is a fluid in the engine used to dissipate heat spots and keep the engine cool in general as the moving parts generate heat. In this context, I would call the oil an "engine ...
7
votes
2answers
25k views

Oil Cooled vs Water Cooled

These both are cooling mechanisms. One uses oil to cool whereas other uses some kind of water-based coolant. What are advantages and disadvantages of both in both technical and ownership point of view?...
5
votes
1answer
69k views

Getting the best results sealing head gasket leak with Blue Devil

The 1998 Subaru Outback I've been having cooling system problems with turns out to have a combustion gas leak into the coolant. I suspected this but couldn't get a test to turn up anything; taking it ...
5
votes
1answer
671 views

Min/max fill for coolant reserve/overflow tank in abscence of markings

I have a 2001 Honda Prelude SH. I am looking at the coolant reserve tank. There are no min / max fill lines visible, although the manual says there should be. I am just re-adding coolant after fixing ...
4
votes
1answer
979 views

Flushing coolant after driving only with water in

If I drive my truck for 30 min with just water in my system, would it be equivalent to just flushing it stationary (the proper way to flush it)? IOW, if I just drive around with a clean water refill ...
4
votes
1answer
389 views

2011 Equinox Heat only on high RPM

My 2011 Equinox 71000 miles on it...- The heater blows hot air only when the RPM is high - as in highway or accelerating. It blows cool air at stop lights or idling. It's winter here lol - Any ideas? ...
4
votes
3answers
21k views

Replaced water pump two days ago…today antifreeze filling up parking space

I have a 1998 Jeep Wrangler. A few days ago, I noticed the engine temp getting higher than usual. I'd checked fluids about a week prior. When I got home and checked fluids, the coolant reservoir was ...
3
votes
1answer
7k views

What is Honda Coolant?

My 2000 Honda Civic 1.6 Aerodeck is getting a little low on coolant, and so needs a top-up. The question is - what do I put in? The manual rather unhelpfully says "use Honda coolant", but doesn't ...
2
votes
2answers
6k views

Dodge Ram - no heat at idle but have heat when driving

I have a Dodge Ram 1500, I have changed the heater core, radiator, the water pump, and the thermostat. When I push on the gas it blows out hot air but when its at idle it blows out cold air.
2
votes
1answer
2k views

How do you clean out blue devil (sodium silicate/liquid glass) out of your cooling system?

I poured blue devil engine sealant into my engine as a quick fix for my head gasket problem. It's made the issues worse now there is what looks to be white rock salt in my radiator and heater core and ...
2
votes
4answers
6k views

Clear water in coolant reservoir

Over the weekend I took my 2000 Toyota 4Runner to a local shop to get the oil changed. While there they told me I needed to flush the coolant, pulling clear water out of the coolant reservoir. They ...
2
votes
2answers
2k views

Mazda 626 with Unknown Coolant Leak

I'm looking at a 98 Mazda 626 2 liter with an unknown coolant leak from the area in the back of the engine. Seller says a mechanic that quickly looked it over said he thinks it's either the head or ...
2
votes
2answers
46k views

Will a radiator suck fluid out of the overflow tank if I didn't fill the radiator completely?

I recently changed the engine coolant in my 2006 Prius. The system is the type which has the radiator cap on the radiator and a separate overflow tank. The whole system yielded about 1.5 gallons of ...
2
votes
3answers
14k views

Coolant disappears from coolant reservoir but no leak observed

I just replaced the water pump in my 2005 Ford Escape V6. I discovered that each time I fill the coolant reservoir with coolant and drive the car, by my next stop the coolant reservoir will be ...
2
votes
0answers
85 views

Why may heating gradually stop after some time driving (and doesn't work in passenger side at all)?

This is a somewhat strange problem. Heating (in driver side) seems to work normal - after somewhere between 15-25 mins. driving or so, it gradually stops working. The warming in passenger side doesn't ...
1
vote
2answers
3k views

Mazda6 radiator fan runs after car turned off

I have a 2007 Mazda6 with the 3.0L V6 that I have owned since new. This (extraordinarily hot) summer I noticed for the first time that the radiator fan runs for 5-10 seconds after I turn the car off, ...
0
votes
3answers
92k views

What problems can a loose radiator cap cause?

The radiator caps in all cars seem to be very tightly installed. In some cars (at least in my 2011 Toyota Yaris), the radiator cap is not round so you can remember the position it was at, but in other ...