Routine Cooling System Check

Routine Cooling System Check - There are a few things you should check that have to do with the cooling from time to time that will save you alot of grief, time, and money.

There are a few things you should check that have to do with the cooling from time to time that will save you alot of grief, time, and money. Checking these simple things can prevent you having to tow your 'Stang because a cooling system part failed on the road.
Here are a few things that should should check...

  • Obviously the first thing to check is the coolant level. Open the radiator cap and make sure it's filled. Also check the level of coolant in the reservoir. While you are checking the level look at the color of the antifreeze, is it a nice green color, or is it a rust brown? If its rusty looking then its time to Flush the radiator.
  • The next thing to check is the condition of the hoses. They should be firm, not brittle and not really soft. Make sure you check the upper and lower radiator hoses, the small heater bypass hoses that go into the water pump, and the heater hoses located near the back of the engine which go into the firewall. If any hoses are really soft, cracked, glazed (shiny) or brittle then its time to go get new hoses.
  • Next you should check the belt(s). Look at both sides of the belt, are there any cracks or rips? If so its time to get a new belt. Another thing to check is the tension. If its a serpentine belt it probably has an automatic tensioner which you can't adjust. As the belt gets old it tends to stretch. There are actually a few ways to check the tension of the belt. One way is to check it with a belt tension tool. If you don't have one (if you did you wouldn't need to read this I guess) then you can do it the old fashion way. While the engine is off grab the belt and push it down firmly, it shouldn't move (deflect) anymore than 3/8 to 1/2 inch. If it's a little more you can probably make do with the belt, but if it deflects alot then its time for a new belt.
  • You should also check to make sure the thermostat is working. Make sure the engine is cold before you this. Open the radiator cap, and start the engine. The coolant should look like it's just sitting there, it might move a little. When the thermostat opens you should see the coolant start to flow. Basically if the thermostat wasn't working then you would probably know it anyway, because the engine would be over heating.
  • Check the ends of each hose. Do you see any corrosion? Usually if there is any corrosion at the end of a hose its a sign of a leak. If there's any corrosion or leaks then you might be able to tighten the clamp to stop the leaking. If the clamp isn't a screw type clamp then it might be time to change to a screw type clamp.


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