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Category Archives: Cooling System

Coolant/Antifreeze Service At Des Moine BDG

Anyone that drives a car in Des Moines knows that engines get hot when they run. But did you know that engines need to be cooled to keep running? Heat inside an engine can cause the metal parts to expand, which can seize up an engine and make it stop running. It can even ruin the entire engine! Good car care requires keeping your minivan cooling system in good condition.

A vehicle’s cooling system circulates water and antifreeze (coolant) through the engine where it absorbs heat. It then flows to the radiator where the water and antifreeze are cooled by the air that flows over the radiator. Then it circulates back into the minivan’s engine to absorb more heat.

Why shouldn’t Berwick motorists just use water? Because water boils at temperatures that are often reached inside of an engine. Steam won’t cool your minivan engine and is hard to contain within the cooling system. The antifreeze keeps the water from boiling.

So why do we call it antifreeze? Shouldn’t it be antiboil? Truth is, the antifreeze performs another critical task. Water freezes in cold IA weather. That would spell disaster for your minivan’s engine. So antifreeze also keeps the water in your cooling system from freezing in all but the most extreme cold. Pretty neat stuff!

Taking care of your cooling system is part of good preventive maintenance for your minivan. Altoona auto owners should check coolant level often and regularly inspect your cooling system for leaks.

That is just good auto advice. Your minivan’s manufacturer has maintenance requirements for draining and replacing engine coolant. Consult your owner’s manual or ask your helpful Des Moine BDG service professional for these recommendations, as they vary widely from among car makers.

Changing your coolant is also part of good preventive maintenance. Water is great at collecting all kinds of dissolved substances, especially when it’s hot. Water circulating through an engine picks up dirt, debris, pollutants, and other stuff. It actually becomes corrosive over time. This can damage engine parts and your radiator.

Replacing your coolant regularly keeps the minivan cooling system functioning well and doesn’t allow it to sneakily become the cancer that wipes out your engine.

But don’t just slop any antifreeze into your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual or ask your Des Moine BDG service advisor if you don’t know what is the right type of antifreeze for your vehicle. Using the wrong kind can void the warranty on your minivan cooling system.

You may have noticed that different types of antifreeze are different colors. Manufacturers tint them different colors to make them harder to mix up. It’s easy to notice that you have purple fluid when you normally use green! That way, you have less chance of damaging your minivan engine by using the wrong antifreeze.

One last word of warning — a little outside the area of car care. Never, ever let anyone or pets drink coolant/antifreeze – it is deathly poisonous.

Take care of your car, and take care of yourself! Just some good car care tips from Des Moine BDG to keep you on the road and help your life in Des Moines run more pleasantly.

Posted in   Cooling System

Cool Running In Des Moines

Unless you live in Death Valley, you really don’t hear much any more about cars overheating. That’s because cooling systems in vehicles have been much improved. That doesn’t mean you can’t overheat your minivan engine, though. Without proper preventive maintenance, you could still find yourself on the side of the highway in Des Moines waiting for your minivan engine to cool down.

When you service your cooling system at Des Moine BDG, your technician will check the condition of the coolant. It can become corrosive over time, which can damage a radiator — leading to an overheated engine. Changing the coolant periodically is good car care. Your minivan owner’s manual can give you guidelines on how often to replace it.

If your engine overheated, your helpful tech will also check your coolant system for leaks. Check the minivan radiator for cracks and the radiator hoses for leaks. He’ll also check your water pump. They don’t need to be replaced on a regular schedule, but they do need a diagnostic examination regularly. They can and do wear out.

The water pump is a critical component of your minivan cooling system. It pumps the coolant to keep it circulating through the engine. The coolant is cooled in the radiator, then it travels through the engine, where it absorbs heat, then it returns to the radiator, where it releases the heat. And so on. But a water pump is something of a misnomer. The fluid pumped through your minivan cooling system is not just water. It also contains coolant, which is actually poisonous. You should never consider your radiator as an emergency water supply.

There are many types of coolant. It varies from vehicle to vehicle, and using the wrong kind could damage your engine. Your service specialist will know which kind your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends. The team of automotive professionals at Des Moine BDG is always a good source for auto advice. We’ve been providing quality automotive services at our convenient location in Des Moines for 7 years.

