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Automedics Limited

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About Automedics Limited

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    Automobile service and repair,sales of spare parts.
  1. Those who have experienced it (overheating) before will definitely tell you that it is one incident that they don’t pray to witness again. OVERHEATING is one word that has been on the lips of many people, it doesn’t knock before sweeping right through and when it does come in, it can be very tricky to diagnose. Now for the benefit of those who have not witnessed the scenario before, I will give a quick description of what overheating is. Overheating is a condition in which your engines temperature rises to a very critical level, usually above the middle of the gauge and towards the red line. It arises as a result of a problem in the cooling system. In one of our previous write-ups, we discussed the job of the cooling system in the vehicle and why it is important to take proper care of it. The issue of overheating is actually not a fault, it is a symptom and it is at this junction that many mechanics and DIY’s get it wrong because they always try to solve the symptom instead of looking for the fault. There are a whole lot of things that can cause overheating but we will be treating only one in this article, other causes will be treated in subsequent articles. The very first on the list of causes that i will be discussing will be low coolant. In the cooling system article, I discussed about coolant and its importance. It is the lifeblood of the cooling system as it is the one that absorbs the heat from the engine. In a case where you have insufficient coolant, then the efficiency of the system is reduced and when this happens heat absorption becomes low thereby leaving this heat to build up in the engine. A low coolant level can be caused by a leak either external or internal or from outright carelessness, although the latter is not all that common. An external leak in the cooling system will be found around areas like the water hoses, the water pump, a leak in the radiator, or can even come from a leak in the coolant reservoir. Sometimes a bad radiator cap will also result in this because it can no longer hold pressure so the coolant will keep flowing freely into the reservoir. An internal leak will be a little more difficult to diagnose because it’s something you cannot see and it could be coming from anywhere in the system. One good way to know that you have a leak is when you have to top your coolant every day. The very tricky thing about a leak in the system (especially an external leak) is that you will not notice the leak. This is because the leak will only occur when the system is under pressure (except it is a very big one) and this pressure will be achieved when the engine is hot and coolant like any other fluid will evaporate at that temperature. So what you will have is a case where as the coolant is leaking out it is evaporating and this is what at times confuses most mechanics and DIYs. Now someone must be wondering –“if I need pressure to detect the leak and I can’t do it while the engine is hot, then what do I do?” Its pretty simple –a cooling system pressure test. Those who are conversant with the radio program would have heard this phrase a couple of times. It is an automotive test that involves pressurizing the cooling system to a certain pressure, so as to simulate a driving condition. When this happens it becomes easy to detect whether there is a leak and where it is coming from. Coolant leak is just one of the many causes of overheating and now you know that checking your coolant is very important. When next you have an issue of overheating, you can go ahead to perform the test on your vehicle.
  2. Regardless of what type of oil you use (conventional, synthetic or synthetic blend), all motor oils eventually wear out and have to be changed (actually, it’s the additives that wear out more so than the oil). As the miles add up, motor oil loses viscosity and gets dirty. The oil no longer has the same viscosity range it had when it was new, and it contains a lot of gunk (moisture and acids from combustion blow by, soot, dirt and particles of metal from normal wear). You can’t really tell much about the condition of the oil by its appearance alone because most oil turns dark brown or black after a few hundred miles of use. The oil filter will trap most of the solid contaminants, and the Positive Crankcase Ventilation (PCV) system will siphon off most of the moisture and blow by vapors, if the engine gets hot enough and runs long enough to boil the contaminants out of the oil. Even so, after several thousand miles of driving many of the essential additives in the oil that control viscosity, oxidation, wear and corrosion are badly depleted. At this point, the oil begins to break down and provides much less lubrication and protection than when it was new. If the oil is not changed, the oil may start to gel or form engine-damaging varnish and sludge deposits. Eventually this can cause your engine to fail! Oil sludge can damage engine bearings, piston rings, cylinder walls, valve guides and lifters.
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