15436 S. Cicero Ave, Oak Forest, IL 60452
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Cooling System Maintenance

A multi-point check is recommended at least every 2 years. FULLSERV recommends this point inspection based on your vehicles owner's manual. It should include:
  • a visual inspection of the radiator, belts and hoses
  • a radiator cap pressure test (Caution: do not remove the cap when the engine is hot)
  • a thermostat check for proper opening and closing
  • a pressure test to identify any external leaks to the cooling system parts; including the radiator, water pump, engine coolant passages, radiator and heater hoses and heater core
  • an internal leak test to check for combustion gas leakage into the cooling system
  • an engine cooling fan test for proper operation

Cooling System Operation


The Cooling System carries heat away from the engine and maintains the desired operating temperature by circulating antifreeze/coolant through the engine, where heat is generated, and carries it to the radiator to be cooled.

Today's vehicles operate in a wide variety of ambient temperatures. Antifreeze/Coolant has a low freezing point, a high boiling point in addition to transferring heat. The fluid used in most vehicles is a mixture of water and ethylene glycol, also known as "antifreeze" or "coolant. It contains additives to prevent rust and corrosion in the cooling system.

Coolant Hoses

A visual inspection of radiator and heater hoses is easily done to make sure hoses have no cracking, splits, bulges, too soft or too hard, or swelling. Once the cooling system is refilled with the proper coolant mixture, a pressure test should be done to insure that there are no leaks.


Most older vehicles are equipped with a V-belt or serpentine belt to drive the alternator, power steering and air conditioner compressor. Dry cracks, fraying, glazing and wear are the most common causes for replacements.

For newer vehicles, the water pump is often driven by the timing belt. This belt has a specific life expectancy based on manufacturer recommendations and should be replaced to prevent failure. The timing belt is inside the engine to inspect if a partial disassembly of the engine is required. It is very important to replace the timing belt at the scheduled interval.