Mobile Tune Up and Repair Radiator Service

The coolant system is a vital part of your vehicle. It is also the second most common cause for vehicle failures. Even though coolant system failure is fairly common, it is easy to prevent.

Mobile Tune Up and Repair
17807 Kieth Harrow Blvd
Houston, TX 77084
281-463-4211

The most recognizable part of the coolant system is the radiator. It is connected to the engine with hoses and is filled with coolant. The coolant draws heat off the engine and then goes into the radiator. Air passes through cooling fins to reduce the temperature of the coolant and then it’s back to the engine again.

There are several ways for the cooling system to fail. Most common is with the coolant itself. Coolant is a mixture of water and antifreeze. The proper mixture keeps the coolant from either boiling away or freezing. Both of which can result in massive engine damage.

Another very important coolant issue that is often overlooked is the age of the coolant itself. Antifreeze has additives that protect the coolant system from corrosion. As these additives are depleted over time, they can’t protect the radiator and other parts from rust, scaling and corrosion. Old coolant may still keep your engine cool, but it won’t protect it from corrosion.

If you see a warning message to check the coolant or if the temperature gauge is in the hot zone your cooling system needs to be checked. It’s OK to add water or antifreeze yourself. But you need to be cautious. Remember four things.

First, you never want to open the radiator pressure cap. You could be severely burned.
Second, try to get to your Houston service center at Mobile Tune Up and Repair immediately if your coolant is low. If that is not possible, follow the directions in your owners manual – it will direct you to only make additions to the coolant overflow bottle.
Third, remember that you need a proper mixture of water and antifreeze. If you make an emergency addition to your cooling system, follow-up with your Mobile Tune Up and Repair service center where we can make necessary corrections.
Fourth, not all cars use the same type of antifreeze. You need to check your owners manual to make sure you use the right kind. Mixing antifreeze types or using the wrong kind of antifreeze may void the manufacturers warranty on your cooling system. Again, another reason to rely on your Mobile Tune Up and Repair service center in Houston to do things right.
Remember, your Houston service center has the equipment to change your coolant quickly and inexpensively.

By Amanda Cox • February 26, 2013 • 7:26 pm • Leave a comment

Coolant Service at Mobile Tune Up and Repair

Our cars have to operate in a wide range of Houston, TX temperatures and our engine coolant must be able to perform ‘no matter what’. Think for a moment about the environment where the coolant works. Very hot, high pressure, corrosive…

And all the while, it has to protect the components of the cooling system from corrosion. These components are made from steel and aluminum, plastics and rubber. The coolant has to be formulated to protect against corrosion for all of these different materials. That’s why different manufacturers recommend different types of anti-freeze for our Houston, TX vehicles.

There are several different ‘families’ of anti-freeze available to us here in Houston, TX. Your owners’ manual will tell you what kind you should use. Of course, Mobile Tune Up and Repair will know what to put in your car.

It’s important to stay on top of this because coolant system failure is the most common mechanical problem people have here in Houston, TX. Regular service at Mobile Tune Up and Repair needs to be done to avoid failures and also to keep your warranty in place.

While the specifics of the service required may vary from vehicle to vehicle, your service consultant at Mobile Tune Up and Repair will know what to do. You’ll be advised to replace the coolant at specified intervals.

Some manufacturers may recommend periodic coolant system flushes. A flush adds a cleaning step to the fluid replacement process. Again, check to see what your service consultant recommends.

Someday, you may have to deal with an overheating problem, so you need to know what to do if your coolant temperature warning light comes on or your temperature gauge is in the hot zone.

Now, overheating can be very expensive. You can literally melt down your engine and have to replace the whole thing. So take the warning signs seriously and take immediate steps.

First turn off the air conditioner. This will lower engine temperature right away. Next turn your heater to maximum heat and run the fan at high speed. You might need to roll down the windows, but this will take a lot of heat off the engine.

Pull over as soon as you can safely do so, especially if you are stuck in slow-moving traffic, and shut the car off. It may take as much as 45 minutes for the engine to cool to the point that it’s safe to operate the car again.

If you need to add water or antifreeze, be sure to wait until the car cools down. Opening the radiator cap or even the overflow bottle when the coolant is hot and under pressure may result in serious burns.

So after the engine has cooled for 45 minutes or so, look to see if the coolant is low in the overflow tank. If so, you can cover the overflow tank cap with a large cloth and open the lid. Then start the engine and pour in some water or antifreeze. Pouring it in when the car is running will circulate the new, cool fluid with the warmer fluid in the engine and avoid engine damage.

Of course, overheating is a serious problem and you need to get it fixed right away. Mobile Tune Up and Repair can make sure the coolant is right before you drive home.

Those spring and winter inspections really come in handy when they head off a cooling system problem. And don’t forget that severe service driving conditions, like towing or hot, dusty driving around Houston, TX, mean that you’ll need to service your coolant more frequently.

At AutoNetTV, we suggest that you have Mobile Tune Up and Repair inspect your coolant system to find small problems before they become big, and to change belts and hoses before they fail. After all, we don’t want you to lose your cool out there in Houston, TX.

By Amanda Cox • • 7:07 pm • Leave a comment

Water Pump

Your cooling system is very important. It circulates coolant through the radiator and your engine to protect your car from overheating. There are five main components to the cooling system:

the radiator
the radiator cap
the hoses
the thermostat and
the water pump
The water pump’s like the heart of your cooling system, circulating the fluid throughout. It’s a small pump that’s driven by the engine; usually by belt, but sometimes by a chain or gear.

The water pump only operates when the engine’s running. Water pump failure is pretty routine. Some start failing at around 40,000 miles, but most fail by 100,000 miles. Consult your owners’ manual or service technician to see what’s recommended.

Since a water pump either works or it doesn’t, you need to change it when it fails. Water pumps fail in one of two ways: the bearings fail or they begin to leak. It’s possible to have a leak from a cracked water pump, but it usually leaks at the gasket where it attaches to the engine.

So how can you tell when the water pump is failing? If you can hear a low-pitched grinding sound coming from the water pump – it’s got a problem. If you can see coolant in that area, you’ve got a leak.

Some water pumps are driven off the timing belt. They might be under a plastic cover so you can’t see the water pump. Look for coolant on the driveway. If you see some, have your service center check it out.

Most timing belts need to be changed at 60,000 miles – some longer. It’s a good idea to change your water pump at the same time if it’s one of those that’s driven off the timing belt. To start with, 90% of the work’s already done with the timing belt change. And, if you don’t, and develop a leak later, you’ll have to change the belt again along with the water pump because the belt will have been contaminated by the leaking coolant.

You can replace your water pump with a brand spankin’ new one or with a rebuilt pump. Rebuilt will save you some money, but ask your technician what he thinks. Don’t feel too bad if your water pump gives out. They will all wear out eventually. Your service technician can get you back on the road and on with your life.

By Amanda Cox • • 7:06 pm • Leave a comment
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