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Category Archives: Cooling System

Smart St. Louis Drivers Protect Against Overheating

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 St. Louis drivers 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 St. Louis drivers 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 St. Louis BDG in St. Louis.

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 an automotive analysis. This service is critical 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 St. Louis service center or St. Louis BDG 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 St. Louis drivers. Cooling system service is relatively inexpensive and doesn’t take long at St. Louis BDG. Lack of it, however, can put a vehicle in the scrap heap.

Talk to your St. Louis BDG tech for more information.

Posted in   Cooling System

Coolant Service at St. Louis BDG

St. Louis motorists’ cars have to operate in a wide range of Missouri temperatures which requires our engine coolant to be able to perform ‘no matter what’. Think for a moment about the environment where the coolant does its thing. Very hot, high pressure, corrosive…

And all the while, it has to protect the components of the cooling system from corrosion. These components are made from steel and aluminum, plastics and rubber. The coolant has to be formulated to protect against corrosion for all of these different materials. That’s why manufacturers recommend different types of anti-freeze for our St. Louis, Missouri vehicles.

There are several different ‘families’ of anti-freeze available to us here in St. Louis, Missouri. Your owners’ manual will tell you what kind you should use. Of course, the automotive professionals at  St. Louis BDG will know the right kind for your car.

It’s vital to stay on top of this because coolant system failure is the most common mechanical problem people have here in St. Louis, Missouri. Regular service at St. Louis BDG needs to be done to avoid failures and also to keep your warranty in place.

While the specifics of the service required may vary from vehicle to vehicle, your honest St. Louis BDG service specialist will know what to do. You’ll be advised to replace the coolant at specified intervals.

Some auto manufacturers recommend periodic coolant system flushes. A flush adds a cleaning step to the fluid replacement process. Again, check to see what your St. Louis service specialist recommends.

Someday, you may have to deal with an overheating problem, so you need to know what to do if your coolant temperature warning light comes on or your temperature gauge is in the hot zone.

Now, overheating can be very pricey. St. Louis drivers can literally melt down their engine and have to replace the whole thing. So don’t ignore warning signs.

First turn off the air conditioner. This will lower engine temperature right away. Next, crank up your heater to maximum heat and run the fan at high speed. You might need to roll down the windows, but this will take a lot of heat off the engine.

Pull over as soon as you can safely do so
, especially if you are stuck in slow-moving traffic, and shut the car off. It may take as much as 45 minutes for the engine to cool to the point that it’s safe to operate the car again.

If you need to add water or antifreeze, be sure to wait until the car cools down. Opening the radiator cap or even the overflow bottle when the coolant is hot and under pressure may result in serious burns.

After the engine has cooled for 45 minutes or so, look to see if the coolant is low in the overflow tank. If so, you can cover the overflow tank cap with a large cloth and open the lid. Then start the engine and pour in some water or antifreeze. Pouring it in when the car is running will circulate the new, cool fluid with the warmer fluid in the engine and avoid engine damage.

Of course, overheating is a serious problem and you need to get it fixed right away. St. Louis BDG can make sure the coolant is right before you drive home.

Those spring and winter inspections really come in handy when they head off a cooling system problem. And don’t forget that severe service driving conditions, like towing or hot, dusty driving around St. Louis, Missouri, mean that you’ll need to service your coolant more frequently.

At AutoNetTV, we suggest that you have St. Louis BDG inspect your coolant system to find small problems before they become big, and to change belts and hoses before they fail. After all, we don’t want you to lose your cool out there in St. Louis, Missouri.

Posted in   Cooling System

Water Pump

Your cooling system is very important. It circulates coolant through the radiator and your engine to protect your car from overheating. There are five main components to the cooling system:

  • the radiator
  • the radiator cap
  • the hoses
  • the thermostat and
  • the water pump

The cooling system is critical for St. Louis car owners. It circulates coolant through the radiator and your engine to protect your sedan from overheating. There are five main components to the cooling system:

the radiator
the radiator cap
the hoses
the thermostat and
the water pump

The water pump’s like the heart of your cooling system, circulating the fluid throughout your sedan. It’s a small pump that’s driven by the engine; usually by belt, but sometimes by a chain or gear.

