Autobahn West

Providing superb car service and repairs to BMW, Mini Cooper, Porsche, Volvo and Mercedes owners since 1976

Autobahn West - Providing superb car service and repairs to BMW, Mini Cooper, Porsche, Volvo and Mercedes owners since 1976

Keep Your Cool In Mission Viejo

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Mission Viejo auto owners rely on their car’s coolant system to keep their engine cool. Coolant (also called antifreeze) mixed with water flows through your pickup 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 pickup’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 Mission Viejo, the water in your engine could freeze while your vehicle is sitting out in the CA cold.

So, if you remember your Mission Viejo 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 Mission Viejo.

Keep Your Cool In Mission Viejo Whenever your pickup 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 pickup engine parts would expand so much that the engine would seize up and stop running. The pricey parts could be broken or warp so badly they would have to be replaced. It could even be so bad that the whole pickup’s engine is ruined and has to be junked.

This is why it is critical that Mission Viejo drivers check coolant levels frequently and have their pickup cooling system inspected for leaks. Also your pickup auto maker 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 Autobahn West in Mission Viejo.

The reason Mission Viejo auto owners 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 pickup cooling system components. Over time, the additives are depleted and the coolant just has to be replaced.

Many Mission Viejo auto owners ask Autobahn West 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.

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

So check with us at Autobahn West in Mission Viejo or your owner’s manual for the right kind because using the wrong coolant can void the warranty for your pickup cooling system.

Cool Running In Mission Viejo

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 pickup engine, though. Without proper preventive maintenance, you could still find yourself on the side of the highway in Mission Viejo waiting for your pickup engine to cool down.

When you service your cooling system at Autobahn West, your service specialist 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 pickup owner’s manual can give you guidelines on how often to replace it.

If your engine overheated, your understanding service professional will also check your coolant system for leaks. Check the pickup 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 pickup 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 pickup 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 tech will know which kind your vehicle’s manufacturer recommends. The team of automotive professionals at Autobahn West is always a good source for auto advice. We’ve been providing quality automotive services at our convenient location in Mission Viejo for 6 years.

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

At Autobahn West, we help you keep your cool which will keep you in the driving lane.

Keeping Your Engine Cool In Mission Viejo, CA

The cooling system keeps CA auto owners’s engines from overheating while they are driving around Mission Viejo, Foothill Ranch and El Toro. 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 Mission Viejo auto 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 pickup is idling.

In some pickups, 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 pickup off. The sensor has determined that the engine needs a little help cooling down to a safe temperature.

Mission Viejo CA Radiator A hose connects the radiator to the water pump. The water pump pushes the water into the pickup 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 pickup 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 Mission Viejo 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 Autobahn West 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 Mission Viejo, CA. At Autobahn West, we can do a periodic inspection of the components for detrimental leaks, loose connections and weakening hoses.

Autobahn West
25800 Jeronimo Rd. #200
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
949.525.9730

Your car maker has also specified a cooling system service interval. With a cooling system service at Autobahn West in Mission Viejo, 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.

Cooling System Components


Today we want to talk about a vital system in our cars – the cooling system. It’s one of those things that Mission Viejo car owners don’t give much thought to until it fails and then they’re stranded by the side of a road in Mission Viejo.

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 Mission Viejo car owners take care of their cooling systems they can keep working for the life of their car.

Here at AutoNetTV and Autobahn West in Mission Viejo, we emphasize key 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 Mission Viejo motorists don’t have to be experts – we can leave that to our understanding service advisor at Autobahn West. But, having an overview will help us remember how to take care of your car’s cooling system.

Most Mission Viejo 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 pickup 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 pickup is left sitting.

It is hard to believe, but the expanding frozen coolant is effective 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 CA temperatures – extremely hot as well as very cold. How does the pickup cooling system adapt to external temperatures as well as varying operating conditions?

Well, it’s much like the way you keep your Mission Viejo house at a comfortable temperature all year round – with a thermostat. The thermostat in your pickup 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 Autobahn West service specialist to diagnose a failed thermostat and is fairly inexpensive to replace. We can do this for you at Autobahn West in Mission Viejo, just give us a call: 949.770.2312. 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 pickup, 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 Mission Viejo car owners drive around Mission Viejo, 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.

Mission Viejo 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 pickup. That’s how Mission Viejo motorists warm their cars when it’s cold out in CA.

Next is the radiator cap. With most newer cars around Mission Viejo, 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 essential 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 Irvine conditions. That is why Mission Viejo auto owners need to replace the cap from time to time. The team at Autobahn West recommends changing it out every time you replace your coolant.

Coming back to the overflow tank, it is key 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. Mission Viejo 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 Mission Viejo car owners 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 Mission Viejo service center or understanding Autobahn West technician inspect your hoses at least once a year and replace them, if needed, before they break.

The team at Autobahn West can check your cooling system and make any necessary adjustments or repairs. Give us a call at 949.770.2312.

Autobahn West
25800 Jeronimo Rd. #200
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
949.770.2312

Autobahn West 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 Mission Viejo, it is easy to prevent.

Autobahn West
25800 Jeronimo Rd. #200
Mission Viejo, CA 92691
949.770.2312

The most recognizable part of the coolant system to Irvine drivers 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 vital coolant issue that is often overlooked by Mission Viejo 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 pickup 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 Autobahn West in Mission Viejo immediately if your coolant is low. If that is not possible, follow the directions in your pickup 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 Autobahn West service center where we can make necessary adjustments.
  • Fourth, not all cars use the same type of antifreeze. You need to check your pickup 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 Autobahn West service center in Mission Viejo to do things right.

Remember, your Mission Viejo service center has the equipment to change your coolant quickly and inexpensively.