Not So Hot in Belton
Posted January 20, 2019 12:39 PM
When the weather turns cold, it's nice to crank up the furnace and enjoy the heat. But if your home's furnace doesn't work, it's not too comfortable. Same goes with your vehicle. When the heater's not working, things can get miserable. It could also signal some major problems, which we'll discuss later.
A vehicle's heating system is fairly complicated. It's made up of several parts, including a blower motor/fan, a heater core and some mechanical and electrical components. In basic terms, a vehicle's engine warms up coolant which is then sent to the heater core (which is kind of like a small radiator) behind the dash. That blower motor sends cold air through the heater core which heats up the air. Voila! Heat.
Diagnosing problems in this system takes a trained mechanic because of the different possible issues. Your heater core may need replacing; they are sometimes in tight spots and may be difficult to work on. Another possible problem could be a defective thermostat, which regulates how the coolant flows through the engine. You may have a leak somewhere in your cooling system. Those leaks may be something as simple as a detached hose clamp or as serious as a bad head gasket. A knowledgeable technician at Jones Automotive will be able to track the problems down.
For those reasons, it's wise to get your vehicle's heating system repaired. Not only can driving an unheated vehicle on a cold day freeze your fingers, some related engine problems that are not repaired could leave you stranded.
Smart drivers keep up the maintenance on their vehicle's cooling system; it's a hot tip to prevent a cold vehicle.
Cooling System Components
Posted August 26, 2018 08:18 AM
Today we want to talk about a system in our vehicles – the cooling system. It's one of those things that Belton auto owners don't give much thought to until it fails and then they're stranded by the side of a road in Texas.
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 Belton drivers take care of their cooling systems, they can keep working for the life of their car.
Here at Jones Automotive in Belton, we emphasize 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, radiator, cooling fans, the heater core, the pressure cap, the overflow tank and the hoses.
It sounds complicated, but we Belton residents don't have to be experts – we can leave that to our friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Jones Automotive. But, having an overview will help us remember how to take care of your car's cooling system.
Most Belton folks would be surprised to know that burning fuel in your engine produces up to 4,500 degrees F/2,500 degrees C 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 vehicle 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 massive damage that can be done when an engine seizes.
There's another little known but important 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 vehicle is left sitting.
It is hard to believe, but the expanding frozen coolant is 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.
The team at Jones Automotive can check your cooling system and make any necessary adjustments or repairs. Give us a call.
103 N Main Street
Belton, Texas 76513
Coolant/Antifreeze Service in Belton, Texas
Posted March 05, 2018 10:56 AM
Belton auto owners may know that most automotive failures in Belton, Texas, are tire related, but do you know the second most common cause of vehicle failure? Nope, it's not teenagers. It is the coolant system. But if you take good care of your vehicle coolant system, it will take good care of you.
A vehicle's engine creates a lot of heat - so much heat, that if it is not properly cooled, the engine can lock up, resulting in massive damage and repair bills. But when everything is working right, your vehicle engine operates at the proper temperature and all is well. Without antifreeze in your cooling system, the water could freeze and cause vehicle engine damage. This could be very expensive, not to mention inconvenient.
The right mix of water and antifreeze protects the engine against damage from freezing and overheating. Antifreeze also protects the coolant system against corrosion that could cause the system to fail. The thing to remember is this: coolant system failure is very common, but it is also very easy to prevent. Your Belton service center knows the manufacturer's recommendations and can tell you when the coolant needs to be changed. At Jones Automotive in Belton, we can perform a coolant system service.
Belton auto owners can add water or antifreeze to the bottle themselves but should be careful. First, you never want to open the radiator pressure cap. The steam could severely burn you. Second, try to get to Jones Automotive in Belton immediately if your coolant is low. If that is not possible, follow the directions in your owner's manual. Third, remember that you need a proper mixture of water and antifreeze or you will damage your engine. If you make an emergency addition to your cooling system, follow-up with a service advisor at Jones Automotive where they can make necessary corrections. Fourth, not all cars use the same type of antifreeze.
Belton technicians will need to check their vehicles owner's manual to make sure they use the right kind. Mixing antifreeze types or using the wrong kind of antifreeze may void the manufacturer’s warranty on your vehicle cooling system. If you're not sure, ask your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Jones Automotive for guidance.
Coolant Service at Jones Automotive
Posted February 06, 2018 07:07 AM
Belton residents' vehicles have to operate in a wide range of Texas temperatures which requires the 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 vehicle manufacturer’s recommend different types of anti-freeze for our Belton, Texas, vehicles.
There are several different 'families' of anti-freeze available to us here in Belton. Your owner's manual will tell you what kind you should use. Of course, the automotive professionals at Jones Automotive will know the right kind for your vehicle.
