Automotive: Popular Parts of the Cooling System

Keeping your car in top shape requires work. It’s important to regularly maintain it to make sure you can safely embark on your adventures. It’s very common for us off-road adventurers to always look for the next 4×4 accessory to add to our ride.

Keeping track of the condition of the most vital car systems can extend the service life of mechanical parts. Sometimes failure or damage to parts is preventable simply by performing routine checks. One of the most important ones is keeping your engine cool.

Coolant Overflow Tank

The greatest threat to your cooling system in the car is the formation of rust. But how does rust find its way to the radiator? When your engine stops working, the temperature drops. But this cooling effect goes beyond and it affects the coolant as well. Since this change also brings about a drop in pressure, air enters the radiator. Unfortunately, this air creates the perfect conditions for rust to form on the metal surfaces. If left untreated, you will have to replace the coolant more often. Over time this problem can potentially lead to replacing the radiator or other parts of the cooling system.

coolant overflow tank

Getting an exact fit of aftermarket overflow bottles for your model will prevent that from happening. We are talking about a very simple contraption here, but it does solve the problem. The temperature and pressure in the radiator will change, that is outside of your control. But when the pressure of the coolant drops, your overflow bottles will receive the antifreeze that flows through the radiator cap seal. The mechanism is based on vacuum. Loss of temperature causes contraction and a vacuum valve allows the overflow to be removed.

You can easily identify if something is not right with the overflow tank. The first thing to notice is a leak of coolant fluid. This usually happens due to cracks in the tank.

Another way to spot an issue is if there is a coolant leak odour inside the passenger cabin. It’s not a bad smell, but if you notice it, check the overflow tank as soon as possible. If your engine experiences spikes in temperature or a proper overheating, then your coolant might be responsible for it. The engine temperature gauge will provide a clear metric on the status, but you should be able to notice this even without a gauge on your dashboard. Last but not least, a coolant leak on the inside due to an overflow bottle cap problem is also possible. Replacing the cap will solve this issue.

Heat Shields

Keeping the temperature down in the passenger cabin is also important. Every intervention that improves the driving experience is welcomed by drivers. Especially in the hot Australian sun.

There are two ways to do this. One is to indiscriminately apply heatshield products across. The other is to cover a specific area of the car, like the undercarriage or the tubing you want to be covered such as the exhaust lines under you.

If you are willing to install an all-encompassing heat shield then you will also benefit from the acoustic insulation. The choice of heatshield will dictate the degree to which your car is heatproof and soundproof, however, if you cover everything up you will definitely muffle sound too.

heat shields

There are many reasons to go for this option. Heat is generated in every direction. The car roof cumulatively absorbs heat. Your car floor is one of the greatest sources. But the doors and openings can attract much heat too, particularly if you don’t have any insulation and one side of the vehicle was exposed to the sun.

Choosing high-quality heatshield products will significantly reduce the in-cabin heat. Nowadays they make them easy to install, too. The peel and stick heat shields have become a sort of standard and any product without a self-adhesive layer is considered a second rate. Good heat shields are made from top-notch materials like aluminium because they have high resistance to rust, high thermal conductivity and a low emissive rate. They can be installed in any area in your car including the engine compartment, undercarriage, exhaust system, roof, luggage compartment etc.

Some of these shields have an aluminium face but their core is made from needle-punched fibreglass and polyester. These types of heat shields are on par with the original equipment manufacturer and are not even considered an aftermarket part.

Cold Air Intake Filter

A forced-induction kit brings cool air into the engine. In essence, every way to bring temperature and pressure in the combustion chamber down is good for the engine. This is particularly true for long haul drives.

cold air filter

You see, the cars are designed to take ambient air and feed it to the engine. This is only the first step of the internal combustion engine workflow. After this, the air is further pressurized (by decreasing volume), and fuel is burning using such air. Resultant gas fumes are released back to the environment. So, even though inexperienced drivers might not be aware, the quality of the air stream to the engine greatly affects the engine work.

You can go for two types of forced induction kits. They are called turbocharger and supercharger – the main difference pertains to the way they get rid of the air after the fact.