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The Greatest Cause of Summer Breakdowns is Overheating


Summertime calls most of us out on the roads ó planning a summer vacation, travelling on the weekend, or just spending your evenings out enjoying the hot summer nights. Summer's heat, dust, and stop-and-go traffic will take their toll on your vehicle. Add the effects of last winter, and you could be poised for a breakdown. You can lessen the odds of mechanical failure through periodic maintenance.


You car's cooling system is critical to your summer driving, with the primary job of keeping your engine cool, striving for a constant 75DegC for carburettor cars, and 95DegC (up to 105) for EFI cars, to protect your engine against corrosion, provide more efficient fuel combustion, and maintain proper oil viscosity.


However, in hot weather, your coolant could reach 120DegC and your car could overheat. This is why your cooling system needs extra attention in the summer. But before you get under the hood, make sure your engine is cool ― never remove a radiator cap when the engine is hot, or even warm.


To prepare your cooling system for summer, you'll want to check the radiator for leaks, the tightness and condition of drive belts, be sure all the connections and clamps are tight, and hoses should be checked to make sure they are supple with no cracks or leaks. The reservoir level should be half full and if it is low, add coolant. You know my view on the disasters anti-freeze can cause, however if you use anti-freeze:


The cooling system should be completely flushed and refilled every 24 months


According to the safety data sheets of industrial chemical manufacturers, chemicals such as Ethylene Glycol and Propylene Glycol will cause serious health conditions, including liver and heart damage and damage to the central nervous system if sufficient is absorbed by the body.


Ethylene glycol and propylene glycol are clear liquids used in antifreeze and de-icing solutions. Exposure to excess amounts of ethylene glycol can damage the kidneys, heart, and nervous system. Eating or drinking very large amounts of ethylene glycol can result in death, while large amounts can result in nausea, convulsions, slurred speech, disorientation, and heart and kidney problems.


Antifreeze over time becomes acidic, causing corrosion to metal parts of the cooling system, and in fact can turn the whole system into a battery whose anodes (typically the aluminium parts) are consumed and then causes untold problems with eating metals away, clogging the engine passageways and radiator with sludge, reducing the cooling system efficiency and overheating resulting in engine damage


Luckily here we live in an area where the ambient temperature doesnít fall low enough to warrant an antifreeze solution, so there is no need to add glycol to our cooling water systems in our cars, and we donít need to drink it to protect ourselves.


Keep an eye on the temperature gauge on your dashboard. If you see the engine getting too hot, you can take immediate action by turning on the heater ― this pulls hot water off the engine block. Allow your engine time to cool down, because overheating can cause permanent damage to the engine


Ian Hissey