Understanding what your coolant system is and how it works is helpful in being able to recognize when it is not working properly and that it may need maintenance or repair. One of the primary functions of coolant is to regulate heat within the cylinder head and engine block of your diesel engine. The coolant system is designed to circulate a cooling medium which absorbs heat from the engine and disperses it through a heat exchanger (i.e., a radiator or cooler). In the most basic terms, coolant picks up heat and transfers it to the radiator. Coolant is also used to protect against freezing and boiling, corrosion and pitting of cylinder liners and the diesel engine block.
Equipment failure results when there is a break-down in the process of dissipating engine heat. If your coolant system is faulty, this will cause a rise in temperature in the engine. Overheating can cause your engine pistons to expand, thus scraping the cylinders which cause damage to both components. This overheating can also cause wear and damage to your truck’s bearings and crankshaft. In extreme cases, you may even experience complete engine failure.
Common indicators of overheating
- Broken thermostat
- Blocked diesel injectors
- Broken radiator hose
- Coolant leaks
- Steam or smoke is coming from the radiator cap
- There is a noticeable smell of coolant
- The truck’s temperature gauge shoots up
What can you do to help maintain your coolant system?
At Absolute Repair, we advise customers on industry best practices to maintain their coolant systems and prolong the life of their heavy-duty vehicles. Some of these practices can include:
- Ensuring the cooling system is filled with coolant and the freeze protection level is adequate
- Using the same coolant already in the engine for top-ups
- Checking radiator fluid levels and concentration
- Properly cleaning and flush the system when coolant is changed
- Checking the integrity of the radiator cap and looking for leaks