Today we want to talk about a system in our vehicles – the cooling system. It’s one of those things that auto owners don’t give much thought to until it fails and then they’re stranded by the side of a road in Wisconsin.
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 drivers take care of their cooling systems, they can keep working for the life of their car.
Here at Kvindlog Services, 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 residents don’t have to be experts – we can leave that to our friendly and knowledgeable service manager, Dave, at Kvindlog Services. But, having an overview will help us remember how to take care of your car’s cooling system.
Most 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 Kvindlog Services can check your cooling system and make any necessary adjustments or repairs. Give us a call.
104 S MILL ST
WALDO, WI 53093
When you get an oil change, it’s always a safe bet to just use the type of oil the manufacturer recommends. But sometimes we’re asked if we’d like conventional or synthetic motor oil. We glance at the price tags on the two options and choose the cheaper one. But in this case, the more expensive oil might be the better bargain for drivers.
Conventional oil is made from petroleum. Its molecules form long hydrocarbon chains. Synthetic motor oil is either more highly refined petroleum or completely man-made. Its molecules are more uniform. This provides advantages over conventional motor oil.
First of all, the molecular structure of synthetic motor oil makes it more slippery than conventional oil so it lubricates better. This translates to better wear protection for drivers, cooler operating temperatures and more engine power.
Further, synthetic oil is more heat-resistant than conventional oil, and it doesn’t vaporize as easily. It provides better protection for severe conditions like stop-and-go driving around and very hot or freezing Wisconsin temperatures.
Also, synthetic oil doesn’t generate oil sludge like conventional oil. This prevents small engine passageways from becoming clogged, which can significantly extend the working life of your vehicle engine.
Manufacturers are aware of the advantages of synthetic oil, and many of them are using it to fill their vehicles before delivering them to be sold. Many owner’s manuals now come with the recommendation to use only synthetic oil. Because synthetic oil wears better and protects better than conventional motor oil, it can be changed less often. If your vehicle came with a recommendation for synthetic oil, you may have noticed that the recommended period between oil changes is longer than what you’re used to. However, if you switch to conventional oil, you need to be aware that you can’t follow this longer service interval. You’ll have to change your oil more often.
On the other hand, if you are using conventional oil and you switch to synthetic oil, you may be able to lengthen the time between oil changes. You can ask the pros at Kvindlog’s for more information. They can offer you good auto advice about oils and service intervals based on your driving habits and requirements.
Oil changes are the hallmark of preventive maintenance at Kvindlog Services. All drivers need them. So we should get excited about a product that reduces how often we need them. Synthetic oil is more expensive, yes, but it can pay for itself by lasting longer than conventional oil. And when you add in the hidden savings of an extended engine life and improved fuel economy, not to mention increased engine power, there’s a good chance that synthetic oil actually saves cash in the long run. All drivers pay for vehicle care. But understanding what we’re paying for can make us more savvy shoppers.
104 S. Mill St.
Waldo, WI 53093
Many drivers have found themselves in the following situation: They go to get their oil changed and their friendly service adviser at Kvindlog Services recommends a new engine air filter. They say yes, but don’t know what an air filter is or what it does.
If this has happened to you, rest assured that you did the right thing by getting a new one. But you should never be too embarrassed to ask our service manager, Dave, for more information. It’s your vehicle and you have a right to understand what you’re paying for.
Let’s review: “What does an air filter do?”
Air is the focus of this discussion. What is the air like outside right now? Can you see any smog? Is it full of pollen? How about dust? Anyone in with hay fever can tell you that there’s plenty in the air that you can’t see. Well, the engine air filter’s job is to clean that air before it goes into your vehicle engine, to mix with the fuel and be burned. Without an engine air filter, the inside of your vehicle engine would be extremely dirty from all the gunk that was burned in the cylinders.
In fact, your engine needs 12,000 times as much air as fuel for it to run. That little filter does a very big job. It’s no wonder that the air filter gets dirty and needs to be replaced. Think about a vacuum cleaner. When the bag gets full of dust and dirt, the vacuum doesn’t clean as well. It can’t move enough air to create good suction. A clogged engine air filter is the same way – the vehicle engine can’t get enough air to burn the fuel efficiently. That means less power and reduced fuel economy.
That’s why your owner’s manual has recommended that you change your filter at regular intervals. Of course the conditions you drive in will affect how quickly the filter gets dirty. If you drive in WI where it’s very dusty or where there’s lots of pollen or pollution, you may need to change the filter sooner. The filter is easy to check visually, so your friendly and knowledgeable Kvindlog Services mechanics can quickly make the call. Thee might recommend immediate replacement or simply let you know that it is getting close and that you’ll need to replace it soon – like at your next oil change.
Because a severely dirty vehicle air filter hurts your vehicle, many residents find that a new air filter pays for itself in better fuel economy before the next oil change. They also make premium air filters that have been proven to increase your horsepower and torque. If more power is important to you, a high performance air filter is some of the cheapest horsepower you can buy.
The better your car breathes, the better it runs – kind of like people. And don’t worry – if you have a question or don’t understand a recommendation just call and talk to Dave.
104 S MILL ST
WALDO, WI 53093
The current vehicles in the market have over a century of engineering behind them. They have evolved into complex and powerful machines. Developments in their engines, however, have coincided with advances in many other vehicle components, including the fluids.
It’s up to people in WALDO to always use the right type of fluid for their vehicle. Your service advisor and your owner’s manual are resources for auto advice on exactly what types of fluid your vehicle needs. Improper fluids can damage your vehicle and void your warranty.
Some of the fluids that have changed significantly in recent years are cooling system fluid, brake fluid, transmission fluid and motor oil. Each of these comes in many varieties now, and it’s hard to know exactly which one your vehicle needs.
Cooling systems were once made of iron, steel and rubber. One coolant could be used to protect all of these materials. But new cooling systems have components made from a variety of metal alloys and several kinds of plastic, and coolants now contain additives that protect these various materials from corrosion. Since the materials vary among manufacturers, they require different additives, which means there are now several coolants on the market. The type of coolant your vehicle needs depends on the materials used in its cooling system.
Most vehicles used to require DOT 3 brake fluid. But now many vehicles need DOT 4 or DOT 5. Some WALDO drivers mistakenly think the higher numbers reflect an increase in grade—that DOT 4 is somehow better than DOT 3. But the truth is, the numbers represent variations in formulation. The different formulas have evolved to meet the demands of newer and better brake systems. For a long time, transmission fluid came in two varieties: regular and friction-modified. But transmissions have come a long way recently and so have the fluids that protect and lubricate them. There are several new types of fluid on the market, but your vehicle is designed for just one of them.
Of all the automotive fluids, motor oils have experienced perhaps the greatest advances in engineering and technology. A number of new weights and formulations have recently been developed to meet the needs of modern engines, which have more parts and tighter tolerances than ever before. Engines have become more sophisticated and complicated, but they have also increased in power and fuel efficiency. Despite these changes, WALDO vehicles still need them to be highly durable.
That’s the job of motor oil. Motor oil still has to perform its original function—lubricating and protecting the engine. It is formulated to help clean the engine as well. Modern motor oil also has to be thin enough to penetrate small engine passages yet still be resistant to vaporization.
Specialized motor oils have also been developed for high-mileage vehicles. If your vehicle has 75,000 miles/120,000 km or more on it, you might consider switching to one of these motor oils. They contain extra detergents that help clean older engines, additives that condition seals and gaskets that can become brittle with age. High-mileage motor oils come in weights and types just like regular motor oils, and WALDO drivers should match the proper weight and type of high-mileage oil to their vehicle in the same way you would regular motor oil.
Over time, vehicles have developed in complexity and variety, and their fluids have developed as well. Each vehicle is matched to a set of fluids that meet its specific requirements. WI vehicle owners should take care to learn their vehicle’s fluid requirements before topping off at home. A large part of preventive maintenance for WALDO drivers is making sure your vehicle’s fluids are clean and adequate, but they must be the proper type as well. As our vehicles become more sophisticated, car care becomes more sophisticated as well.
Learning about proper fluids for your vehicle will help you maintain its performance and prolong its life. Talk to us at Kvindlog Services in WALDO.
104 S MILL ST
WALDO, WI 53093
We will be open on July 4th from 8 am to 8 pm. The shop will be closed and will reopen on July 5.
Beginning Monday, May 20, we will close at 9 pm on Sundays through Thursdays and 10 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.
Welcome to our new website. Stay tuned for an important announcement coming soon!