Engine Cooling System and Issues


Indian weather conditions are perfect for causing any machine to overheat. Add to the mix the traffic conditions and the immense strain that is put on the engines just increases manifold. While some may call this place a grave for a car’s engine and its cooling system and it does not seem an exaggerated title, the real trouble factors in when you consider just how stretched the service intervals are for a car and all its associated systems. In such conditions, a cooling system is more necessitated than ever. An engine cooling system keeps your engine running at optimum temperature and helps reduce wear and tear due to other moving parts to a minimum. There are two types of cooling systems for vehicle engines – air-cooled and liquid/water-cooled. The air-cooled systems are difficult to put on cars as their engines are enclosed in spaces that are open on one side only and are more commonly found on motorcycles and scooters. Hence, liquid cooled systems are used more as they are more practical. The technology has also filtered down to motorcycles and though Indian market has few motorcycles utilizing such a cooling system, it is found more on high-powered motorcycles. Regardless, while many refer to liquid-cooled systems and water-cooled systems to be the same, they are quite different in essence. A water-cooled system is more suited for use on a racetrack where it is necessary to clear any kinds of spills and leaks quickly. In such an environment, using oil or coolant becomes troublesome as it is difficult to get rid of oil/coolant spills/leaks (coolant is even tougher to get rid of than oil if racetrack guys are to be believed). Outside of racetracks, however, such constraints are not as pronounced and usage of oil-cooled/liquid cooled systems (which use coolant-water mix) is more prevalent. In case you are wondering, the coolant is essentially water whose freezing point has been lowered much further by the use of chemicals so that it does not freeze in winters inside the coolant container or the system. Mainly, there are two parts of this system; coolant and parts that construct this system.

What are the symptoms of failing engine cooling system?

By adhering to the following points, you will get to know whether your car engine’s cooling system is malfunctioning or not:

  • If you have a sudden halt and see steam is coming out from your vehicle’s hood
  • If you note your car is using more gasoline and the heater does not work
  • Leaks around the hose clamps or a break in the hoses
  • Indicators (lights) too blow an alarm for you, have a check on them.

Look out for these too

You need to check the thermostat, when the car’s engine gets cold. Take out the radiator cap and switch on the engine and examine the radiator. If you observe that the thermostat is stuck open and the coolant is flowing, then it needs to be replaced. Remember, the engine gets overheated due to leaking frost (core) plugs.

Among the Do-It-Yourself things that you can do is to check the radiator for any damage and radiator hoses for leaks or brittle parts (usually where there are hose clamps). Lastly, if it is just an issue of low coolant level and the system is not leaking as such (move your car a bit and check the floor for any liquid at the spot where it was standing), you can also top up the coolant level. Do a bit of research to know if the coolant needs to be mixed with water and if yes, then also ask for the ratio in which coolant has to be mixed with water. If you are feeling a bit adventurous, you can try changing the radiator hose (only if it is leaking). However, ensure the engine is cool and that if you are unsure of how to do it, then stay away from it. For any major issues, it would be better to consult a mechanic.


To take the heat away from the engine and maintain the required temperature inside is what the engine cooling system is really meant to do. Therefore, it becomes essential to check the entire system closely, especially in summers. The heating problem occur more in the hot regions, thus it is recommended that users check the car’s owner’s manual to find relevant information as to when do they need to flush the coolant or replace any part. Here, at CarDekho, we would be happy to help you get your vehicle’s cooling system or any other part serviced or replaced. All you have to do is log on to services.cardekho.com.