The water pump only operates when the engine’s running. Water pump failure is pretty routine. We see it often at St. Louis BDG. Some start failing at around 40,000 miles, but most fail by 100,000 miles. Consult your automobile manufacturer’s owners’ manual or honest St. Louis BDG tech to see what’s recommended.

Since a water pump either works or it doesn’t, you need to change it when it fails. Water pumps fail in one of two ways: the bearings fail or they begin to leak. It’s possible to have a leak from a cracked water pump, but it usually leaks at the gasket where it attaches to the engine.

So how can St. Louis motorists tell when the water pump is failing? If you can hear a low-pitched grinding sound coming from the water pump – it’s got a problem. If you can see coolant in that area, you’ve got a leak.

Some water pumps are driven off the timing belt. They might be under a plastic cover so you can’t see the water pump. Look for coolant on the driveway. If you see some, have your St. Louis BDG service advisor check it out.

Most timing belts need to be changed at 60,000 miles – some longer. It’s a good idea to change your water pump at the same time if it’s one of those that’s driven off the timing belt. To start with, 90% of the work’s already done with the timing belt change. And, if you don’t, and develop a leak later, you’ll have to change the belt again along with the water pump because the belt will have been contaminated by the leaking coolant.

St. Louis auto owners can replace a failed water pump with a brand spankin’ new one or with a rebuilt pump. Rebuilt will save you some cash, but ask your honest St. Louis BDG service specialist what he thinks. Don’t feel too bad if your water pump gives out. They will all wear out eventually. Your St. Louis BDG service specialist can get you back on the road and on with your life.

Posted in   Cooling System

Cool Running In St. Louis

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 St. Louis waiting for your sedan engine to cool down.

When you service your cooling system at St. Louis BDG, your tech 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 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 advisor will know which kind your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends. The team of automotive professionals at St. Louis BDG is always a good source for auto advice. We’ve been providing quality automotive services at our convenient location in St. Louis for 20 years.

Keeping your cooling system in good repair will help keep your engine running well, and keep you out of the St. Louis 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 Missouri.

At St. Louis BDG, we help you keep your cool which will keep you in the driving lane.

Posted in   Cooling System

Coolant/Antifreeze Service At St. Louis BDG

Anyone that drives a car in St. Louis knows that engines get hot when they run. But did you know that engines need to be cooled to keep running? Heat inside an engine can cause the metal parts to expand, which can seize up an engine and make it stop running. It can even ruin the entire engine! Good car care requires keeping your sedan cooling system in good condition.

A vehicle’s cooling system circulates water and antifreeze (coolant) through the engine where it absorbs heat. It then flows to the radiator where the water and antifreeze are cooled by the air that flows over the radiator. Then it circulates back into the sedan’s engine to absorb more heat.

Why shouldn’t Clayton auto owners just use water? Because water boils at temperatures that are often reached inside of an engine. Steam won’t cool your sedan engine and is hard to contain within the cooling system. The antifreeze keeps the water from boiling.

So why do we call it antifreeze? Shouldn’t it be antiboil? Truth is, the antifreeze performs another critical task. Water freezes in cold Missouri weather. That would spell disaster for your sedan’s engine. So antifreeze also keeps the water in your cooling system from freezing in all but the most extreme cold. Pretty neat stuff!

Taking care of your cooling system is part of good preventive maintenance for your sedan. St. Louis car owners should check coolant level often and regularly inspect your cooling system for leaks.

That is just good auto advice. Your sedan’s manufacturer has maintenance requirements for draining and replacing engine coolant. Consult your owner’s manual or ask your honest St. Louis BDG service specialist for these recommendations, as they vary widely from among manufacturers.

Changing your coolant is also part of good preventive maintenance. Water is great at collecting all kinds of dissolved substances, especially when it’s hot. Water circulating through an engine picks up dirt, debris, pollutants, and other stuff. It actually becomes corrosive over time. This can damage engine parts and your radiator.

Replacing your coolant regularly keeps the sedan cooling system functioning well and doesn’t allow it to sneakily become the cancer that wipes out your engine.

But don’t just slop any antifreeze into your vehicle. Check your owner’s manual or ask your St. Louis BDG service advisor if you don’t know what is the right type of antifreeze for your vehicle. Using the wrong kind can void the warranty on your sedan cooling system.

