It’s just like the movies. One minute you’re driving down the road thinking about your next appointment, or maybe where you would like to go for lunch. Your car has never let you down, so why would you think it would today? Then you start noticing some white smoke coming from under your hood. The first thing you do is check your vehicle’s temperature gauge to see if your car is overheating and honestly can’t remember where the needle usually points. You’re driving fast so it doesn’t look like much smoke, but you find a safe place to pull over anyhow. You manage to get your hood open without burning yourself only to be greeted with a cloud of sweet smelling steam. Now you are wishing you packed your lunch and hoping your next appointment wont think less of you because you drive an unreliable car.
The reality is you can’t always predict or prevent a cooling system failure, but there are a few things you can do to increase your chances of making it safely to your next appointment without buying a brand new car every few months.
The first thing you can do is check your cooling equipment for problems. Start first with the radiator. Will be at the front of your vehicle usually made out of aluminum and silver, but in older cars can be made of brass or copper and painted black. On the radiator you can check for cracks in the end tanks or hose connections and damage on the fins.
Cracks in the end tanks or hose connections are an indication of imminent failure and should be addressed immediately most likely by replacing the radiator. Damaged fins not only decrease the radiator’s cooling efficiency but are an indication of a possible future leak.
Next, check the upper and lower radiator hoses. These will likely be the largest hoses on your engine. One will run from the bottom of the radiator to the motor near the water pump and the other will run from the top or front of the engine to the top of the radiator. Check both ends of these hoses for cracking, tears or swelling and replace if needed. Also, check your water pump if it is accessible for evidence of leaks where it bolts to the block.
Next, if it is accessible check the freeze plugs for leaks. The plugs will be on either side of the engine block and are metal disks from 1.5 to 2.5 inches in diameter. There will be between 2 and 4 freeze plugs, usually in a row on each side of the engine block. Check each of these plugs for evidence of coolant leakage. Checking your heater core can be difficult because it is usually far up under your dashboard and inaccessible. If the heater core is leaking you will have coolant inside your vehicle likely on the passenger or driver floor pan, or have a sweet smell when you turn your blower on. Lastly check the heater core hoses for cracks, bulges or tear. You can also check around your head gasket for evidence of a leak, usually under your exhaust manifold.
Cool System Checks:
- Radiator: damaged fins, cracked end tanks or hose connections
- Radiator Hoses: Cracks, rips or bulges at ends
- Water Pump: leaks at the gasket, shaft play
- Freeze Plugs: cracks, leaks
- Heater core: leaks into passenger compartment
- Heat Care Hoses: cracks, tears or bulges at ends
- Head Gasket: external leaks below the head
Checking all of these components regularly can help you catch a cooling system failure before it leaves you stranded. If you’ve discovered cooling system hoses with problems, you should replace the defective hose. If you discover a leak in your radiator, heater core, freeze plug or head gasket you can solve the problem quickly and easily by using BlueDevil Pour-N-Go. Simply add the 16oz bottle to the radiator of your 4 or 6 cylinder vehicle and the leak will be sealed as you drive. You can even add BlueDevil Pour-N-Go to your cooling system before a leak forms! BlueDevil Pour-N-Go will not prevent cooling system leaks but will seal them as they occur.
Use BlueDevil Pour-N-Go on all of your cooling system leaks because it is guaranteed! You can purchase BlueDevil products at any of our retail partners: NAPA, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Advanced Auto, Bennett Auto Supply, Prime Automotive, CarQuest Auto Parts, PepBoys and AutoZone. You can also purchase BlueDevil Pour-N-Go here: Pour N Go Head Gasket Sealer
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