Have your antifreeze changed and Cooling System flushed as specified for your vehicle. Some manufacturers recommend having this done every 30,000 miles or 2 years. Others have much different intervals, so consult your owner's manual or an authorized repair center. To check the coolant level, turn the car off and wait for the engine to cool. Locate the coolant reservoir (usually a translucent plastic tank) and eyeball the level of the coolant against the full and low indicators.
Just like human beings, your car needs to dissipate heat in order to avoid overheating. During combustion, the engine produces a large amount of heat - about 4,000 degrees Fahrenheit. This is too much for the engine to bear, so a cooling system is needed to keep it at a normal temperature. Cars usually overheat due to a damaged part in the cooling system such as the radiator, the center of the cooling system. It is therefore necessary that all parts be in proper working condition to ensure that the whole system works efficiently.
Aside from the radiator, the cooling system is primarily composed of the water pump, thermostat, hoses, and cooling fan. All these parts have special roles to perform; thus the failure of one could significantly affect the whole cooling process and of course, the engine’s performance. Take for example a radiator hose; once it starts to leak, the coolant can escape so it’s no longer possible for the system to properly cool the engine. Even the cap of the radiator is important. It holds the pressure in the cooling system, lowering the boiling point of the coolant and keeping the system stable.
How does the cooling system of your car work? The coolant, which is a mixture of anti-freeze and water, absorbs the heat from the engine. It is drawn out of the radiator by the water pump and is pumped through the engine block and the cylinder head to absorb the heat from the engine and its parts. It goes back to the receiving tank of the radiator through the radiator hose. The radiator has tubes through which heated coolant flows. The tubes have fins attached to them, over which outside air passes. Thus, as the coolant flows though the radiator, it transfers heat to the air.
The performance of your car is greatly dependent on your cooling system. No matter how gutsy its engine is, it can’t work normally without a cooling system. If the thermostat stays open for too long the engine will not reach its proper operating temperature, causing poor fuel mileage and lack of cabin heat. Engine overheating is one of the most common problems auto users encounter. In fact your engine can be destroyed in a very short period of time if it radically overheats. A worst case scenario is your engine melting or seizing up. You can generally avoid this by paying attention to your temperature gauge and having coolant added when the coolant level is low. If you are not familiar with the procedure, consult your mechanic when the coolant is low or you notice a leak.