As you might have realised, Australia is a very hot country to live in. Though you might not know it, if you’re feeling a little hot your car might be too.
Modern cars are an incredibly complex accumulation of thousands of moving parts that allow us to drive from point a to point b like it's nothing. It really is a miracle that as a species, humans were able to even invent the engine, let alone put it all together to get cars.
While cars are basically magic boxes full of wizardry and the forgotten legacies of strange engineers you don’t know the name of (ref. Rudolph Diesel), any mechanic will quickly tell you that engineers are not the perfect people they try to carry themselves as.
This leads back to our earlier point about your car being hot too.
One of the things that engineers are constantly struggling with is heat. While it seems a little ridiculous, an engine runs by setting off thousands of tiny explosions every single minute. This expansive use of an exothermic reaction to transfer heat energy into kinetic energy (say that 6 times fast) leads to immense heat dissipation while running.
While an engineer may be tasked with designing a cooling system to be used in a car, many engineers genuinely seem to underestimate the extreme temperatures that exist around the world.
Whether this comes about by trying to design a product that works in any country or not, this underestimation can cause cars to run hotter and hotter in summer or much too cold in winter. However, we live in Brisbane where the only season is summer, so we’ll focus on the hot part.
Though we've talked about the many jobs that coolant performs in previous blogs, the forbidden cordial is mainly used to extract heat from the engine and transfer it to the outside world through the radiator. The radiator works exactly like an old heater for your house and lets the outside air pass over fins containing the hot coolant from the engine.
So, this might lead us to the next question, is there a reason for this blog post?
In Australia, we often suffer from cooling system overload due to the climate, poor design of cooling systems and irregular service. Over-temperature coolant can lead to really bad things like overheated engine components and even damage the chemical make-up of engine oil, which can cause long term damage.
While many owners won’t experience this phenomenon for many years, if you're suppering cooling issues on or off the road, here are a few simple things you can do to improve your cooling system this summer.
1. Clean the radiator out
Ask a professional to make sure that nothing is caught in the radiator and preventing air flow over the fins. This will make the radiator more efficient.
2. Flush the cooling system.
Excess build-up of corrosion and muck in the cooling system will always reduce the effectiveness of the cooling system.
3. Check the cooling system components.
Ask your mechanic to check the components condition once a year to make sure that everything is running smoothly.
4. Upgrade your radiator and oil coolers.
A larger radiator, oil coolers or cooling fans will help keep the engine temperature down significantly in any situation and will help keep your motor safe through summer.
Though these things may never actually be a problem for you, it's always healthy to know the best way to deal with heat in the harsh Australian climate.
If you have any questions about this blog post, would like a second opinion from a mechanic or would like to find an honest mechanic in Brisbane, check out Kashy here.