Category Archives: Engine Cooling Systems

What color is your coolant? (Part I)

What color is your coolant? (Part I)

All cars have an engine cooling system. The purpose is to keep the engine from overheating due to the natural combustion process and to provide warm air inside your car on cold days. The water pump circulates coolant through the engine to pick up the heat. Part of it goes through the heater core inside the car, then through the thermostat, then back to the radiator where outside air is used to cool it back down via a radiator fan. The system is closed, which means the coolant keeps traveling around in the same path. The thermostat is a temperature-regulated, flow control valve used to maintain a certain temperature, which is around 195 degrees F on most cars. You have to have a specific mixture of coolant and water for best results–usually about 50/50 in most cases. Coolant, also known as antifreeze, keeps the fluid from freezing in the winter time, hence the name. Even in the relatively temperate climate of Overland Park, Kansas, coolant also does not last forever. As i ... read more

What color is your coolant? (Part II)

What color is your coolant? (Part II)

As discussed last time, we have been working on some of the many electrical issues created by the Lucas electrical system found in a customer’s 1970 MGB. This customer had recently noticed his heater was not producing warm air, and we discovered the coolant had changed color and the temperature gauge vibrated as you revved the engine up. We found a few issues upon further investigation. First, the thermostat was stuck in the open position, therefore not allowing the coolant to warm up enough to get heat inside the car. Second, the heater core was nearly plugged internally with gunk. The coolant smelled acidic and actually stained the concrete floor a light brown color. The bouncing temperature gauge needle was from the temperature sender unit which had a loose electrical connector, and vibrated with the engine speed. To get all the old fluid out of the engine block, we removed a drain plug on the side of the block. The sediment was so deep and compact, that nothing ca ... read more

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