Keep your engine cool
Tip of the Week
Cooling system issues are the leading cause of roadside breakdowns, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. To make matters worse, an estimated 23 million people are operating their vehicles with the wrong kind of coolant.
Not sure which coolant is right for your car? Check the label under your hood or your owner’s manual. If you are buying coolant for your vehicle, make sure to read the label to confirm the product is made for your vehicle’s make and model.
An excellent method of preventative maintenance for your cooling system is to have it flushed. Refer to your owner’s manual for recommendations. The frequency of how many times a year you have it done depends on the vehicle you drive and the conditions you drive it in. If you’re in a state that has sweltering summers, you may need to change your coolant twice a year or just before summer and winter. If your weather is moderate, an annual cooling system flush will be sufficient.
Other checks are simple. Make sure your hoses are attached properly and that they do not have leaks and are not cracked or brittle. Look for signs of corrosion on your radiator and check to see if the radiator cap fits tightly. Are the coolant levels correct? Is your coolant clean and free of oil and sediment? Incorrect coolant levels and dirty coolant could also lead to your engine overheating.
According to CNNMoney, America’s best-loved cars are:
1. Chevrolet Volt
2. Volkswagen Golf
3. Honda CR-Z
1. Mini Coupe/Roadster
2. Volkswagen GTI
3. Mini Cooper
Did You Know
Ford recently recalled more than 400,000 Escape crossover SUVs because of an unintended acceleration problem. Models affected are 2001-2004 with V6 engines and cruise control.
Q: I am interested in the new VW Golf R model four-door hatchback and would like to know if you have had to opportunity to drive it.
A: I spent a week in the new Golf R, and what a great week it was. The turbo power combined with the six-speed manual and all-wheel drive all work together picture-perfect. VW spent a lot of time on this whole package. At $34,590 plus shipping, VW gave us a fun and practical all-wheel drive midsize car. Gas mileage estimates: 19 city and 27 highway.
- Junior Damato, Talking Cars columnist