The use of a temperature stick is another way to test a thermostat quickly. The temperature stick is a pencil- like device that contains a wax material containing certain chemicals that melt at a given temperature. Using two sticks (one for opening temperature and the other for full-open temperature), rub the sticks on the thermostat housing. As the coolant warms to operating temperature, the wax-like marks will melt. If the marks do not melt, the thermostat is defective and needs to be replaced.
A faulty engine fan can cause overheating, overcooling, vibration, and water pump wear, or damage. Testing the fan ensures that it is operating properly.
To test a thermostatic fan clutch, start the engine. The fan should slip when cold; as the engine warms up, the clutch should engage. Air should begin to flow through the radiator and over the engine. You will be able to hear and feel the air when the fan clutch locks up.
If the fan clutch is locked all the time (cold or hot), it is defective and must be replaced. Excessive play or oil leakage also indicates fan clutch failure.
When testing an electric cooling fan, observe whether the fan turns ON when the engine is warm. Make sure the fan motor is spinning at normal speed and forcing enough air through the radiator.
If the fan does not function, check the fuse, electrical connections, and supply voltage to the motor. If the fan motor fails to operate with voltage applied, replace it.
If the engine is warm and no voltage is supplied to the fan motor, check the action of the fan switch. Use either a voltmeter or test light. The switch should have almost zero resistance (pass current and voltage) when the engine is warm. Resistance should be infinite (stop current and voltage) when the engine is cold.
If these tests do not locate the trouble with the electric cooling fan, refer to the manufacturer's service manual for instructions. There may be a defective relay, connection, or other problem.
The individual components of the cooling system which require servicing and repair include the water pump, thermostat, hoses, fan and fan belt, and the radiator and pressure cap. Proper service of the components ensures an efficient cooling system and extends the life of the vehicle.
A bad water pump may leak coolant, fail to circulate coolant, or it may produce a grinding sound. Rust in the cooling system or lack of antifreeze is the most common causes for pump failure.
These conditions can accelerate seal, shaft, and bearing wear. An over-tightened fan belt will also cause water pump failure.
To check for a worn water pump seal, pressure test the system and watch for coolant leakage. Coolant will leak out of the small drain hole at the bottom of the pump or at the end of the pump shaft.
Worn water pump bearings are checked by wiggling the fan or pump pulley up and down. If the pump shaft is loose in its housing, the pump bearings are badly worn. A stethoscope can also be used to listen for worn, noisy water pump bearings.
Water pump action can be checked with a warm engine. Squeeze the top radiator hose while someone starts the engine. You should feel a pressure surge (hose swelling) if the pump is working. If not, pump shaft or impeller problems are indicated. You can also watch for coolant circulation in the radiator with the engine at operating temperature. Whether a defective pump is replaced or rebuilt depends on parts supply and cost. A water pump rebuild involves disassembly, cleaning, part inspection, worn part replacement, and reassembly. Few mechanics rebuild water pumps because rebuilding takes too much time and is not cost effective.
The removal and installation of the water pump varies with different vehicles. Therefore, the applicable shop manual must be consulted for the step-by-step procedures.
When you replace a pump, install a new gasket. Make sure the mating surfaces are clean and smooth. The application of a gasket sealer to both sides of the gasket is recommended. Then after refilling the cooling system, the pump should be checked for leaks, noise, and proper operation.
There are no repairs or adjustments to be made on the thermostat. The unit must be replaced when it failsContinue Reading