Cooling Systems

The vehicle’s engine and transmission are also vulnerable to overheating in the heat of summer. The vehicle’s cooling system has to be completely flushed and refilled every two years. Even much more frequently, though, your automotive mechanic should check the level, condition and concentration of your vehicle’s coolant, as well as its hoses, clamps and drive belts.

Although gasoline engines have improved a lot, they are still not very efficient at turning chemical energy into mechanical power. Most of the energy in the gasoline (perhaps 7­0%) is converted into heat, and it is the job of the cooling system to take care of that heat. The cooling system on a car driving down the freeway dissipates enough heat to heat two average-sized houses! The primary job of the cooling system is to keep the engine from overheating by transferring this heat to the air, but the cooling system also has several other important jobs.

The engine in your car runs best at a fairly high temperature. When the engine is cold, components wear out faster, and the engine is less efficient and emits more pollution. So another important job of the cooling system is to allow the engine to heat up as quickly as possible, and then to keep the engine at a constant temperature.

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