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Cooling System Tune-Up Checklist

CAUTION: NEVER REMOVE THE RADIATOR PRESSURE CAP WHILE THE ENGINE AND COOLANT ARE STILL HOT.
 
ONCE THE ENGINE HAS COOLED, REMOVE THE CAP VERY SLOWLY!!
 
Your vehicle’s cooling system protects your engine against heat generated during normal operations by keeping the engine operating within the correct temperature range.  If the cooling system is not operating properly and the temperature range is exceeded the engine can be damaged.  Regular checks and maintenance help assure long life of vulnerable engine parts.  The cooling system maintenance schedule recommended by the vehicle manufacturer should be followed.
 
Here are some of the basic steps in proper cooling system maintenance:
 
Check the condition of the water pump by inspecting for coolant leaks and by checking the pump shaft for “play” which may indicate excessive wear.  If either of these conditions exist you may need to replace the water pump.
  1. Inspect the radiator for leaks and corrosion
  2. Be sure your radiator coolant level is maintained at the manufacturer’s recommended level.
  3. Look for leaking hoses, fittings, and connections.  Tighten loose clamps.
  4. Inspect condition of hoses.  Cracked, mushy or otherwise deteriorated hoses should be replaced.
  5. Check condition of the radiator pressure cap.  Replace if rubber gasket is damaged.
  6. If the engine runs too cool or hot, the thermostat, fan or fan clutch may be at fault and should be replaced.  The temperature gauge reading outside the normal range may indicate this condition or the check engine light may be on.  Check your service manual to evaluate their performance.
  7. Heater hoses demand attention too.  Look for leaks, cracks or rotted rubber.  Replace faulty clamps.
  8. Check belts for wear and tension.  Replace when cracked or frayed.

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