Keeping Your Cool Under the Hood in Summertime

June 23rd, 2014 by admin

Oh, the places you’ll go – as long as you can keep your 4×4 running cool in the seasonal heat. As temperatures spike, you want to make sure that underneath your hood everything is cool, calm and collected. Parts that can affect the heat accumulating under a hood include your catalytic converter heat shield and battery.

Here are basic maintenance tips for summer-izing your ride.

Radiator Flushes

A radiator flush can be done easily at home in your garage or driveway with the proper chemicals to perform it. There’s a valve on the bottom of the radiator, but be careful because XJs break easily. If the green radiator fluid Polyethylene glycol (PEG) is ingested, it can be fatal for pets and kids. Unfortunately, it has a sweet taste so both are prone to drinking it. Now, they’ve developed a pet safe version of it. Drain it from the radiator and if it’s orange and streaky with chunks, put a hose in the top. Flush it out until water runs clear out of it.

Put water in the radiator and run it with the radiator cap off. Once you’ve fired it up, let it run with the radiator cap off and let the water change color. Do the initial drain when cold. As for radiator caps, they seem about as complicated as squirt guns, but don’t be deceived. They aren’t just used to keep water or coolant in your radiator, but also to ease pressure if temperatures climb. If the spring and O-Ring disengage and fail, it can cause your vehicle to overheat unexpectedly.

AC Service

The maximum degree drop from ambient to internal (the outside temperature vs. the temperature inside your vehicle) is twenty degrees. By Federal law, service on auto air conditioners has to be performed at a shop because it involves R13 and R134 system refrigerants. Since 1990, rules have been around to ensure these refrigerants aren’t released into the air.

An AC system works on liquefaction, provided by these four parts.

  • Compressor – takes gas
  • Condenser – cools down the gas
  • Orifice tube – has a filter that causes differential in pressure and cools the gas
  • Evaporator – under the dash: the air in the cabin blows through it, transferring cold into air through vents, cooling the cabin.

Adjusting Viscosity

Viscosity is a five dollar term for engine oil’s thickness and detergent additives are in oil to keep your engine clean. The higher the viscosity, the higher temperature it will stand up to, so in summertime you want to go to higher viscosity oil and in winter you’ll go with the Ws (that stand for winter).  Another useful trick is to dump Sea Foam into the crank case. It’s a petroleum-based cleaner that cleans out deposits to make an old engine run like new.



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