You may have noticed that different types of antifreeze are different colors. Manufacturers tint them different colors to make them harder to mix up. It’s easy to notice that you have purple fluid when you normally use green! That way, you have less chance of damaging your sedan engine by using the wrong antifreeze.

One last word of warning — a little outside the area of car care. Never, ever let anyone or pets drink coolant/antifreeze – it is deathly poisonous.

Take care of your car, and take care of yourself! Just some good car care tips from St. Louis BDG to keep you on the road and help your life in St. Louis run more pleasantly.

Posted in   Cooling System

Cooling System Components


Today we want to talk about an important system in our cars – the cooling system. It’s one of those things that St. Louis drivers don’t give much thought to until it fails and then they’re stranded by the side of a road in St. Louis.

Cooling systems fail more often than any other mechanical system – usually because of neglect. Don’t you hate it when something breaks, and you could have done something to prevent it?

The good news is that if St. Louis motorists take care of their cooling systems they can keep working for the life of their car.

Here at AutoNetTV and St. Louis BDG in St. Louis, we emphasize critical preventive maintenance services like replacing your coolant according to the factory schedule. But the various parts that make up the cooling system need attention too. The major components of the cooling system are the water pump, freeze plugs, the thermostat, the radiator, cooling fans, the heater core, the pressure cap, the overflow tank and the hoses.

It sounds complicated, but we St. Louis motorists don’t have to be experts – we can leave that to our honest technician at St. Louis BDG. But, having an overview will help us remember how to take care of your car’s cooling system.

Most St. Louis folks would be surprised to know that burning fuel in your engine produces up to 4,500 degrees of heat. And all that heat has to be dealt with. If the heat can’t be drawn off the engine, the pistons will literally weld themselves to the inside of the cylinders – then you just have to throw the engine away and get a new one. That would cost thousands of dollars.

Now the water pump is what forces the coolant through passages in the sedan engine to absorb heat. The pump is driven by a belt that needs replacement from time to time. And the water pump will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Spending some cash on replacing the belts and water pump is much less than the cost of repairing the extremely pricey damage that can be done when an engine seizes.

There’s another little but essential part of the coolant system that protects the engine. It’s called a freeze plug. If you remember from high school chemistry, water expands when it freezes. In very cold areas, the coolant can actually freeze when the sedan is left sitting.

It is hard to believe, but the expanding frozen coolant is strong enough to actually crack the engine block. The freeze plugs fit into the engine block. They fit tight enough to withstand the pressure of a running engine, but can expand or pop out if the coolant freezes. These little things save a lot of engine blocks.

That brings up a good point. An engine has to work in all kinds of Missouri temperatures – extremely hot as well as very cold. How does the sedan cooling system adapt to external temperatures as well as varying operating conditions?

Well, it’s much like the way you keep your St. Louis house at a comfortable temperature all year round – with a thermostat. The thermostat in your sedan controls how much coolant flows through your engine. When the engine is cold, it restricts coolant flow until the engine comes up to an efficient operating temperature. Then it starts opening up to move more coolant to keep the temperature within a specified range.

The thermostat needs to be replaced from time to time as well. It’s easy for your St. Louis BDG service professional to diagnose a failed thermostat and is fairly inexpensive to replace. We can do this for you at St. Louis BDG in St. Louis, just give us a call: 636-946-5900. Now we’ve been talking about all this heat we’ve got to get rid of, but haven’t really talked about where it goes. That’s where the radiator comes in. The hot coolant passes through the radiator. Air flows past the cooling fins and cools the coolant.

The radiator has two tanks that hold coolant: sometimes one at the top and bottom or one on either side. If you have an automatic transmission in your sedan, one of the tanks will also contain a second tank that cools the transmission fluid. Large SUV’s and trucks often have a separate transmission cooler. So when St. Louis auto owners drive around St. Louis, the air is forced past the radiator. But driving doesn’t produce enough air flow. So the radiator has cooling fans that force fresh air over the radiator. These fans may be powered by a belt or by electric motors.

St. Louis auto owners also have something called a heater core. The heater core is like a mini radiator. A small fan blows air over the heater core and into the passenger compartment of your sedan. That’s how St. Louis drivers warm their cars when it’s cold out in Missouri.

Next is the radiator cap. With most newer cars around St. Louis, you never remove the radiator cap, except to replace it. You add coolant through the overflow tank. The radiator cap is also called a pressure cap, because its key job is to maintain pressure in the cooling system.

