Clean air is good for your engine because it maintains proper combustion. However, when excess air gets into other vehicle systems—especially fluid lines—it can really cause trouble. The cooling system is one where air bubbles can be a significant concern. They can lead to hot spots in the engine, which can cause it to overheat and lead to all sorts of internal engine damage that will be costly to repair.
Cooling System Maintenance
First of all, it’s important to get your cooling system inspected at least once a year. Heading into the summer season is a good time to do it as the outside temperatures rise and you want to avoid overheating the engine. A cooling system tune-up will usually entail draining the radiator and putting in fresh radiator coolant—or at least “bleeding” the radiator to remove any air bubbles. This is in addition to inspecting various components, fluid lines and connections points to make sure the fluid is circulating properly from the radiator to the engine and back again.
How Are Air Bubbles Formed?
Air bubbles are usually caused by low fluid levels in the radiator. This could happen because of a leak or just because the coolant is getting old. Over time, it burns up and water is evaporated out, causing it to thicken and lose its desired viscosity. If you run the vehicle too long with low coolant levels, air bubbles will start to get into the lines and ultimately into the engine itself. This is when bad things can happen.
A proper cooling system service will remove any trapped air from the radiator and fluid lines and make sure that there is an ample amount of fresh coolant to keep the engine running at a desired temperature.
Signs of Cooling System Problems
Here are some common signs that could mean you have air in your cooling system or some other cooling system problem in your vehicle:
• Engine Overheating
• Temperature Gauge Running Hot
• Steam Coming from Radiator
• Coolant Leaks
• Decreased Engine Power
• Low Radiator Coolant Level
• Thick/Burnt Radiator Fluid
Colorado Springs Radiator Maintenance and Repair
At the first sign of any cooling system issues or concerns about your coolant level, you’ll want to get your vehicle checked out and serviced by a professional automotive shop like LightHouse Automotive in Colorado Springs.
If you in the Colorado Springs area and are worried about your cooling system (or have any other automotive problems you want to get looked at), call LightHouse Automotive today at (719) 465-0302 or schedule your service appointment online.