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FAQ Engine

WHAT CAN MAKE AN ENGINE OVERHEAT?

Overheating is caused by anything that leads to a loss of coolant, prevents the cooling system from getting rid of heat, or causes excess heat in the engine itself:

-Coolant leaks (water pump, radiator, heater core, hoses, freeze plugs, head gasket, engine internal).
-Weak radiator cap (does not hold rated pressure and allows coolant to boilover). Pressure test the cap to check it out.
-Cooling system clogged (deposits built up in radiator or in engine due to maintenance neglect or use of hard water). Use a cleaner, then reverse flush the system to clean it out. A badly-clogged radiator may need to be rodded out or replaced.
-Inoperative electric cooling fan (check fan motor, relay and temperature switch for correct operation).
-Bad fan clutch (replace if slipping, leaking or loose).
-Thermostat stuck shut (replace)
-Missing fan shroud (reduces cooling efficiency of fan).
-Debris in the radiator (remove bugs and dirt).
-Too low or too high a concentration of antifreeze (should be 50/50 for best cooling). ,
-Bad water pump (impeller eroded or loose -replace pump).
-Slipping fan belt (tighten or replace).
-Collapsed radiator hose (check lower hose).
-Late ignition timing (reset to specs).
-Restricted exhaust system (check intake vacuum readings and inspect converter, muffler and pipes) .
-Radiator and/or fan undersized for application (increase cooling power by installing larger radiator and/or auxiliary cooling fan)

WHY TIMING BELTS NEED REPLACEMENT?

WHAT IS A TIMING BELT?

Timing belts have replaced timing chains on many of today’s engines. Both belts and chains ensure that crankshaft, pistons and valves operate together in proper sequence. Belts are lighter, quieter and more efficient than chains.

WHY REPLACE THE BELT?

Like other components, timing belts wear out. Proper maintenance requires belt replacement at regular intervals–before they break.

WHERE ARE BEL TS LOCATED?

Timing belts are on the front of the engine protected by a plastic or metal cover.

WHEN SHOULD BELTS BE REPLACED?

When a timing belt breaks, the engine stops. Replace belts before this occurs. Most manufacturers provide’ a suggested service life and replacement schedule for this critical component.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY CAR HAS ONE?

Your vehicle manual may tell you, but you should ask your technician–he will know for sure.

WHAT IS A "FREE-RUNNING" ENGINE?

If the timing belt breaks on a free-running engine, the engine stops and you will need a tow to the repair shop. No mechanical damage occurs and the installation of a new belt is usually all that is needed to get you on your way.

WHAT IS AN "INTERFERENCE" ENGINE?

If the timing belt breaks on an interference engine, mechanical engine damage occurs. It most commonly involves open valves being struck by pistons, resulting in the need for expensive repairs. In extreme cases, a replacement engine may be required.

EXHAUST SYSTEMS:

The longevity of muffler and pipes depends on what kind of steel the components are made of, how pipes are routed under the car, where the muffler is located, and whether or not the vehicle has a catalytic converter. Original equipment pipes made of stainless steel (which are used from the converter forward on most cars and for the entire exhaust system on some) can last up to 10 years or more.

Original equipment pipes made of aluminumized steel generally last five to seven years, except in areas with a lot of road salt and moisture. In these areas, pipes may need replacing after three to five years. As a rule, the hotter a muffler runs the longer it lasts. Mufflers on vehicles with catalytic converters run hotter and last longer than those on older vehicles without converters. Mufflers located ahead of the rear axle last longer than those located aft of the rear axle.

Most aftermarket pipes, by comparison, are made of ordinary steel which is good for about three to five years of service. Aluminumized and stainless pipes are better, but cost more.

With mufflers, stainless holds up the best, followed by double sided galvanized steel. Singlesided galvanized and aluminumized hold up fairly well, while plain steel offers little or no corrosion resistance.

Mufflers rust from the inside out. Rust is caused by moisture in the exhaust. Moisture condenses in the muffler when the engine is shut off and the muffler starts to cool. Some mufflers have a small pin hole that allows condensation to seep out.

One aftermarket muffler manufacturer puts a small packet of a special moisture absorbing chemical inside some of their mufflers to fight internal corrosion.

A muffler that needs replacing is an opportunity to sell clamps, pipes, hangers and any special tools that might be needed to complete the job.

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