High pressure raises the boiling point of the coolant, so it cools more effectively even in very demanding St. Louis conditions. That is why St. Louis car owners need to replace the cap from time to time. The team at St. Louis BDG recommends changing it out every time you replace your coolant.

Coming back to the overflow tank, it is essential because when the coolant gets hot it expands and the overflow holds the extra volume. The tank helps maintain the proper level of coolant and keeps air out of the system. St. Louis drivers should never open the radiator cap or over flow tank when the engine is hot. This could lead to serious burns.

What else do we St. Louis drivers need to do to keep our cooling systems working well? Well, there are the hoses that hook all of these pieces together. They’re obviously very tough to deal with the pressure and high temperatures. But they do get worn. Sometimes they get spongy from the heat. Sometimes they lose their connection to the radiator, water pump, etc. It’s a great idea to have your St. Louis service center or honest St. Louis BDG service specialist inspect your hoses at least once a year and replace them, if needed, before they break.

The team at St. Louis BDG can check your cooling system and make any necessary adjustments or repairs. Give us a call at 636-946-5900.

St. Louis BDG
1665 Scherer Pkwy.
St. Louis, Missouri 63303
636-946-5900

Posted in   Cooling System

Keeping Your Engine Cool In St. Louis, Missouri

The cooling system keeps Missouri car owners’s engines from overheating while they are driving around St. Louis, Chesterfield and Clayton. Its job is to move heat away from the engine. Let’s talk about the various components of the system and how they make this happen.

The radiator is the part most St. Louis car owners associate with the cooling system. Coolant flows through the radiator which has fine cooling fins that draw the heat out of the coolant and dissipate it into the air. To make sure there’s enough airflow over the radiator, a fan pulls air over the cooling fins even when the sedan is idling.

In some sedans, the fan is powered by the serpentine belt. On others, an electric motor runs the fan. Electric fans turn on and off as needed. You may have heard the fan kick on shortly after you turn your sedan off. The sensor has determined that the engine needs a little help cooling down to a safe temperature.

St. Louis Missouri Radiator A hose connects the radiator to the water pump. The water pump pushes the water into the sedan engine block. Now the engine block and cylinder heads have passages for the coolant to pass through without getting into the oil or the combustion chamber. In the automotive community, these passages are referred to as the “water jacket”.

While the coolant is passing through the water jacket, it absorbs heat from the sedan engine on its way to the radiator for cooling. Between the engine and the radiator is a gatekeeper called the thermostat. The thermostat’s job is to regulate the temperature of the engine just like your home thermostat regulates the temperature in your St. Louis house. It gets your engine up to the correct operating temperature and then keeps it from overheating.

When you first start the engine, it’s very cold and needs to warm up. So the thermostat blocks the flow of coolant to the radiator. As the engine warms up, the thermostat starts to let coolant flow through the system.

The final component the team at St. Louis BDG wants to point out is the overflow reservoir. This bottle is designed to hold some of the coolant. It’ll have a mark that indicates whether or not you have enough coolant. This is where you should add coolant if you just need to top it off.

Caution: never open the reservoir or the radiator cap when the car’s hot. The cooling system is pressurized and opening them while it’s hot can cause hot coolant and steam to escape resulting in serious burns.

Cooling system failure is the most common mechanical failure in vehicles around St. Louis, Missouri. At St. Louis BDG, we can do a periodic inspection of the components for harmful leaks, loose connections and weakening hoses.

St. Louis BDG
1665 Scherer Pkwy.
St. Louis, Missouri 63303
636-946-5900

Your auto maker has also specified a cooling system service interval. With a cooling system service at St. Louis BDG in St. Louis, the old coolant is replaced with correct clean fluid that contains the additives required to prevent corrosion. The additives are depleted over time and you need fresh fluid for adequate protection. Your radiator pressure cap should be replaced at this service as well.

Posted in   Cooling System

Keep Your Cool In St. Louis

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St. Louis drivers rely on their car’s coolant system to keep their engine cool. Coolant (also called antifreeze) mixed with water flows through your sedan engine and absorbs heat. The mixture then flows out to the radiator where it’s cooled by air flowing over the radiator. From there the coolant/water mix circulates back through the engine to absorb more heat.

