AND OTHER BACKGROUND INFORMATION
Overheating problem and its
damaging effect on the engine
Beyond the already explained basics about the Engine Cooling System
and its functioning methods, the
best way to explain 'how everything
works' is through the detailed description of each individual component
and its function / operation in the Engine Cooling System.
Those components, and their 'roles' in the Cooling System - are all covered in the
the meantime, the most fundamental question: What
causes an Engine to Overheat?
Here are the answers to it: The problems begin to appear when any of
those components start to wear out, when the Coolant starts to get
rusted (typically due to lack of proper maintenance at assigned
intervals), when the Radiator starts to get clogged, etc. ... From then
on it is a 'Vicious Circle' where a small malfunction of one component
starts to cause more damage to another, and if the system remains
neglected, the general deterioration goes on ...
And all of this does not even include the 'normal wear and tear' - such
as the broken Radiator or
Heater Hoses, a Radiator that simply sprung a leak due to age,
etc., etc. ... and all of these taking place - until they start
to cause the Engine OVERHEATING!
Engine overheating - due to lack of proper Cooling! Or, due to
...'The damage already done' - again due to lack of proper Cooling! And if this Cycle goes
on, the Engine Condition only gets worse and worse!
In the process, the Coolant level can get low, whether it was caused by
a leak, Boiling-over, or due the the damage that has already resulted
in the Blown Head Gasket!
This again causes even further Engine deterioration and a worsened overall condition. And if the vehicle is driven for
any extended period of time with an overheated engine, or it is
repetitiously driven at higher speeds with the Engine running Hot, and
especially in the HOT weather ... which typically means with the AIr
Condition at 'full blast' (sometimes even for just 'emergency
getting out of a traffic') - the results can be even more devastating.
And if the Engine is starting to 'Ping', lose of power, is or unable to accelerate,
or is dying continuously, there is
a good chance that any further 'forcing it' will result in the most
severe damage - the Cracked Head(s) and/or Cylinder
Block(s)... if that has not already
happened! In short, once the Overheating Cycle has started, it becomes
an irreversible process - unless it is treated immediately!
the above describes most of the causes of the Blown Head Gaskets, Cracked Heads and Cylinder
Blocks, and also just some of the intricacies of the Engine
Overheating problems, what is not covered yet
are some of those solutions that were 'promised' before.
back to some more basics.
First, to the Cooling System Sketch, with the description of the
Coolant flow, and then back to the list of those Engine Cooling
Why? Because most of those solutions
... are actually contained
within the detailed descriptions of those components - which follows
Engine Cooling System - Coolant
Engine Cooling System Components
COOLANT (Water and
Antifreeze mixture) is
initially supplied and/or replenished from the COOLANT RESERVOIR, (GREEN)
and after circulating through the RADIATOR is on its way into the ENGINE, via the LOWER RADIATOR
HOSE and the WATER PUMP. After circulating throughout the ENGINE the heated Coolant (RED) from the top part of
through the THERMOSTAT HOUSING, UPPER RADIATOR HOSE,
and enters the top part of the RADIATOR .
After being cooled
down (YELLOW), by its passage
through the RADIATOR
CORE, the COOLANT is then returned via
into the WATER PUMP, which then pumps it into
the passages surrounding the COMBUSTION CHAMBER, and throughout the hot
sections of the ENGINE - the CYLINDER BLOCK
and the CYLINDER
- COOLANT RESERVOIR
- WATER PUMP
- RADIATOR CAP
- RADIATOR FAN
- ELECTRIC FANS
- ELECTRIC FAN CONTROLS
Its function is mainly to serve as a reservoir of extra Coolant and its
level must also be carefully monitored to make sure that it has
sufficient coolant - no more, and no less than indicated on the 'Full
line' (when engine is hot). It is also important to make sure that the
Coolant Reservoir does not have any leaks itself, or that the
hose to the Radiator Cap is not clogged and that it is not leaking
due to the cracks, or that there is no broken seal or a clamp of the
connects it to the Radiator / Radiator Cap.
