Gabe's Truck & Auto Repair
(907) 456-6156

Today we want to talk about a system in our vehicles – the cooling system. It's one of those things that Fairbanks auto owners don't give much thought to until it fails and then they're stranded by the side of a road in AK.

Cooling systems fail more often than any other mechanical system – usually because of neglect. Don't you hate it when something breaks and you could have done something to prevent it?

The good news is that if Fairbanks drivers take care of their cooling systems, they can keep working for the life of their car.

Here at Gabe's Truck & Auto Repair in Fairbanks, we emphasize preventive maintenance services like replacing your coolant according to the factory schedule. But the various parts that make up the cooling system need attention too. The major components of the cooling system are the water pump, freeze plugs, the thermostat, radiator, cooling fans, the heater core, the pressure cap, the overflow tank and the hoses.

It sounds complicated, but we Fairbanks residents don't have to be experts – we can leave that to our friendly and knowledgeable service advisor at Gabe's Truck & Auto Repair. But, having an overview will help us remember how to take care of your car's cooling system.

Most Fairbanks folks would be surprised to know that burning fuel in your engine produces up to 4,500 degrees F/2,500 degrees C of heat. And all that heat has to be dealt with. If the heat can't be drawn off the engine, the pistons will literally weld themselves to the inside of the cylinders – then you just have to throw the engine away and get a new one. That would cost thousands of dollars.

Now the water pump is what forces the coolant through passages in the vehicle engine to absorb heat. The pump is driven by a belt that needs replacement from time to time. And the water pump will eventually wear out and need to be replaced. Spending some cash on replacing the belts and water pump is much less than the cost of repairing the extremely massive damage that can be done when an engine seizes.

There's another little known but important part of the coolant system that protects the engine. It's called a freeze plug. If you remember from high school chemistry, water expands when it freezes. In very cold areas, the coolant can actually freeze when the vehicle is left sitting.

It is hard to believe, but the expanding frozen coolant is enough to actually crack the engine block. The freeze plugs fit into the engine block. They fit tight enough to withstand the pressure of a running engine, but can expand or pop out if the coolant freezes. These little things save a lot of engine blocks.

The team at Gabe's Truck & Auto Repair can check your cooling system and make any necessary adjustments or repairs. Give us a call.

Gabe's Truck & Auto Repair
2015 Frank Ave
Fairbanks, AK 99701
907.456.6156