September 25, 2021

Coolant temperature - maintaining engine temperature for safe driving

Coolant

A vehicle that is driving down the highway at 55 miles or 90 km per hour will create over 5,000 controlled explosions inside the engine each minute. The spark plugs igniting the air and fuel mixture in all the cylinders is how a vehicle propels down the road. These explosions produce a high amount of heat and can easily destroy the vehicle’s engine if not controlled. This is where the engine's cooling system comes into play in order to control and regulate these extreme temperatures.

What is coolant temperature?

Modern cooling systems are much more efficient than older ones and can help your engine maintain a constant temperature whether it is boiling hot or frigid cold outdoors. An engine cooling system uses an engine coolant, water pump for circulation, multiple passages in the engine block and cylinder heads, a radiator for cooling, a thermostat that controls the temperature, a fan that pulls air through the radiator, a radiator cap for controlling pressure, as well as interconnecting hoses that transfer this coolant.

What is the purpose of coolant temperature?

Engine coolant helps in protecting the engine from overheating and works by lubricating the moving vehicle parts it comes in contact with. This also helps in avoiding damage to the head gasket, piston timing, cylinder, and water pump. The antifreeze present in the coolant helps in keeping the temperature normal and prevents it from freezing when the weather is cold. It also raises the boiling temperature of the coolant for averting overheating when the weather is hot, as well as fights corrosion.

How does Coolant adjust engine temperature?

The engine coolant is made with a mix of water, antifreeze, lubricants, and corrosion inhibitors, and primarily works as a convective heat transfer for internal combustion engines. While antifreeze and engine coolant are similar in nature, they are not the same. The main difference lies in the concentration of the liquids as antifreeze is ethylene glycol-based and needs to be diluted with water before it can be used in your engine. Once diluted with water, it is referred to as coolant.

The cooling system circulates the liquid coolant through the engine block and cylinder head passages, transferring heat from the engine components to the coolant. Next, this hot coolant moves via thin rubber hoses or tubes to the radiator, simultaneously being cooled by the airflow that enters the engine compartment via the grill placed in the front of your vehicle. Once this fluid is cooled, it then again returns to the engine to soak up more heat. A water pump does the job of circulating the fluid through the system and maintaining optimum coolant when you’re driving your vehicle.

When coolant goes beyond average engine operating temperatures?

The average engine operating temperature lies between 75 to 105 degrees Celsius. Anything lower will make the fuel economy suffer and increase emissions, while a higher temperature will lead the engine to sustain damage. When the temperature reaches 80 to 90 degrees Celsius, the thermostat lets the coolant flow through and start reducing the heat generated.

What happens when the coolant temperature goes up?

Engines today are built to be efficient, reliable, and durable, but when your vehicle’s motor generates heat that is much above the normal operating temperature, the coolant system may begin to fail. This can cause damage to the engine and other components of the vehicle, eventually bringing the vehicle to a halt and rendering it inoperable. There are several reasons for a vehicle to overheat and not work at its peak condition -

  • Leakage in the cooling system makes the pressure drop and reduces the boiling point of the coolant
  • Radiator cap or thermostat that has gone bad or is stuck
  • Water pump or drive belt has stop functioning
  • Low amount of coolant reduces the air from getting into the system
  • Mechanical issues like a faulty head gasket
  • Malfunctioning cooling fan and accessories
  • Debris stuck in front of the radiator that is restricting the airflow

Fleet maintenance with coolant alerts

Fleet maintenance and management are a huge part of logistics and transportation operations. Having a coolant alarm for this management is imperative as it helps ensure the safety of your vehicles. There are times when the vehicle engine may not shut down even though the coolant temperature has gone up. Having a fleet maintenance software when this happens allows you to get constant coolant alerts until the issue is resolved.

FleetX solutions for high coolant temperature issues

An engine that starts to overheat rapidly is likely to get damaged at a quick rate. Proper maintenance and gauging of the cooling system are extremely important for the life of your vehicle and its engine and are also the best way to ensure the easy and trouble-free operation of your cooling system.

Employing a solution that helps you with this vigilant monitoring can avoid unwanted vehicle damage. FleetX offers tools for you to keep an eye on your coolant system and ensure you are maintaining the temperate at optimal levels for reduced vehicle downtime and problems.

FleetX directly measures the engine metrics by connecting to the OBD plug and does not make use of any external Coolant Temperature sensors. By connecting the OBD tool into the port, the needed vehicle information from the Electronic Control Unit (ECU) can be pulled up directly. FleetX alerts you when the temperature goes above 103 degrees Celsius, but also configures custom thresholds as required. Get notified of the above causes of coolant temperate fluctuations and instantly remedy the problem by always having insight into your vehicle’s health.

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