Just like the other components, the Radiator is an essential
part of the Engine Cooling System and it must be kept in good shape to
ascertain the full flow of the coolant which in turn is
fundamental for the proper cooling function. Its efficiency can also be
hard to measure precisely, but it is a safe bet that if there is rust
in the Cooling System the Radiator tubes might already be clogged.
Another culprit for the clogged Radiator can be all the 'Stop Leak'
chemicals which in general are a 'life saver' for a small Radiator
leak... but if the condition worsens and the system starts to overheat,
it is only a matter of time before another leak develops typically
next to the one that has been fixed, or somewhere else where there is
another week spot. Typically, more Stop Leak chemicals are added,
and that stops the leak - until the next one. Several treatments like
that will extend the life of the Radiator but will be constantly be
decreasing the Coolant Flow...
One test that can be easily performed which will instantly help with
the determination of 'sufficient' or 'insufficient' flow through the
Radiator is as follows: With the COLD engine open the Radiator Cap,
and providing that the Coolant does NOT have a Rusty Color, let
out some Coolant out until it the Coolant level reaches
about 2/3 of the level (or about 5 -6 inches below the Radiator cap
opening - for 'Side Flow' type Radiators only). Start the
engine and observe the Coolant in the Radiator as the engine
temperature starts to rise. Very soon (as the Thermostat opens) the
Coolant will be seen coming out of the Radiator tubes. If there is just
a slow trickle there is a good chance that the Radiator tubes are
sufficiently clogged and that the cleaning ('Rodding out') by the
Radiator shop is required - if it is still in a repairable condition.
If there are tubes that are so badly clogged that they can not be
opened up without damage, that Radiator must be replaced.
Caution! The replacement radiator must be of the same COOLING CAPACITY
as the original. It is essential, specially for the larger and high
compression V-8 engines, that if the original Radiator is a Heavy Duty
type - with 4 ROWS - that it must be replaced with the same! Replacing
it with the 3 ROWS - in order to save money - is just NOT the solution!
The Overheating problem can actually become worse!
Besides the Thermostat, there are other items on the 'Check List' that
are just as crucial for maintaining the normal running temperature of
engine. Namely, even with the Thermostat functioning properly, for the
coolant to circulate through the cooling system the Water Pump must be
functioning correctly. Felling the pressure in the Upper
Radiator hose is also one of the methods, but it is also easy to see if
the Water pump is OK by just watching the coolant flow in the Radiator
(of the 'side flow' type) - when a COLD engine is started., and after
the Thermostat has opened.
WARNING! DO NOT OPEN the radiator Cap unless the engine is completely
cold, or the Radiator has cooled off to where it can be touched by
hand! Even then, there might still be pressure in the Cooling System so
it must be opened with a Shop Rag or with a doubled up Paper
towel. Heavy Duty Rubber gloves and safety glasses are also a
The coolant flow in the Radiator ( the 'side flow' type)
will be visible through the opening with the Radiator Cap removed.
Another easy way to establish that there is a Coolant flow through the
system is when a cold engine starts to warm up, the top of the Radiator
closer to the Upper Radiator Hose will start to feel much warmer, while
the rest of the radiator will remain at the cooler temperature.
It is very important that the Water pump is pumping at the full capacity though, and
establishing this might be not be very easy without the specialized
'flow meter'. This can also be very tricky on a large engine which
heats up very fast, especially in a hot climate, so an inspection by by
a competent and knowledgeable Mechanic (or the Radiator Shop that is
properly equipped), could help eliminate - or confirm - the Water Pump
The most common cause of Overheating problem, and with the most drastic
consequences, can be the
Thermostat which is stuck in CLOSED Position! The function of the
Thermostat is to act as a Temperature activated Valve - which in fact
is exactly what it is. When functioning properly, the Thermostat should
be in the OPEN position at the 'normal' Engine Temperature. There is a
variety of temperature settings at which a Thermostat opens, and this
is determined by the Manufacturer's specifications, and it varies
from one Car or Truck model to another. Most common range is between
165 and 195 Degrees Fahrenheit. Below that threshold temperature the
Thermostat should remain closed. This helps a cold engine reach the
normal running temperature, as when it is closed there is no flow of
coolant, and the engine of course warms up much faster. This is an
factor especially in the colder climates and it affects many aspects of
the engine performance, fuel consumption, exhaust emissions, even how
fast the shivering driver will start to enjoy the benefits of the warm
air from the heater, etc.