Keeping your cooling system in good repair will help keep your engine running well, and keep you out of the Altoona repair shop. This means that a regular cooling system inspection should be on your schedule for routine preventive maintenance of your vehicle. Your owner’s manual will tell you how often you need to do this. It varies depending on what kind of car you drive, what type of driving you do and where you live in IA.

At Des Moine BDG, we help you keep your cool which will keep you in the driving lane.

Posted in   Cooling System

Smart Des Moines Drivers Protect Against Overheating

Engines get hot when they run. This heat can build up and damage vital engine parts, so engines need a cooling system to keep them running. Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure in vehicles. This is unfortunate, because these failures are usually easy for Des Moines auto owners to prevent.

The radiator is the best-known and most recognizable part of the cooling system. Hoses filled with coolant (also known as antifreeze) connect the radiator to the engine. The coolant draws heat from the engine, and then flows to the radiator. Air passing through cooling fins on the radiator cools the coolant. The coolant then cycles back into the engine to start the process over again.

The most critical component of the cooling system, however, is the coolant itself. A mixture of water and coolant/antifreeze helps keep it both from freezing and from boiling away. Either can result in serious engine damage.

Different engines require different types of coolant/antifreeze. The owner’s manual will list what kind a vehicle requires. Using the wrong type or mixing different types of may void the warranty on the cooling system and may damage it as well.

Insufficient coolant can lead to engine failure. Coolant levels need to be checked regularly and topped off as necessary. If coolant levels drop quickly or consistently, the cooling system should be inspected for leaks. Coolant/antifreeze contains additives that protect the radiator and other coolant components from rust, scale and corrosion. Over time, these additives are depleted, so it is necessary for Des Moines auto owners to replace coolant at specified intervals. Changing coolant should be part of routine preventive maintenance for any vehicle.

This service is often ignored, though, since old coolant still cools the engine. Vehicle owners don’t realize there is a problem until the system fails. They are left with major repairs and possibly a damaged engine, which could have been prevented with a cooling system service at Des Moine BDG in Des Moines.

If your minivan sends a warning message to check its coolant or if the temperature gauge is reading in the red or hot zone, then the cooling system needs an automotive analysis. This service is important and should not be put off since the potential for damage is high.

In an emergency situation, water or antifreeze can be added to your minivan so that it can be driven to a service center for proper car care. For this reason, owner’s manual contains instructions for how to top off insufficient coolant – allow 45 minutes for the engine to cool before attempting to add coolant or water. However, the fluid should be added to the coolant overflow bottle, not to the radiator itself. Removing the radiator pressure cap can result in severe burns.

Topping off in an emergency, however, does not fix the problem. The vehicle should immediately be taken to your Des Moines service center or Des Moine BDG where they can inspect the cooling system, repair any leaks, and clean it if necessary. They can identify what caused the emergency situation in the first place and ensure it doesn’t happen again.

Regular maintenance of a vehicle’s cooling system is just good auto advice for Des Moines drivers. Cooling system service is relatively inexpensive and doesn’t take long at Des Moine BDG. Lack of it, however, can put a vehicle in the scrap heap.

Talk to your Des Moine BDG tech for more information.

Posted in   Cooling System

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 cooling system is essential for Des Moines car owners. It circulates coolant through the radiator and your engine to protect your minivan 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 your minivan. 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. We see it often at Des Moine BDG. Some start failing at around 40,000 miles, but most fail by 100,000 miles. Consult your auto manufacturer’s owners’ manual or helpful Des Moine BDG service advisor 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 Des Moines car owners 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 Des Moine BDG technician 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.

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

Posted in   Cooling System

Coolant Service at Des Moine BDG

Des Moines auto owners’ cars have to operate in a wide range of IA temperatures which requires our engine coolant to be able to perform ‘no matter what’. Think for a moment about the environment where the coolant does its thing. 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 vehicle manufacturers recommend different types of anti-freeze for our Des Moines, IA vehicles.

There are several different ‘families’ of anti-freeze available to us here in Des Moines, IA. Your owners’ manual will tell you what kind you should use. Of course, the automotive professionals at  Des Moine BDG will know the right kind for your car.

It’s vital to stay on top of this because coolant system failure is the most common mechanical problem people have here in Des Moines, IA. Regular service at Des Moine BDG 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 helpful Des Moine BDG service advisor will know what to do. You’ll be advised to replace the coolant at specified intervals.

