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Tips for Maintaining Engine Cooling Systems

May 16, 2019

An engine's cooling system helps prevent overheating, and a lack of proper maintenance on that system can cause your engine to work harder than necessary. As a result, your machine will not operate as efficiently, and internal components could become damaged.

To ensure optimal cooling system performance, follow these tips.

Check Cooling Fans
Cracks or nicks in the fan blades can cause the fan to become out of balance and vibrate, which can damage internal components, eventually leading to costly downtime and repairs. Excessive debris buildup can cause the fan to disengage and blow a system fuse. Be sure to inspect your cooling fans for loose or damaged fan blades, cracks, and debris buildup at the intervals recommended by the manufacturer.

Inspect and Replace Hoses & Clamps
Hoses and clamps expand as the temperature rises in your cooling system, which can cause the hose-to-neck seal to wear at a faster rate. Worn seals will eventually lead to failure, so it's important to inspect all hoses and lines for excessive softness or hardness and check for cracks and leaks. At the very least, hoses should be removed and replaced every two years.

Have Professionals Analyze Your Coolant
Performing a coolant analysis can help identify problems before they lead to costly downtime. Half of all water pump failures are caused by a concentration of antifreeze that is too high for the cooling system that could have been avoided with coolant analysis. Check the additive concentrations with a coolant analysis test by taking a sample and submitting it to a professional lab for analysis.

Thoroughly Clean the Radiator and Coolers
Debris and dust buildup reduces airflow and heat transfer significantly, resulting in higher operating temperatures. This increase can cause the engine to overheat and, ultimately, shut down. To prevent this, regularly power wash the radiator and cooler. Ideally, this should be done every few days, especially during hot weather.