As essential of an item that Thermostat is in the colder climates, it
can actually be more beneficial to permanently remove it in the (very)
warm and tropical
climates. Just the absence of it in the Thermostat housing will leave
more space for the coolant to flow, and with the increased coolant flow
naturally comes the increased engine cooling efficiency!
The easiest and the safest way to ascertain that the Thermostat is
functioning properly is to hold the Upper Radiator Hose
as the engine is started and as it warms up 'feel' the warm water
starting to circulate through it. Although there are other
methods ... for example dumping a Thermostat in a pot of boiling water
and watch it open up instantly - if functional... if there is any
doubt, the safest thing to do is to just remove (and/or
replace) the Thermostat.
Another relatively small item, but a very important item! They come in
different Pressure Ratings, which vary with Engine size, Engine
Compression rating, Vehicle use (Heavy Duty/Standard), climate, etc.
for the relatively low cost it is best and safest to replace any
Radiator Cap that has the seals that look like they are worn out, or
there are cracks, or debris on its sealing surfaces. Even if it does
not look like it has an 'External' leak the Cap's function is to also
'communicate' (in both directions - 'in' and 'out') with the Coolant
Reservoir so that when excessive pressure is reached in the system, it
allows the return of the Coolant which is expanding under heat and
pressure to return to the Coolant Reservoir. Likewise, it
allows for the Coolant from the Coolant Reservoir to
go back into the system when the lower level in the system creates the
sufficient negative pressure to allow it to flow into the Cooling
system. The best and the SAFEST type of Radiator Cap to
replace the original Radiator Cap with is the one that has
a "Pressure Release' lever on it! The Interlocking Lever designs
assures that the cap can only be removed AFTER the lever has caused the
pressure to be released back into the Coolant
Reservoir. This is absolutely the safest way to prevent any hot water
and steam 'accidents' which can result even in some serious skin burns!
The minimal cost of only few Dollars extra is definitely worth it!
Although this is an EXTERNAL Component of the Cooling System,
it is also a very important one. Its proper operation can make all the
difference in how much Cooling takes place in the Radiator - if at all!
There are 2 types of Radiator fans - Mechanical and Electrical ones,
with the Electric fans being on all newer cars from the late
1980s / early 1990s and later.
In either case they MUST turn fast enough when needed in order to do
their job of simply moving the air through the Radiator fins.
Again, different Engines have different requirements!
The Mechanical types are controlled with Thermal Clutches, which in
response to higher temperature provide higher friction and thus the fan
turns faster and closer to its maximum ratio in reference to the speed
of the engine. Typically The Thermostatic Clutches go bad and that
results in the slower than acceptable speed of the fan - which is
especially critical when the Engine is idling, or running at the low
RPM - such as being stuck in the Traffic... Or worse yet, stuck
in the Traffic on a 100 degree day with the air condition at 'Full
blast'. Fans, and Fan Clutches are NOT easy to be diagnosed either. The
only 'sure fire' method is with an Optical Scanner but only a well
equipped Radiator Shop will have them - they know one when they see
An experienced ear (and eye ... and hand) can tell a good Fan Clutch
from a bad Fan Clutch. There is one 'Do-It-Yourself test' though. But
it is too
dangerous to take a chance and risk some potentially serious hand
injury. Do not try it unless you are sure you know what you are doing!
The Electrical types are controlled by the temperature sensors
the engine compartment and it is very easy to see if they are operating
properly or not. Wait until the Engine gets very warm, if not HOT, and
in the worst case turn the air condition ON. The Radiator Fan should
eventually turn ON. If it does not this is an electrical type of
problem and the
Fan must be trouble-shooted first to see if it is operational at all.
yes, then the problem is with the Temperature control somewhere -
anywhere - and this turn into a major job for a well equipped Auto
electrician who knows what he is doing on that particular Model (all
are different!)... There is however a relatively simple (and much
cheaper) do it yourself solution to this, but that is something that is
covered separately - for those 'in need' (see below)...
