A Guide to Basic Car Care for MotoristsA Guide to Basic Car Care for Motorists


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A Guide to Basic Car Care for Motorists

When I started out driving across country, the thought that my car might not make the journey never occurred to me. In fact, my car had been inspected by a local mechanic and he had assured me I was ready to go. Halfway through my trip, I found out that this was not true. After talking to a more experienced mechanic, I discovered that the problem with my car stemmed from something simple that even I should have recognized. I created this blog to help inexperienced car owners to better understand their cars. By knowing what to look for, you can better care for your car.

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Overheating Truck Engine? 2 Parts To Test

If you have a pickup truck that you typically use for work or leisure purposes, then you probably place a great deal of stress on your vehicle. The stress on the engine creates heat and your cooling system helps to reduce the temperature to a normal level. If heat is not reduced properly, then your engine can overheat. This can destroy the piston seals in your engine and the head gasket can crack as well. Hoses and other components can melt too. If you notice your engine running too hot, then consider replacing parts of the cooling system to prevent serious engine damage. Keep reading to find out what you need to check and change.

Inspect the Thermostat

Every vehicle has a thermostat within the engine compartment that sits between the radiator and the engine. This thermostat records the temperature of the engine as it warms up. When the thermostat registers a temperature around 200 degrees Fahrenheit, the device activates a valve that allows coolant to flow into the engine. If the thermostat does not open when it is supposed to, then the engine heats up too much and the coolant may not be able to cool it down as quickly as it should. As you drive your truck, engine heat increases and your vehicle can overheat.

Testing the Thermostat Device

To see if your thermostat is working correctly, you need to remove it. Look for a round device that sits straight up out of your radiator. The thermostat will have a temperature gauge located on it. Twist the device to release it.  

Boil a pot of water on your stove and place a kitchen thermometer in the water. Once the temperature reaches about 190 degrees Fahrenheit, place the bottom part of the coolant system thermostat in the water. Once the water reaches about 200 degrees, look to see if the valve on the bottom of the device opens. If the valve does not open at or close to 200 degrees or if the thermostat does not record the correct water temperature, then you need to replace the part.

Investigate the Engine Cooling Fan

The engine coolant that runs through your engine absorbs the heat that is produced while you drive. The coolant runs through your radiator and back through the engine again. The movement through the radiator helps the coolant cool down, but the fluid sometimes becomes too hot. When this happens, heat is not absorbed and the coolant can begin to boil. A small fan is secured inside the engine that prevents the coolant from becoming too hot. This fan is activated by a thermostat or by the computer within your truck. If the fan does not work properly, then your engine may become too hot.

Testing the Cooling Fan

The cooling fan in the engine compartment can start at any time once the engine coolant becomes too warm. This means that it can be difficult to test whether the device is working properly or not. You can activate the fan though, by turning on your air conditioner. The fan helps to pull air through the engine compartment to increase air flow through your vehicle vents.

Before you activate the air conditioner, turn your car on and let it heat up for 5 or 10 minutes. Open the hood of your car and find the cooling fan. The fan should be located near the front grill of your car. Turn on your air conditioner and look to see if the fan is turning. You will likely hear a motor running when the electric fan is activated. If the fan does not turn or if the device makes a loud noise, then you need to replace the part.

If you have a pickup truck that you rely on, then you need to make sure the engine is kept in great condition. Keeping the engine cool is necessary, and the coolant system helps with this. If your engine seems to run hot though, then you may need to invest in some new truck parts from places like 99 Truck Parts & Industrial Equipment Ltd like the coolant thermometer or the cooling fan.