Why Cooling-System Problems Show Up in Cold Weather

Why Cooling-System Problems Show Up in Cold Weather

Did you know that cooling-system problems are more noticeable in cold weather? Here are some of the cooling-system issues that are easy to detect when it’s cold outside

Sponsored by GMB North America, Inc.

Did you know that cooling-system problems are more noticeable in cold weather? Here are some of the cooling-system issues that are easy to detect when it’s cold outside:

1. Thermostat Issues

Colder temperatures often draw the vehicle owner’s attention to thermostat issues. A failing thermostat that sticks in the open position can prevent an engine from warming up. Then the car’s heater doesn’t produce very much heat. Poor heater performance is more noticeable in cold weather because the driver is more prone to discomfort.

2. Clogged or Malfunctioning Heater Core

Sometimes a heater core will get clogged up, or it will malfunction due to a failing blend door or a worn hot/cool coolant separator. As a result, there is little to no heat inside the car. It’s common for a driver to notice heater-core issues on the first cold day of the season.

3. Incorrect Coolant

Coolant comes in two varieties:

  • Green coolants use Inorganic Additive Technology (IAT). The additives help prevent corrosion in the cooling system. Green coolants have been around for many years, and older engines usually use green coolants.
  • Orange coolants use Organic Acid Technology (OAT). Orange coolants were designed to meet the needs of newer engines. Newer engines have a wide variety of materials in the cooling system, including nylon and aluminum. Those materials require different ways of preventing corrosion.

Mixing these two coolants in a vehicle can cause serious, expensive engine problems. When mixed, orange and green coolants react and form a gel. The gel doesn’t pump well through the cooling system, and can clog cooling passages. That will lead to overheating and potentially major engine damage. One of the first things a customer will notice is that the heater isn’t working well.

4. Too Much Fluid in the Cooling System

Sometimes a customer will overfill the cooling system. Generally, this is harmless on a modern car, because the excess coolant just escapes from the overflow tank. There are a couple of problems that may occur:

  • The customer panics due to a puddle of coolant under the car.
  • In a poorly designed vehicle, the coolant may drain onto a wiring harness and short it out.

Talking to Your Customers About Maintaining Their Cooling Systems

A lot of drivers don’t realize how serious cooling-system issues can be. Some people will put up with the heater not making much heat, because they think it’s not worth fixing. But, a poorly functioning heater is a symptom of problems that can be expensive to repair if ignored.

That’s why it’s important to ask your customers if their heater is working correctly. It may help you catch cooling-system problems early on and prevent them from snowballing into expensive repair jobs.

It’s also important to talk to all of your customers about properly maintaining their cooling system. You should emphasize:

  • Using the right coolant
  • Practicing routine maintenance
  • Replacing their water pump along with the timing belt

This article was sponsored by GMB North America, Inc. For more information, please visit our website at www.gmb.net

You May Also Like

What Causes Fuel Pumps to Fail?

Like most vehicle components, natural wear and tear is the unavoidable cause for parts replacement. Fuel pumps are often out of sight and out of mind for most shop visitors. That’s because they are an as-needed repair and not typically a part of ongoing maintenance. Nevertheless, if you diagnose fuel pump failure, customers will want

Like most vehicle components, natural wear and tear is the unavoidable cause for parts replacement.

Fuel pumps are often out of sight and out of mind for most shop visitors.

That’s because they are an as-needed repair and not typically a part of ongoing maintenance. Nevertheless, if you diagnose fuel pump failure, customers will want to know what caused it to go bad. You can provide additional service value to them by explaining the likely culprits.

Protecting Your Vehicle in the Winter

Depending on where you live, autumn is an idyllic time of year with bright colors and mild temperatures. If there is one downside though, it means that winter is on its way, which means frigid temperatures, snow, ice and difficult road conditions. The lifespans of cars and trucks are increasing all the time, so protecting

A Closer Look: Standard® Gasoline Direct Injection (GDI)

Gasoline direct injection (GDI) is used on most new vehicles and requires a different approach to diagnosis and service. GDI technology has been an integral part of helping to improve fuel economy while reducing emissions, and can be found on more than half of the U.S. fleet. In fact, the use of GDI engines has

Overcoming Supply Chain Issues in Today’s World

Many legislative and environmental mandates have affected the collision repair industry over the last decade. To comply with such mandates, vehicle manufacturers continue to design vehicles with increasingly advanced electronics, ranging from Advanced Driver Assistance Systems that increase safety, helping people with everything from parking to driving, to the recent push for electric vehicles. They’ve

High Oil Consumption?

A common question an OEM oil supplier like ENEOS sees is how to tell when oil consumption becomes excessive? Since a few factors could be involved, here are some of the potential implications. How much is too much?First, because of wear, vehicles are more likely to consume engine oil as they age. Common culprits that

Other Posts

The Value of Replacing the Water Pump and Timing Belt Simultaneously

Water pumps have long been considered the heart of a vehicle’s cooling system. Although its sole function – pumping coolant from the radiator through the engine – seems simple, it’s a crucial process to keep engines running at optimal temperatures. Unfortunately, some drivers can overlook this – along with proper care for the part. On

Fill Your Customers in About Total Vehicle Filtration

If you’ve ever wondered what one of the biggest threats to a vehicle’s engine is, the answer is microscopic particles. If these tiny specs of dirt and dust aren’t filtered properly, they will quickly accumulate inside the engine, which can cause significant damage to many parts. Worse yet, this can lead to complete engine failure.

A Closer Look: Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS)

Advanced Driver Assist Systems (ADAS) Overview: Advanced Driver Assist Systems have been quite the industry buzz over the last several years. We have seen new business opportunities arise, and even a new segment of mobile technicians focusing on ADAS calibrations. While ADAS may seem relatively new, automotive service professionals have been servicing Driver Assist Systems

FRAM® Provides Next-Level Engine Protection for the Summer

For many people, road trips are an enjoyable summertime tradition. Whether you’re taking the family outon vacation, traveling for sporting events, or just hitting the road for some mind-clearing relaxation,summer usually means miles. Since 1934, Pros and DIYers everywhere have relied on FRAM® to get the most complete engineprotection. When it comes to making sure