There’s a reason we mix coolant and water. Water alone actually does a good job transferring heat from the engine. The problem is that water boils at a temperature that’s easily reached inside your sedan’s engine, so it can turn to steam which does not conduct heat as well and is harder to contain.

Also, if it’s freezing outside in St. Louis, the water in your engine could freeze while your vehicle is sitting out in the cold.

So, if you remember your St. Louis high school chemistry, you’ll know that a mixture has both a higher boiling point and a lower freezing point than either component alone.

Coolant, or antifreeze, is specially formulated to keep your engine safe in a wide range of environmental and operating temperatures in and around St. Louis.

Keep Your Cool In St. Louis Whenever the sedan is running, the coolant in the cooling system is working to keep your engine from overheating. When it’s cold outside, the coolant acts as antifreeze to keep the fluid from freezing in your engine.

All that exploding fuel in your engine creates a lot of heat. Without coolant, the metal sedan engine parts would expand so much that the engine would seize up and stop running. Expensive parts could be broken or warp so badly they would have to be replaced. It could even be so bad that the whole sedan’s engine is ruined and has to be junked.

This is why it is critical that St. Louis drivers check coolant levels frequently and have their sedan cooling system inspected for leaks. Also your sedan manufacturer has a maintenance requirement for draining and replacing your coolant. These recommendations can vary widely, so check your owner’s manual or ask us at St. Louis BDG in St. Louis.

The reason you need to change the coolant is that it has additives in it to protect the cooling system. As you can imagine, with all the heat, the cooling system’s a pretty harsh environment. The additives keep the fluid from becoming corrosive and damaging the radiator and other sedan cooling system components. Over time, the additives are depleted and the coolant just has to be replaced.

Many St. Louis auto owners ask St. Louis BDG why there are different colors of antifreeze. It is very important that you use the correct type of antifreeze. The different types of antifreeze – or coolant – are different colors so you don’t mix them up.

Auto manufacturers use different materials to make the cooling system, and they require different types of antifreeze to protect them.

So check with us at St. Louis BDG or your owner’s manual for the right kind because using the wrong coolant can void the warranty for your sedan cooling system.

Posted in   Cooling System

St. Louis BDG Radiator Service

The coolant system is a vital part of your vehicle. It is also the second most common cause for vehicle failures. Even though coolant system failure is fairly common in St. Louis, it is easy to prevent.

St. Louis BDG
1665 Scherer Pkwy.
St. Louis, Missouri 63303
636-946-5900

The most recognizable part of the coolant system to St. Louis motorists is the radiator. It is connected to the engine with hoses and is filled with coolant. The coolant draws heat off the engine and then passes into the radiator. Air passes through cooling fins to reduce the temperature of the coolant and then it’s back to the engine again.

There are several ways for the cooling system failure. Most common is with the coolant itself. Coolant is comprised of water and antifreeze. The proper ratio keeps the coolant from either boiling away or freezing. Understandably, either can lead to massive engine damage.

Another important coolant issue that is often overlooked by St. Louis drivers is the age of the coolant itself. Antifreeze has additives that protect the coolant system from corrosion. As these additives are depleted over time, they can’t protect the radiator and other parts from rust, scaling and corrosion. That old container of coolant gathering dust in your garage may still keep your engine cool, but it won’t protect it from corrosion.

If get a warning message to check the coolant or if the sedan temperature gauge is in the hot zone, your cooling system needs to be checked. It’s OK to add water or antifreeze yourself. But you need to be cautious. Remember four things:

  • First, you never want to open the radiator pressure cap. You could be severely burned.
  • Second, get to St. Louis BDG in St. Louis immediately if your coolant is low. If that is not possible, follow the directions in your sedan owners manual – it will direct you to only make additions to the coolant overflow bottle.
  • Third, remember that you need a proper mixture of water and antifreeze. If you make an emergency addition to your cooling system, follow-up with your St. Louis BDG service center where we can make necessary adjustments.
  • Fourth, not all cars use the same type of antifreeze. You need to check your sedan owners manual to make sure you use the right kind. Mixing antifreeze types or using the wrong kind of antifreeze may void the manufacturers warranty on your cooling system. Again, another reason to depend on your St. Louis BDG service center in St. Louis to do things right.

Remember, your St. Louis service center has the equipment to change your coolant quickly and inexpensively.

Posted in   Cooling System