THERMALLY CONTROLLED FAN
This is found on practically all engines starting from the Mid 60s to
the mid/late 80s until they were mostly replaced with the Temperature
Sensors which control Electric fans. The Thermally Controlled Clutch is
designed to ascertain the minimum RPM of the Radiator Fan during the
startup and while the engine is still cold. As the engine temperature
increases and it reaches its operating temperature, the friction within
Thermally sensitive fluid within the Clutch housing increases, and the
end result is also the increased RPM of the Radiator Fan. It is a very
important part of the 'external' cooling system as insufficient
friction when hot can cause the fan to rotate at a reduced speed and
cause insufficient flow of air through the Radiator finns. The safest
and easiest 'test' is when the engine is hot (and Turned OFF) to try to
move/rotate the Fan by hand. If there is no resistance to turning it,
and the Fan continues to turn when 'spinned' by hand, this is a
definite indication that it is NOT functioning properly and that it
MUST be replaced. If there is resistance to rotating / spinning it by
hand, it is an indication that it 'might' be OK, but it is not the
'final word' on its condition. The only sure test is by specialized RPM
(optical) test using professional equipment. Any better equipped
should be able to test it properly.
Electric Radiator Fans are the latest and the best (also the most
power efficient) method of creating the sufficient
air flow through the Radiator finns - which results in the
fastest drop in temperature of the Coolant flowing through the
Radiator. They are ON only when they are really needed - when the
radiator/engine temperature are high enough to require it. Therefore
these Electric Motors are NOT of a 'Continuos Duty' type, and they
should be also checked frequently, both when the Engine is Cold,
and when the engine is Hot. With the engine Cold, they should be
checked Manually, by rotating / spinning the Fan
- to make sure that it is NOT frozen-up. When the engine is Hot it
should be checked Visually only to ascertain that it does run when the
engine is Hot, and especially when the Air Condition is On. This might
require some persistence as unless the specific Temperature is reached
it will NOT go On and it might create a wrong impression, especially in
a cold weather. In this case the engine should be run at a High RPM
(even for up to 10-15 minutes) and Radiator Temperature (and the
Temperature Gauge) should be observed. If the (properly functional)
Temperature Gauge goes above the 'Normal' Temperature, and the Electric
Fan still does not intermittently go ON and OFF, indications are
that there is a problem
with the Temperature Control.
ELECTRIC FAN CONTROLS
This can be the 'Trickiest' part of the Vehicle Cooling System,
and under the 'least control' of the driver. Since it is basically a
Temperature Sensor, which activates the Fan Relay, and the Temperature
sensors (and circuits) vary widely from Model to Model, it is the
hardest part to analyze. First step is to check the FUSE BOX and see if
any of the 'large' (High Current - typically 20 -30 Amps -depending on
the Model) Fuses are not blown. If the Fuse is OK, following the
Circuit backwards from the connector on the Electric Fan to the Relay
is the next step in order to establish if the problem is somewhere in
the cable Harness between the
Fan Motor and the Fan Relay, also to ascertain that the Relay itself IS
functional properly - which is to turn ON the Motor when it is
energized. Since the Relay itself is energized in accordance to the
preset Temperature level of the Sensor and the Control circuit, this
process becomes progressively harder and requires the electrical
troubleshooting skills of a knowledgeable 'Pro'.
However, this is where the entire Circuits Diagnostic / Repair process
can really get 'out of control' - Price-Wise! It can 'branch-out'
into the Air Condition System, and/or its Sensors or Control Circuits,
and as far as even the Car's Engine Computer!
In short, it can turn into an open ended 'Cost Augmentation exercise' -
as truly there are so many things that can go wrong here!
But, the Properly Functional
Fan Control is ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL!
If the Fan Controls are not functional, it is a SURE THING, the Engine
If the Engine Overheats, especially if it Overheats REPEATEDLY, and if
not cooled down right away, it is also a SURE THING, that
the head Gasket will be damaged! Potentially the Head(s) will crack,
too - depending on the severity of the Engine Overheating!
Therefore, the results can be definitely disastrous!
So, is there an economical
solution as an alternative to the potentially costly repair of
NO, There is NONE - if you ask your Car Dealer!
