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Auto Service

Radiator & Auto Cooling Systems the Basics

It can be said that to auto owners their radiator and cooling systems are at least familiar to them. Since an automobiles’ radiator and cooling hoses are readily visible under the hood, and it is estimated that up to 4 out of 5 vehicle owners routinely top up their own glycol anti-freeze liquids this is no major revelation of motoring maintenance to most.

Overall and to summarize the cooling system of your vehicle – be it car, truck, or SUV does exactly what its name suggests – it removes, reduces and fundamentally its function is to remove heat from your engine system expelling this waste heat into the nearby air. Without this essential cooling system of your “power-plant”, the heat built up from the exploding gasoline vapors (in a gas engine), would soon overheat and ultimately ruin your engine. Interestingly on the other hand, automotive cooling systems are not nearly as essential to the running and ongoing maintenance of diesel engines. Diesel engines last a lot longer than gas ones overall. Diesel fuels are essentially waste oils; they do not burn as hot. Additionally the fuel oil provides great lubrication for the pistons as they slide in their shafts, whereas in gas engines the gas vapor provides no lubrication and on top of that serves to wash oil off the engines’ cylinder walls.

Your cooling system is built so that a mixture of ethylene glycol antifreeze liquid and water flows into the passages cast into your engine block, where it absorbs heat. A water pump – generally a belt driven device, running directly off your engine itself, circulates this hot coolant liquid mixture, through the engine and then out via a standard auto coolant hose into the radiator of your vehicle.

To increase air flow through the radiator – in an effect to get more cooling power out of your rad system a fan draws air through the fins or tubes on the radiator itself. These fan systems used to be driven almost exclusively directly off another belt on your engine, now many are electrically driven, thermostatically controlled units.

How does the cooling system work overall? Waste heat from your engine is conducted via your engine “block” to the coolant fluid. Then the fluid is circulated by the water pump unit, through the channels of your engines’ heavy metal block, through the rubber coolant hoses, which you should be easily spotted when peering into your engine compartment. These coolant hoses pass from their fitting on the engine ultimately to the radiator. Thus the hot antifreeze coolant carries the engines’ waste heat from the engine directly into the radiator where the air flowing (or drawn by the working rad fan) expelling, diluting and exhausting waste excess heat from your vehicles’ motor into the nearby air.

An autos’ cooling systems runs so well, and are generally so dependable in their functions and functioning that few give the coolant and heat system its due – until problems occur. Generally it is either a case of overheating due to excessive vehicle draw, or slow driving in very hot temperatures and climates with low coolant fluid levels. However interestingly another case in point where a malfunctioning cooling system draws attention is in cold climates where a vehicles interior heating may not be not be enough coolant fluid or circulating antifreeze to allow for the vehicles’ interior car heater to warm up its occupants, or defrost the autos’ windshield sufficiently for automotive safety & driving concerns.

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Auto Service

Tips to Avoid Auto Theft

I live in Detroit: one of the cities with the highest rates of auto theft in the nation. Here are some tips from an expert on how to avoid getting your car (or any of the contents of your car) stolen.

Be a Smart Parker

Remember to always park your car in well-light areas. Having your car in a high traffic area is also a good idea. You might even consider getting assigned parking at a lot with an attendant if you are concerned about your car.

Car Alarm Fallacies

Car alarms might sound like a great safety feature, but they might just be one more of the bells and whistles. You can put a sticker on your car that says that it has a car alarm without actually including the car alarm. You will save money this way. You will also save yourself (and others) headaches when people accidentally brush against your car.

Lock it Up

Almost half of all car thefts are performed when an owner leaves the car unlocked. This could mean that they forget to lock their car once, or it could also mean that they leave their car running while they just run in to do an errand. Turn your car off, take your keys, and lock your car whenever you leave it. It is also better for the environment if you turn your car off instead of idling it. You should also consider locking your garage door if you are using a garage. This brings me to another point: always park in a garage when possible.

Make it Less Attractive

Take away all of your belongings with you when you leave your car. This means that you should move any bags to the trunk, and make sure that there are no valuable visible from outside the car. If you can remove your car stereo, place it in the glove compartment or a similar out-of-sight place. Even something that seems as harmless as a glasses case could cause a thief to choose your car instead of another car, so be cautious when you leave your car.

Invest in some Safety

Having a steering wheel lock (such as the club) might not make it that much more difficult for a thief to steal your car, but it might also make them think twice. You don’t even have to lock your steering wheel lock if you find it too cumbersome to use.

Vehicle Identification Numbers are numbers that are etched into cars at various places, including on the windows and major parts. Thieves will be know where to look for vehicle identification numbers, and might avoid stealing a car with VIN etching because the parts will be harder to use, and the car will be easier for police to trace.

Ignition-kill switches and fuel-kill switches are other anti-theft devices that you can consider for you car.

Sometimes getting anti-theft devices can lower your insurance premiums, and so will be a good investment for the future. You might even end up saving money and gaining a peace of mind with them!

Think of the tow-away

Sometimes cars are not stolen by hotwiring, but rather, by being towed away. If you park with your tires facing the curb, it will make it more difficult for a thief to tow your car away. Using your emergency brake will also prevent being towed.

Car theft is not a pretty thought. Cars are large investments and you want to protect your investment. Thinking ahead can prevent some unpleasant reactions.