Some auto makers recommend periodic coolant system flushes. A flush adds a cleaning step to the fluid replacement process. Again, check to see what your Des Moines service advisor 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. Des Moines motorists can literally melt down their engine and have to replace the whole thing. So don’t ignore warning signs.

First turn off the air conditioner. This will lower engine temperature right away. Next, crank up 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.

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. Des Moine BDG 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 Des Moines, IA, mean that you’ll need to service your coolant more frequently.

At AutoNetTV, we suggest that you have Des Moine BDG 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 Des Moines, IA.

Posted in   Cooling System

Keep Your Cool In Des Moines

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Des Moines drivers rely on their car’s coolant system to keep their engine cool. Coolant (also called antifreeze) mixed with water flows through your minivan engine and absorbs heat. The mixture then flows out to the radiator where it’s cooled by air flowing over the radiator. From there the coolant/water mix circulates back through the engine to absorb more heat.

There’s a reason we mix coolant and water. Water alone actually does a good job transferring heat from the engine. The problem is that water boils at a temperature that’s easily reached inside your minivan’s engine, so it can turn to steam which does not conduct heat as well and is harder to contain.

Also, if it’s freezing outside in Des Moines, the water in your engine could freeze while your vehicle is sitting out in the cold.

So, if you remember your Des Moines high school chemistry, you’ll know that a mixture has both a higher boiling point and a lower freezing point than either component alone.

Coolant, or antifreeze, is specially formulated to keep your engine safe in a wide range of environmental and operating temperatures in and around Des Moines.

Keep Your Cool In Des Moines Whenever the minivan is running, the coolant in the cooling system is working to keep your engine from overheating. When it’s cold outside, the coolant acts as antifreeze to keep the fluid from freezing in your engine.

All that exploding fuel in your engine creates a lot of heat. Without coolant, the metal minivan engine parts would expand so much that the engine would seize up and stop running. Expensive parts could be broken or warp so badly they would have to be replaced. It could even be so bad that the whole minivan’s engine is ruined and has to be junked.

This is why it is critical that Des Moines drivers check coolant levels frequently and have their minivan cooling system inspected for leaks. Also your minivan manufacturer has a maintenance requirement for draining and replacing your coolant. These recommendations can vary widely, so check your owner’s manual or ask us at Des Moine BDG in Des Moines.

The reason you need to change the coolant is that it has additives in it to protect the cooling system. As you can imagine, with all the heat, the cooling system’s a pretty harsh environment. The additives keep the fluid from becoming corrosive and damaging the radiator and other minivan cooling system components. Over time, the additives are depleted and the coolant just has to be replaced.

Many Des Moines auto owners ask Des Moine BDG why there are different colors of antifreeze. It is very important that you use the correct type of antifreeze. The different types of antifreeze – or coolant – are different colors so you don’t mix them up.

Auto manufacturers use different materials to make the cooling system, and they require different types of antifreeze to protect them.

So check with us at Des Moine BDG or your owner’s manual for the right kind because using the wrong coolant can void the warranty for your minivan cooling system.

Posted in   Cooling System

Des Moine BDG 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 in Des Moines, it is easy to prevent.

Des Moine BDG
2222 East Douglas Ave
Des Moines, IA 50313

The most recognizable part of the coolant system to Altoona car owners 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 passes 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 failure. Most common is with the coolant itself. Coolant is comprised of water and antifreeze. The proper ratio keeps the coolant from either boiling away or freezing. Understandably, either can lead to massive engine damage.

Another essential coolant issue that is often overlooked by Des Moines drivers 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. That old container of coolant gathering dust in your garage may still keep your engine cool, but it won’t protect it from corrosion.

If get a warning message to check the coolant or if the minivan 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, get to Des Moine BDG in Des Moines immediately if your coolant is low. If that is not possible, follow the directions in your minivan 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 Des Moine BDG service center where we can make necessary adjustments.
  • Fourth, not all cars use the same type of antifreeze. You need to check your minivan 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 depend on your Des Moine BDG service center in Des Moines to do things right.

Remember, your Des Moines service center has the equipment to change your coolant quickly and inexpensively.

Posted in   Cooling System