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Journeys : Oct Nov 2011
Jules’ Gems Regular motoring tips from RACT patrolman Julian McGarry 1 South Rd, Ulverstone 73 St Leonards Rd, Launceston 60 Main Rd, Wivenhoe 42 Gilbert St, Latrobe 17 Patrick St, Hobart 30 minute tyre fitting guarantee* when you book online or $30 cashback at... * Conditions apply EFTPOS & major credit cards accepted. Fleet management & Govt. vehicles welcome. Vince Sorrenti As a roadside job, engine overheating is often a tr icky problem to diagnose. Overheated engines are difficult to work on, due to the high temperatures and pressures involved. It could be caused by one small component of many complex systems within the motor vehicle. Common causes • An exter nal coolant leak from a hose, gasket, water pump, seal, radiator, radiator cap or heater core • An inter nal coolant leak from a head gasket or cracked head/ block • Insufficient air flow through the radiator from a slipping fan belt, inoperative electric cooling fan, faulty viscous fan hub, debr is blocking the radiator such as bugs or dirt build-up • Lack of coolant flow caused by a faulty thermostat, blocked radiator, faulty water pump, sludge and scale build-up in the engine coolant passages or air trapped in the cooling system that was not bled correctly after vehicle repair • Incorrect mix of coolant to water Other causes could be as simple as a radiator cap not holding pressure, resulting in a coolant loss and causing overheating from a low coolant level. All cars have a coolant temperature gauge or light, which should be constantly monitored. Most coolant temperature gauges read half for nor mal operation w ith a slightly higher reading if tow ing heavy loads. If the gauge is three quarters towards hot, or the red warning light is on, it’s time to pull over and call RACT Roadside. Unfortunately, the temperature gauge only measures the coolant temperature when it is actually immersed in coolant, so if you have coolant loss below the temperature sensor, the gauge may read cold or less than half. (Only about half of vehicles on the road today have a warning light to alert you to a low coolant level, which is an early warning that immediate action needs to be taken to have your cooling system repaired to the manufacturer’s specifications.) If one of any of the above problems are not repaired, continual driving will cause premature failure of the head gasket or the engine. If checking the coolant level when cold, make sure that the radiator is checked as well as the overflow bottle, where fitted, as the coolant will not f low back into the radiator from the overf low bottle unless the radiator is full. Warning – DO NOT remove the radiator cap when the engine is hot as coolant is under pressure and at a very high temperature. Severe burns will result when the fluid escapes. Life on the move October / November 2011 41
MNJ Aug Sep 2011