Automotive Cooling System Maintenance Tips

Water turns to a vapor or boils at 212°F.  For every pound of pressure we put water under, it raises the boiling point 3 degrees.  15 lbs of pressure would raise the boiling point of water from 212°F to 265°F.  (These numbers are all altitude sensitive.)  So 15 lbs of pressure created by the radiator cap multiplied by 3.5 degrees will move water’s boiling point upwards 45+ degrees. So under pressure, your radiator liquid will boil at 245-265°F and not at 212°F.

A large percentage of the engines that are replaced by professional technicians have been damaged beyond repair because of overheating.  Others ran low on oil and some simply were worn out.

If you are thinking – If a 50/50 mixture is good, then 70/30 has to be better – get that idea out of your head immediately!  Any deviation of this 50/50 mixture will do nothing to make your hot or cold protection any better.  100% coolant will cause your engine to overheat because 100% coolant cannot dissipate heat.  Too much coolant can cause your engine to overheat because, like epoxy (or gravy), you need two components in the right amount to accomplish your goals.

The pressure tester to check the performance of your radiator cap is about 20 times the cost of a new cap, so replace the radiator cap with a name brand cap when you service your cooling system.

When servicing your cooling system, be sure to use a good flush to clean and remove the trash from your system.  Rinse well with clean water.  Then pick an appropriate coolant or antifreeze. You can enhance the properties of your coolant by using a water pump lubricant or rust inhibitor that will not damage your seals and gaskets.

About Mark Salem:

Mark Salem has owned and operated Salem Boys Auto in Tempe, Arizona since 1979. He is an ASE Master Tech since 1991 and has achieved L-1 certification for advanced engine performance.  Mark is widely recognized and respected as an expert in his field and has been giving car repair advice on radio and TV since 1987.

About CRC Industries:

CRC Industries, Inc. is a chemical specialties manufacturer for maintenance and repair professionals and do-it-yourselfers in the automotive, marine, heavy trucking, electrical, industrial and hardware markets.  CRC trademarked brands include: CRC®, K&W®, Sta-Lube®, and Marykate®.  Visit the CRC website at

CRC also encourages automotive enthusiasts, professional technicians and do-it-yourselfers to interact with the company on Facebook.  “Like” CRC at
For automotive maintenance videos, visit CRC’s YouTube channel at

Vehicle Components and Systems: