Archive for the ‘Cooling System’ Category
Eric was recently interviewed on WZZM 13 here in Grand Rapids about making sure a vehicle is ready for fall and the winter months.
Main points of the interview:
Get your vehicle a safety inspection ASAP. The reason Eric urges you to do this right away is in case there is a list of safety items that needs to be addressed. We can help you prioritize the repairs needed and by the time snow starts falling you can be ready to go!
- Tires. They are the number one item to keep your car or truck on the road. Reliable tires are necessary to make sure you can safely stop, especially in inclement weather.
- Check the coolant (along with other fluids). Certainly we don’t want any engine to ever freeze. It is going to get really cold. Most engines will go through the summer months with no problem, even with inadequate anti-freeze protection but, as soon as the winter and cold weather gets here, that is when you are going to see an issue if that has been neglected.
- Check the battery to make sure it is in good shape. Batteries have a lot more stress on them when the temperature drops.
- Replace windshield wipers to make sure visibility isn’t compromised.
- Check heating system, to make it is performing well enough to keep drivers comfortable and defrost windows.
- Check brakes, to make sure they are in safe working order.
- Check and replace, if needed, exterior and brake lights to make sure other drivers can see you and you can see where you are going
If you have questions about the safety of your vehicle, give us a call! We’re happy to make sure you and your family safe on the road this fall and winter. At Ervine’s and Grand Rapids Hybrid we have free loaner cars help ease the inconvenience of being without your vehicle while repairs are made. 616-532-6600
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 Grand Rapids car 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 Grand Rapids motorists 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 Ervine’s Auto Repair in Grand Rapids.
If your sedan 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 a diagnostic examination. This service is vital 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 sedan 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 Grand Rapids service center or Ervine’s Auto Repair 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 Grand Rapids motorists. Cooling system service is relatively inexpensive and doesn’t take long at Ervine’s Auto Repair. Lack of it, however, can put a vehicle in the scrap heap.
Talk to your Ervine’s Auto Repair service specialist for more information.
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 sedan engine, though. Without proper preventive maintenance, you could still find yourself on the side of the highway in Grand Rapids waiting for your sedan engine to cool down.
When you service your cooling system at Ervine’s Auto Repair, your service advisor 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 sedan owner’s manual can give you guidelines on how often to replace it.
If your engine overheated, your honest and efficient tech will also check your coolant system for leaks. Check the sedan 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 sedan 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 sedan 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 Ervine’s Auto Repair is always a good source for auto advice. We’ve been providing quality automotive services at our convenient location in Grand Rapids for 36 years.
Keeping your cooling system in good repair will help keep your engine running well, and keep you out of the Grand Rapids 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 Michigan.
At Ervine’s Auto Repair, we help you keep your cool which will keep you in the driving lane.
I’ll keep this short and not so sweet: In a couple of weeks we will be getting our RV out of storage. If you see gas prices jump up to $4.00 a gallon that means we just pulled it out of the storage facility. There is some obscure Murphy’s law that explains this correlation, but darned if I can find it. On a purely automotive note, it’s that time to make sure our vehicles are in good condition for the heat of summer. This past winter wasn’t much different from most of West Michigan winters, it beat the heck out of our vehicles. Please get yours checked over for proper air conditioning, cooling system, suspension and steering, at a minimum. Keep your wheels on the road, Eric.
For those of you that would like another person telling you how to drive in Grand Rapids in the winter, read on. For those that choose to ignore my sage advice, proceed at your own peril. My number one bit of advice, have your tires checked. Both for tread depth and wear, but also inflation and age of the tire. Number two, the heating/cooling system needs to be in proper working order. Nothing worse than freezing your keester off and not being able to see out any windows due to frosting of the glass. This is a genuine safety issue. Number three, have the battery/starting/charging systems checked. The electrical system works much harder in the winter due to the increased load and the battery loses some of its effectiveness when the temp drops. Number four, do not wash your vehicle when the temperatures get too low. 25 degrees and below seem to cause all kinds of problems: doors stick, locks stop working, wiper mechanisms get frozen, etc. I know we want to have a shiny vehicle, but the down side is a lot of aggravation. Aside from the car wash complications, many of these issues can be caught early with regular car maintenance from Ervine’s Auto Repair. Well, I think this is enough reading for today class, let’s go to recess.
Keep your tires on the road kids, Eric.
Chelsea Vives: Awesome service!! They were extremely helpful and friendly! I loved how they were accommodating to the customers and being very organized with after hours drop-offs and pick-ups. They were also very quick with fixing my car which was great.
Andy Krafft: Ervine's has provided great service for me throughout my college years! They do their best to make time for customers and understand the importance and value in quality service. Would definitely recommend!
Erin O'Brien-Jenison: The staff is very friendly. The technicians take the time to explain repairs in detail. The loaner car service is very convenient for my family. Each of my experiences with Ervine's has been very positive.
Jamie Riehle: My car needed a lot of work and being relatively new to the area, I had to rely on online reviews. Ervine's got great feedback, so I made an appointment through their website. I was contacted almost immediately and scheduled very quickly. The repairs took a few days, but with the free loaner it was no big deal. They explained everything to me, helped me prioritize which repairs to do first, and Jamie even entertained my 5-year-old while I spent 10 minutes on the phone with my bank to get my payment to go through. I may have been able to find someplace a little cheaper, but you can't pay for the excellent customer service at Ervine's. The lobby is clean, has fresh coffee, and is very professional. As a woman I've been intimidated going into car shops but I never felt that way at Ervine's. I'll definitely be returning.
Kaitlin McDowell: I had a great experience at Ervine's. I know very little about my car beyond turning it on, so I was relieved when the staff were willing to spend extra time explaining to me exactly what is going on and helping me to be an informed consumer. I also appreciated that they are not trying to sell something-- I did not actually need the repair that the dealership had told me to IMMEDIATELY deal with, and the folks at Ervine's were willing to tell me that when they could have made a buck doing the repair. The visit was so painless I even got to run errands while I was waiting using one of their fabulous loaner cars. Thank you so much!