While the engine is a core aspect of a car, one must not forget the importance of the cooling system as well. A car’s cooling system not only helps to prevent your engine from overheating, it also ensures your engine operates within its specified temperature range for optimum efficiency.

Like many other systems, each component within a cooling system plays a vital role in ensuring proper functionality, and should be inspected and/or replaced when needed. Suffice to say, an improperly maintained cooling system can result in an overheating or overcooled engine, which spells bad news for you, your car and most importantly, your wallet.

One of the most common causes of engine cooling system failures involve the hoses, which transport the coolant within a closed circuit. Electrochemical degradation, heat damage, ozone damage, abrasion damage and oil contamination are all causes of coolant hose failure, and can be identified by leaks near the hose clamps, connectors or on the hose itself.

Beyond the hoses, another major component of a car’s cooling system is the well-known radiator, which cools off the hot coolant through heat dissipation, with the support of a radiator fan and thermostat.

When the car senses that extra cooling is needed, the thermostat allows more coolant to flow into the radiator, and a fan switches on to further assist in cooling the hot coolant. However, a clogged or rusty radiator can result in coolant exiting the system, which can cause the engine to overheat as a result.

On a related note, a damaged thermostat due to rust, deposit build-up or corrosion can disrupt the flow of coolant into the radiator, while a faulty fan may not be able to cool the coolant properly. Furthermore, the radiator also comes with a cap, which may seem insignificant in but is essential to effectively seal off the system and keep it properly pressurised during operation.

To ensure the coolant flows within a cooling system, all cars come with a water pump, which can fail due to rust and corrosion, deposit build up, the formation of bubbles in the coolant which cause cavitation, as well as from damaged bearings and shaft within the unit.

Without a properly working water pump, coolant is unable to circulate throughout the cooling circuit (engine to radiator and back), resulting in an overheating engine. Most water pumps are usually driven externally by a pulley/belt combination, and to ensure proper operation, these components are replaced at the same time.

There are many symptoms that indicate if your car has cooling problems, including a higher than normal reading on the temperature gauge, smoke coming from the engine, a malfunctioning cooling fan, coolant light coming on the instrument cluster and coolant leak from under the vehicle. Should you spot any of the above symptoms, it is imperative that you get your vehicle checked out before a simple and affordable fix turns into a major repair bill.

When replacing cooling components, it is always recommended to flush the cooling system prior to replacement to remove harmful contaminants, which is the only way to verify a clean system to keep the vehicle running optimally.

While getting your vehicle fixed is a good initiative, using inferior or non-original parts can cause more harm than good. More importantly, you may have to make frequent returns to the workshop to continuously replace them, negating the “savings” you thought you were enjoying by buying subpar parts.

With that in mind, global OE supplier Gates offers a comprehensive range of cooling system products that are developed and built to the highest standards. As an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) for virtually every vehicle manufacturer worldwide, rest assured that the components supplied by Gates are produced according to meet OEM specifications and have better service life performance.

If you are uncertain about the exact cooling component you need for your car, the Gates Finder mobile app – available for both Apple and Android users – will allow you to initiate searches based on your vehicle make, model, by vehicle segment or by OE cross reference.

As an owner, you should never take the matter of your car’s cooling lightly, and when any replacements are needed, only use components that come from reliable and dependable suppliers that adhere to strict OEM standards.

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