MOTORISTS sometimes neglect fill the radiator with water. This can cause serious damage to the engine.
â€œA driver must open the radiator cap regularly and ensure that there is enough water,â€ says Paul Mundoba, a motor vehicle instructor at Lugogo Vocational Institute.
â€œLack of water leads to overheating and expansion.
Consequently, the engine seizes up. the car may also burn because the melting of high tension cables,â€ he says.
The water gauge on the dash board shows the level of water in the radiator and the temperature gauge is also an indicator of the level of water.
The vast majority of cars use the liquid cooling system for their engines.
A typical cooling system comprises a series of channels cast into the engine block and cylinder head, surrounding the combustion chambers with circulating water or other coolant to carry away excessive heat.
The radiator, consisting of small tubes, cools hot water from the engine, thus restraining the temperature from exceeding limits imposed by needs of safety, efficiency and comfort. The radiator water also warms the interior of a car. The size of a radiator usually depends on the engine capacity. A car with a powerful engine needs more water. However, there are some powerful engines with small but effective radiators.
â€œDrivers must flush dirt from the radiator regularly to avoid clogging it up. This causes overheating,â€ says Benon Tumuhairwe, a technician.
â€œThe tubes that distribute water may burst due to clogging,â€ he says. The coolant is driven through the system by a water pump. A fan draws fresh air through the radiator, enabling it to cool water.
â€œIf the engine overheats, the oil in a mechanical transmission loses its lubricating capacity and the engine could knock,â€ explains Tumuhairwe. â€œThe water in the radiator should be soft and clean.â€
In the late 1950s and early1960s, manufacturers introduced liquid coolants intended to replace water anti-freeze mixtures. These contained corrosion inhibitors that were designed to make it necessary to drain and refill the cooling system only once a year.
All previously known liquids with appropriate boiling and freezing points were poorer than water in cooling the engine. They were not as effective as engine coolants.
Check water levels regularly