MAYBE, if you ask a 'CREATIVE' Auto Electrician!...
ABSOLUTELY! if you ask
expert with the lifetime Automotive and
Technical experience"! ...
more details about a CUSTOM DESIGNED THERMOSTATIC UNIVERSAL FAN
CONTROLLER KIT - WHICH CAN BE INSTALLED ON ANY CAR - AND AT THE COST OF
LESS THAN THE AUTO ELECTRICIAN'S 'DIAGNOSTIC FEE' ... click on the
OF THE BLOWN HEAD GASKET OR CRACKED HEAD / CYLINDER BLOCK DAMAGED
ENGINE WITH HEAL-A-SEALTM
The treatment with HEAL-A-SEALTM
Kit is relatively easy and very straight forward, and it is on the
level of any 'Do-It-Yourselfer' who has had very little basic
experience 'working' on his (or even HER!) car...
The 'Step By Step' Instruction Manual is written in such a way that by
just following those steps... ANYBODY CAN DO IT! Well, almost
But even for those few who are outside of that 'almost
anybody' group - there is hope!
Do not be discouraged even if you do NOT have any experience working on
your car! There is absolutely no 'Rocket Science' to it! Actually, we
are so confident in the simplicity of the 'treatment effort' that if
you decided to give a try to our HEAL-A-SEALTM
Repair Kit - we'll
make sure that 'YOU CAN DO IT' too!
Yes, we'll give you whatever help you need over the phone, and we'll
'hold your hand' until you are done!
|INITIAL STEP - ENGINE FLUSH
Prior to the Engine Treatment with the
Repair Kit it is absolutely essential that the Cooling System is
thoroughly flushed by connecting the water hose and using it with the INCLUDED Cooling System Flush Kit.
The entire Cooling System must
be clean, and ALL ANTIFREEZE MUST BE REMOVED, including from the
Coolant Reservoir! Both these issues are very important and these
basic requirements that can NOT be overlooked. Please carefully read
the relevant details in the Instruction Manual.
ACTUAL HEAL-A-SEALTM Repair Kit TREATMENT
Once the Cooling System
has been flushed, the application of the
Kit is very easy and 'straight forward' as it consists simply of
pouring the contents of the bottle into the Radiator. Although there
are several additional - and very important - steps in the treatment
process with the HEAL-A-SEALTM
Kit , all of them are also very easy
to follow and they are well covered in the Instruction
This is due to the fact that the 'space
age ingredients' which are at the
the HEAL-A-SEALTM Repair Kit do
'kick-in' automatically as they are only
activated by the combination of high
and the high
of the Gasses created in the Combustion Chamber. In a Thermo-Chemical
reaction they act to
SEAL-OFF the Combustion Chamber by penetrating any leaks and
subsequently forming a 'filling' which effectively plugs-up the entire
area of the leak.
Thereafter, it hardens to a 'bulletproof mass' which
then serves as a permanent
between the Combustion Chamber and
Coolant Passages (or Lubrication Oil Passages) within the Heads,
Cylinder Block and/or Head Gaskets.
This entire process which takes place during the HEAL-A-SEALTM Repair Kit treatment is totally
'self-powered' at requires absolutely no 'outside intervention'...
are some subsequent steps as mentioned above, but they require much
less effort in
comparison with the first and preparatory step - the flushing
of the Cooling System.
FINAL STEP - ENGINE
After the engine has been successfully treated with the
all symptoms of the Blown Gasket or Cracked Head / Cylinder block will
disappear and the engine will have been FIXED! To make sure the Engine
stays FIXED, the Cooling
System and all of
its components should be rechecked once more to make sure they are ALL
in good working order, and are NOT causing the Engine to
ascertain that this condition will remain on the on-going basis, the Stick-on
Temperature Labels which are INCLUDED
Repair Kit need to be
'installed' on a handy location of the Engine anywhere near the
Housing, and also on the top of the Radiator - as per details in the Instruction
Still unsure? If you still have questions,
we do have answers!
us TOLL-FREE 24 hours a day at:
1-888 - 256-0403 EXT. 4
or, send us an Email to:
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TECNICO EN ESPAÑOL OPRIMA EXT. # 5