It's important to stay on top of this because coolant system failure is the most common mechanical problem people have here in Belton, Texas. Regular service needs to be done at Jones Automotive 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 friendly and knowledgeable Jones Automotive service advisor will know what to do. You'll be advised to replace the coolant at specified intervals.
Some recommend periodic coolant system flushes. A flush adds a cleaning step to the fluid replacement process. Again, check to see what your owner’s manual recommends.
103 N Main Street
Belton, Texas 76513
Keep Your Cool in Belton
Posted June 07, 2016 12:49 PM
Belton drivers rely on their vehicle's coolant system to keep their engine cool. Coolant (also called antifreeze) mixed with water flows through your vehicle 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 vehicle'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 Belton, the water in your engine could freeze while your vehicle is sitting out in the Texas cold.
So, if you remember your 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 Belton.
Whenever your vehicle 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 vehicle engine parts would expand so much that the engine would seize up and stop running. The parts could be broken or warp so badly they would have to be replaced. It could even be so bad that the whole vehicle's engine is ruined and has to be junked.
This is why it is critical that Belton drivers check coolant levels frequently and have their vehicle's cooling system inspected for leaks. Also your vehicle 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 Jones Automotive in Belton.
The reason Belton drivers 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 vehicle cooling system components. Over time, the additives are depleted and the coolant just has to be replaced.
Many Belton auto owners ask our advisors at Jones Automotive 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.
They use different materials to make the cooling system, and they require different types of antifreeze to protect them.
So check with us at Jones Automotive in Belton or your owner's manual for the right kind because using the wrong coolant can void the warranty for your vehicle cooling system.
Posted April 10, 2016 05:38 AM
Your cooling system is very important. It circulates coolant through the radiator and your engine to protect your vehicle from overheating. There are five main components to the cooling system:
- the radiator
- the radiator cap
- the hoses
- the thermostat
- the water pump
The water pump's like the heart of your cooling system, circulating the fluid throughout your vehicle. 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 Jones Automotive. Some start failing at around 40,000 miles/64,000 km, but most fail by 100,000 miles/160,000 km. Consult your owner's manual or friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Jones Automotive 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 Belton drivers 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 Jones Automotive check it out.
Most timing belts need to be changed at 60,000 miles/97,000 km – 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.
Jones Automotive can replace a failed water pump with a brand spankin' new one or with a rebuilt pump. Rebuilt will save you some money, but ask your service advisor at Jones Automotive what he thinks. Don't feel too bad if your water pump gives out. They will all wear out eventually. We can get you back on the road and on with your life.
Cool Running in Belton
Posted May 14, 2015 12:00 PM
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 vehicle engine, though. Without proper preventive maintenance, you could still find yourself on the side of the road in Belton waiting for your vehicle engine to cool down.
When you service your cooling system at Jones Automotive, your technician 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 vehicle care. Your vehicle owner's manual can give you guidelines on how often to replace it.
If your engine overheated, your friendly and knowledgeable service advisor will also check your coolant system for leaks. Check the vehicle 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 checked regularly. They can and do wear out.
The water pump is a critical component of your vehicle 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 vehicle 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 Jones Automotive is always a good source for auto advice. We've been providing quality automotive services at our convenient location in Belton for years.
At Jones Automotive, we help you keep your cool which will keep you in the driving lane.
Coolant/Antifreeze Service at Jones Automotive
Posted March 27, 2015 12:00 PM
Anyone who drives a car in Belton 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 vehicle care requires keeping its 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 vehicle's engine to absorb more heat.
Why shouldn't Belton auto owners just use water? Because water boils at temperatures that are often reached inside of an engine. Steam won't cool your vehicle 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 Texas weather. That would spell disaster for your vehicle'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 vehicle. Belton area drivers should check coolant level often and regularly inspect your cooling system for leaks.
That is just good auto advice. Your vehicle's manufacturer has maintenance requirements for draining and replacing engine coolant. Consult your owner's manual or ask your friendly and knowledgeable Jones Automotive service advisor for these recommendations, as they vary widely among vehicles.
Jones Automotive Radiator Service
Posted February 11, 2014 12:00 PM
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 Belton, it is easy to prevent.
The most recognizable part of the coolant system 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 to fail. 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 coolant issue that is often overlooked by Belton 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 you get a warning message to check the coolant or if the vehicle 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 Jones Automotive in Belton immediately if your coolant is low. If that is not possible, follow the directions in your vehicle 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 Jones Automotive service center where we can make necessary adjustments.
- Fourth, not all cars use the same type of antifreeze. You need to check your vehicle 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 Jones Automotive service center in Belton to do things right.
Remember, Jones Automotive has the equipment to change your coolant quickly and inexpensively.